The Times they are a-changin’

The Times (of London) yesterday reported on what looked to me like a political horror story for Barack Obama, involving an Iraqi-born billionaire said by a Pentagon report to have “served as Saddam Hussein’s principle international financial manipulator and bag man”, a multi-million dollar loan conducted through a Central American finance company, and an admission from Obama of “boneheaded mistakes”. Yet it appears to be receiving little coverage in the US, the links in the chain being admittedly rather weak (though since when has that ever stopped anyone in presidential politics?). So Hillary Clinton will evidently have to hope for some other miracle to come along in the four days before the next primaries. The latest polls show Obama streaking ahead in Texas, and closing in fast in Ohio.

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.

436 comments on “The Times they are a-changin’”

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  1. Ok, I’ll join in with the predictions and challenge all posters tonight or tomorrow morning (before 12pm AEST when MSNBC will probably call Vermont a few seconds after polls close) who haven’t yet done so to do the same. This way, nobody can claim they predicted the final result (which happens suspiciously often on this blog) without proof.

    Using Diogenes’ layout (I’m excluding Rhodes Island and Vermont personally, but that’s because the results there seem forgone), I challenge all to predict:
    – The winner of Texas popular vote
    – The winner of Ohio’s popular vote
    – The net gain in delegates for one candidate (optional if you want, as this is pure guesswork)
    – Whether Clinton will pull out within a week of the event

    I’ll go:

    – Texas 52-48 Obama
    – Ohio 53-47 Clinton
    – Net gain of ten delegates for Clinton
    – Concession a couple of days after ‘after talking to close friends and for the good of the party.’

    If she loses both, there will be a concession on the night.

    And I’ll post the other predictions now at the top of this brand new spanking page, just because I feel like being organised for a change.

    – Texas 53-47 O
    – Ohio 51-39 C
    – Withdraw within a week

    – Texas 51-49 O
    – Ohio 55-45 C
    – No concession

    – Texas 54-46
    – Ohio 51-49
    – Concede by March 11

    There we go. Add your name to the list, lest you be called a complete fraud when gloating in 24 hours time. William, I reckon you should get off the fence as well, but that’s just me.

    Sadly, I won’t be around the place for tomorrows primaries, but it seems to me we are all predicting the same thing, so fingers crossed.

  2. Don’t forget me!
    From 337
    [‘asanque Says:
    March 4th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    My predictions:

    I think Obama will win most pledged delegates in Texas. The primary vote will be close either way, and i’ll say 51/49 to Obama.

    Clinton to win Ohio and Rhode Island narrowly. Ohio 52/48 Clinton, Rhode Island 54/46 Clinton.

    Obama to win Vermont. Obama 60/40.’]

    Although I’d like to now amend Ohio to 53/47 Clinton, and Rhode Island to 55/45 Clinton.

  3. Oh, and based on my predictions above, I do not think Hillary will concede.
    I’ll also go for a net zero delegate gain 😛

  4. Righto, I’m gonna take a shot at delgate numbers cos that’s what are counted in the race to 2015.

    Obi HRC
    VT 9 6

    RI 9 12

    OH 73 68 (speculation of HRC legal challenge)

    TX 100 93

    191 179

    Net gain to Obama, 12 delegates. HRC refuses to withdraw. Spits dummy behind closed doors. Eats caga sandwich for the good of The Party before ides of March accepting fate’s fickle finger and team plays with The Party to defuse Johnny Bomb-Bomb. The Kid gets the keys to the kingdom and she happily settles for AG.

    No guts, no glory. Cazart!

  5. Net gain to Obama, 12 delegates.

    I like it – but you got to say that Enemy Combatant has balls hanging down around his ankles.

  6. woops – missed a backslash – sorry about that!

    Net gain to Obama, 12 delegates.

    I like it – but you got to say that Enemy Combatant has balls hanging down around his ankles.


    “Facing the possibility her bid for the presidency could be over later today without good showings in critical votes being held in the delegate-rich states of Texas and Ohio – polls opened last night and results should be known this afternoon – the Clinton camp was encouraged by some tracking polls that showed the race tightening once again.”

    “According to the polls, Senator Clinton was looking set to win the blue-collar state of Ohio – which had been expected – but that the Texas poll was too close to call.”

  8. Two more superdelegates align with Obama – Carol Fowler and Mary Long bring the Obama total to 195 compared to Clinton’s 240. In addition rumours are circulating that another 50 superdelegates are moving as a block under Howard Dean (DNC Chairman). An endorsement by Howard Dean would eliminate the Clinton’s 45 super delegate lead in a single stroke – effectively eliminating any remaining oxygen. Its not a question of if the enforcement appears in public or not – its much more related to the weight behind the inevitable tap on the shoulder in the coming days.

  9. Betfair now has Clinton at $7.20 for POTUS, three or four days ago she was well past $9.00. (Obama has correspondingly lengthened from about $1.84 to $1.99, McCain substantially unchanged at $2.96).
    This could just be profit-taking by people who bet against Clinton at much lower prices, however it’s an interesting shift at this stage.

  10. Ohio 52/48 Clinton
    Texas 54/46 Obama
    Rhode Is 55/45 Clinton
    Vermont 61/39 Obama

    Overall plus 8 delegates for Obama.

    No concession within a week.

  11. Ohio 51/49 Clinton
    Texas 51/49 Clinton
    Rhode Is 53/47 Clinton
    Vermont 57/43 Obama

    No concession until mid March at the earliest.

  12. Interesting (early) exit polls from Fox seem to favor Obama:

    Best to beat the GOP:
    Ohio — Obama 52, Clinton 44
    Texas — Obama 52, Clinton 41

    Offers clear and detailed plans:
    Ohio — Clinton 67, Obama 57
    Texas — Clinton 66, Obama 52

    Inspires you about the future?
    Ohio — Obama 67, Clinton 57
    Texas — Obama 64, Clinton 57

  13. I don’t fancy either candidate: Hilary is shrill and Barack is vacuous. I slightly prefer Hilary because you know what she is like and she seems competent. With Barack, he seems a little weak; how much influence are the backroom boys going to have on him? So long as one of them beats the Republican candidate, fine.

    It seems that non-Democrats can vote in the Democrat primaries, parallel for the Elephants. Isn’t this rather like the Liberals turning up at a Labor pre-selection?

    American politics is weird. I guess they get the pollies they deserve. Only problem is that the rest of the world gets them too, and we don’t deserve that.

    All that said, the psephology going on here is great.

  14. Clinton to win the popular vote in Texas 52-48, but Obama to gain 5 delegates due to better caucusing.

    Ohio 50-50

    Clinton to stay in the race till Penn primary

    (not based on polling, but on what would make compelling “The West Wing” viewing)

  15. ‘Barack is vacuous.’ – Yep, that’s how you get to edit the Harvard Law Review…

    Anyway, the final push is on:

    ‘Tom Brokaw appeared on Morning Joe this morning to discuss the state of the Democratic primary. While discussing Hillary’s long odds he mentioned that a source “very close to the Obama campaign” claimed the campaign had around 50 additional superdelegates “ready to go public before too long.”‘

  16. First Exit Polls:(HuffPo)

    VT Obama – 67, Clinton – 33
    OH Obama – 51, Clinton – 49
    TX Obama – 50, Clinton – 49
    RI Obama – 49, Clinton – 49

  17. Pancho @425

    Sitting at your desk editing the Review is one thing. From what I have seen and heard of Barack his ideas stop at generalities. I haven’t seen too many instances at his rallies of “this is how I’m going to do it.” I agree that this may not be vacuity but rather a cunning plan (that’s working).

    Ohio polls close 11.30 our time, Texas at 13.00

    They seem to have taken Roadrunner off the Teev these days. What the younger generation is missing!

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