Florida primaries thread

Voting has begun in today’s Florida primaries, the last to be held before Super Tuesday apart from Republican caucuses in Maine on Saturday. For refusing to play by the rules of the parties’ national committees, Florida has been stripped of the 210 delegates it would normally send to the Democratic national convention, along with half of its 114 Republican delegates. All 57 of the Republican delegates will be pledged to the winning candidate, whereas the Democratic primary amounts to nothing more than an opinion poll. Polls show John McCain and Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in the Republican race, with Rudy Giuliani looking very unlikely to pull off his Florida-first strategy.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,099 comments on “Florida primaries thread”

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  1. While surfing around the planet I came across the following comment posted by Strap-On Veterans for Truth and I just had to share this with everyone here.

    An organization dedicating to exposing the truth about the former drag queen now known as Ann Coulter. We are a coalition of former friends and co-workers of Ann Coulter who are upset by her vicious anti-gay, anti-muslim, anti-feminist rhetoric and feel the truth should be told. Our organization, Strap-On Veterans For Truth, is dedicated to exposing the true past of America’s number one hatemonger.

    But be ready for some shocking facts combined with in-depth undercover journalism ….

  2. So the rumours might be true, some Republicans do indeed have a soul:

    Susan Eisenhower is more than just another disappointed Republican. She is also Ike’s granddaughter and a dedicated member of the party who has urged her fellow Republicans in the past to stick with the GOP. But now Eisenhower, who runs an international consulting firm, is endorsing Barack Obama. She has no plans to officially leave the Republican party. But in Eisenhower’s view, Obama is the only candidate who can build a national consensus on the issues most important to her–energy, global warming, an aging population and America’s standing in the world.

    From http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/

  3. No wonder the odds are narrowing on Betfair, with Obama in to $2.50:

    “USA TODAY/Gallup Poll: Clinton 45%, Obama 44%, and McCain surges

    Democrat Barack Obama has erased Hillary Clinton’s national lead in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, gaining 11 points over the last two weeks to make the nomination race a statistical tie. The new state of play: Clinton 45%, Obama 44%.

    On the Republican side, Arizona Sen. John McCain has surged into a 42%-24% lead over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. That’s an 11-point jump for McCain over the last two weeks, during which he won the South Carolina and Florida primaries.

    The poll is a snapshot of where things stand two days before Super Tuesday, when voters go to the polls in 22 states. People were interviewed Wednesday through Saturday.”

    Last week’s $2.80 odd about McCain was indeed the high water mark and looks great value now that he’s $1.09 for the nomination.

  4. 1004
    jaundiced view

    yeah, so glad I got my McCain bet at nearly $10.

    My Obama’s looking better too! (Although it’s a case of ‘hope’ over ‘experience’! LOL)

  5. KR – Thanks. Good explanations on that NYT site. You can line up for that McCain bet already. I only got the $2.80 – not that I’m complaining!

    steve @ 1007- I hope a big turnout will assist Obama, so it could be worth the wait if the numbers slow the count. He’s the one getting the huge turnouts for his rallies. Polls and betting markets both trending his way.

  6. It’s interesting that Edwards has not endorsed Obama yet. (I rule out an endorsement for Clinton.) Maybe he thinks Obama is already going to remain alive after Tuesday, so will keep his powder dry to endorse him at a more effective time before or at the convention.

  7. On a local issue for a moment – the resurrection of David? Smith met Hicks recently. It appears Hicks will be selling his story. It will be refreshing to get the story from him, rather than from liars like recently deposed Ministers and News Ltd.

    “Hicks not a terrorism supporter: Dick Smith

    ” ‘I believe he is basically a decent Australian like his father, that we know well, and I don’t believe he’s ever been a supporter of terrorism.’ ”


  8. Following on from last night, I’m still wading through a couple of articles about psychpathology in politicians and other famous people. There is a great article comparing levels of psychopathology on 291 world famous men. The groups were (including a % of severe psychopathology); scientists (18%), composers (31%), politicians (17%), artists (37%), thinkers (26%) and writers (46%).

    The politicians with severe mental illnesses were; Bismarck, Bulow, Disraeli, Hitler, Ataturk, Lincoln, O’Connell amd Woodrow Wilson.

    Reference: Brit J Psychiatry (1994), 165, 22-34.

  9. Diogenes @ 1014- Are the criteria for this the DSM IV criteria?

    Wouldn’t Churchill have to be in there too under DSM IV, for alcohol dependency, given his all day whisky habit? Or is that not ‘severe’ ?

    The high proportion for artists tallies with my experience of art teachers 🙂

  10. jv- They used DSM IIIR (it was 1994). And Churchill had “marked” psychopathology.
    I might as well list all the politicians in terms of severity;

    None: Briand, Franco, Gandhi, Metternich, Smuts, Stresemann, Thiers

    Mild: Asquith, Ben Gurion, Bethmann-Hollweg, Garibaldi, Lenin, Mao-Zedong, Masaryk, Mazzini, Nkrumah, Poincare, FD Roosevelt, Sun-Yat-Sen

    Moderate: Adenauer, Cavour, Chiang Kai-Sek, Churchill, Clemenceau, Gambetta, Gladstone, De Gaulle, Lloyd George, Mussolini, Nasser, Nehru, Palmerston, Parnell, Peel, Peron, Pilsudsky, Stalin, Venizelos

    Severe: Bismarck, Bulow, Disraeli, Hitler, Ataturk, Lincoln, O’Connell, Woodrow Wilson.

  11. Erytnicam @ 1017

    Bobby: “Are there any hillbillies up there any more, Lewis?”

    Lewis: “Yah, there, there’s some people up there that ain’t never seen a town before.”

  12. 1016
    Chris B

    In that link it says:

    Also, even if Obama pulls even with Clinton, the details of how the delegates are apportioned matter. In some states it is proportional to the vote, in others it is by congressional district, etc. It is hard to convert a certain amount of lead to a certain amount of delegates.

    …which basically says if CLinton and Obama are within a certain spread of the vote, then it’s VERY hard for the frontrunner to turn that in a significant lead in delegates.

    Read up on the proportional system they use and it’s odd reference of past voting numbers and you’ll see that a national 8% lead at this moment is NOT enough to wipe Obama away on “Super Choose Day”.

    (PS I ain’t saying he WILL win the nomination, just that he won’t be out the race on Wednesday and it will go on as scrap for each remaining state’s delegates)

  13. 1020


    I was playing with the notion that Giuliani was like Ratso in Midnight Cowboy, especially after I learned that Jon Voigt was stumping for him! Florida was the dream, and it died, just like Ratso did. (But, did Giuliani see himself cast in Voigt’s other big film, with Rudy as the unfortunate travelling companion? In which case the voters of Florida sure as hell gave him a ‘piggy’ moment he won’t forget!)

    Oh, the funny things we can do with Hollywood and politicians, eh?

  14. 1022

    yeah, I saw that this morning and chuckled too!

    So it’s NOT just East coast ‘liberal’ elites that ‘fawn’ over Obama! (Adam’s word, from memory)

    It’s West coast one’s as well! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Another surprise – Paul Volcker endorses Obama …

    “After 30 years in government, serving under five presidents of both parties and chairing two non-partisan commissions on the Public Service, I have been reluctant to engage in political campaigns. The time has come to overcome that reluctance,” Mr. Volcker said in a statement today. “However, it is not the current turmoil in markets or the economic uncertainties that have impelled my decision. Rather, it is the breadth and depth of challenges that face our nation at home and abroad. Those challenges demand a new leadership and a fresh approach.”

    He concluded: “It is only Barack Obama, in his person, in his ideas, in his ability to understand and to articulate both our needs and our hopes that provide the potential for strong and fresh leadership. That leadership must begin here in America but it can also restore needed confidence in our vision, our strength, and our purposes right around the world.”

    Paul Volcke was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Carter and Reagan.

  16. Davidoff 7 KR – Had a look to see what endorsements Clinton is getting, because Obama’s seems to be more getting more coverage.

    The reason for that could be found in her endorsements so far this month:
    1. the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller;
    2. former governor of Oklahoma David Walters (1990-94);
    3. the Denver Post;
    4. The Balanos brothers.


  17. 1025 – the problem with that analogy is that recent behavior would led me to place McCain in the role of a male prostitute, and from there I just have to destroy my eyes and oh god.

  18. People seem to have forgotten that then 4th candidate, Bill Richardson, a Hispanic, endorsed Hillary. I would have thought Bill Richardson’s endorsement will be very significant in States where Hispanic populations are significant. In practical term, it is more important than Ted Kennedy’s.

  19. #1029

    For balanced reporting we should note that Hillary has (amongst others) Madonna, Billie Jean King, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Stephen Spielberg, Maya Angelou, Rob Reiner, Barbara Streisand, Kimora Lee Simmons, Jenna Jameson, Carly Simon, and Jerry Springer.

  20. Castro endorsed Hillary and the Dream Team!!!

    “Fidel Castro, the Cuban president, has predicted that Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama will team up to win the 2008 US presidential election. Fidel Castro tips Clinton-Obama as winning ticket. The ailing leader has not been seen in public in 13 months. The word today is that an apparently unbeatable ticket could be Hillary for president and Obama as her running mate,” the ailing leader wrote in an editorial column in Granma, the Cuban Communist Party’s newspaper”


  21. I saw a comment by Glen Beck, who if i recall correctly, is a WaPo journalist and establishment guy.

    He said: ” Clinton/McCain is not a contest, it is more like a ticket”.

    Pretty much sums up American democracy.

    I guess we have to hope for Obama, although he’ll be pretty much more of the same too.

    Ah well…what’s the odds, if we get 8 years of Hilary, that the next Pres is Jeb.

  22. #1035

    I guess we have to hope for Obama, although he’ll be pretty much more of the same too.

    I’ve seen many similar comments out there that suggest the Obama and Clinton are basically the same. While I would agree the policy positions are in the same ballpark, I think their respective approaches to policy implementation are oceans apart.

  23. #1033

    Well – it was a few years ago – but here is what Britney had to say about politics during an interview with Crossfire’s Tucker Carlson:

    “Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.”

  24. Davidoff @ 1038 – well I think that level of mindless faith qualifies Britney to come out and endorse Huckabee forthwith.

    I wonder how many endorsements are there going to be? It’s amazing. They will have to be categorised or we’ll lose track.
    Fidel’s is the first death-bed endorsement of the campaign. Will there be an endorsement from the grave? Maybe Heath Ledger has left instructions in his will for an announcement.

    I can’t see why we can’t all endorse our favourite. I think I’ll prepare a press release about my support for Obama.
    I’ll send a copy to the campaign so I can see my name added to the list on the official website.
    I’m sure endorsements from a blogger on PB would carry at least as much gravitas as Barbra Streisand.

  25. Diogenes @ 1040 – Good idea, but we’ll have to be quick as Steve pointed out at 1022, the Clinton campaign is already getting dirty, and is probably drafting a pamphlet as we speak.
    Better give Alex Hawke a quick call to get ours drafted and to see if we can use a copier at the NSW Libs office, if they still have one.

  26. jv- I heard Alex Hawke on triple J last week on his first day in Parliament. He was quite funny and said because he was the newest member he got the worst office on the pecking order, the furthest from the chamber. He then said he wasn’t sure what Tony Abbott had done wrong but it must have been bad because he was in the office next to him.

  27. Davidoff
    I think their respective approaches to policy implementation are oceans apart.

    and so is their respective judgements
    with Obama in 2002 opposing any Iraq war

    and Clinton voting for a bill authorising Bush to wage war under certain
    ‘inspection’ conditions expecting naively that Bush would adhere to those conditions

  28. Diogenes – Well, well, that’s interesting. I thought after our election Abbott was a likely leadership puppet of the Clarke/Hawke Opus Dei nutters, seeing he’s a right-wing catholic freak. How convenient to have offices next to each other.

  29. Ron,

    it is important to note that Obama was not a member of the Senate when he opposed the War. I still give him credit for doing so, but his position could have been very different if he was a senator at the time. I have very real reasons to think his vote would have been different.

    Barack has said though that he will withdraw ALL combat troops within 16 months of being elected. I guess that is a start and is better than Hilary’s usual prevaricating and double speak.

  30. Davidoff – LOL – I think one or two of them might be dead too! The Gratitude from the Obama camp must be palpable

  31. jaundiced view – I have this mental image that keeps replying in my head – a black and white sequence from the Night of the Living Dead, Obama supporters stumbling across the fields towards the ballot boxes, Hillary (dressed in a sheriff’s uniform) is shooting them down, but they just keep coming and coming, …

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