Blogs

Romney, Huckabee Stay in Race; Democrats Rejoice

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 11:35 PM EST

NEW YORK, NY — With the Democratic campaign likely to continue after tonight, some left-leaning commentators feared that the Republicans would unify around John McCain far before the Democrats picked their nominee. But in speeches tonight both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney vowed (using very strong language) to fight until the end. Romney actually said, "It's time for the politicians to leave Washington and for we the people to take over." Romney will continue to be that raging populist he has so recently become, apparently.

This is great news for whoever becomes the Democratic nominee for president. It indicates that many in the GOP still have their doubts about their choice. It also means that Romney will continues to air negative ads about McCain, forcing McCain to spend time, money, and energy defending himself. Barring a surprise withdrawal from the race, we'll have both a Democratic and a Republican race that will go on for a few more weeks.

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California: More on Reports of Ballot Shortages and Confused Indies

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 11:26 PM EST

SAN JOSE, CA — I just got off the phone with California Democratic Party spokesman Bob Mulholland, who confirmed that the party has experienced ballot shortages in some places. "The good news is people want to vote on the Democratic ballot," he said. "The bad news is some of these places are running out of ballots." Even so, the shortages have been isolated he said. Polls will stay open until people have the chance to vote, and they can cast ballots on blank sheets of paper if need be.

I also asked Mulholland about the reports of independent voters not being given Democratic ballots, which has been a major concern of Obama people here today. About 10 to 12 percent of Democratic ballots cast in California today are predicted to come from independents, who favor Obama by a significant margin. (The GOP does not allow indies to vote in its primary but the Democrats do). Mulholland said independents received emails and sample ballots informing them of their rights. "All of our poll workers have been instructed to give them a Democratic ballot if they ask," he said. "Has that happened every time? No. But the independent voter has to have some responsiblity (to ask for one) too."

Meanwhile, here in Obama HQ in San Jose, things are crazy. It's standing room only, it's cheers for each state (sometimes prematurely), it's hand wringing and genuflecting over Utah. "Come on everybody, send Utah your feelings," a girl in fatigues shouted. "Send Utah your love!"

New State Totals for Each Candidate

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 10:58 PM EST

WASHINGTON D.C. — Here you go. Remember, state wins mean nothing on the Democratic side. We need to wait until Chuck Todd or some other politico's politico calculate the delegates on a district by district basis. Those delegates are listed in parenthesis.

Democrats

Hillary Clinton:
New Jersey (127)
New York (281)
Massachusetts (121)
Oklahoma (47)
Tennessee (85)
Arkansas (47)

Barack Obama:
Illinois (185)
Georgia (103)
Alabama (60)
Delaware (23)
North Dakota (21)
Utah (29)
Kansas (41)
Connecticut (60)
Minnesota (88)

Mike Gravel:
None, but he's still in the race!!

Republicans

John McCain:
New York (101)
Illinois (70)
New Jersey (52)
Connecticut (30)
Oklahoma (41)
Delaware (18)

Romney:
Massachusetts (43)
Utah (36)

Huckabee:
Alabama (48)
Arkansas (34)
West Virginia (30)
Georgia (72)

In his speech tonight, Huckabee claimed that this is a two-man race, and he's in it. Meaning that Romney's win in his home state of Massachusetts and in Mormon-heavy Utah aren't worth anything. That's a bit of spin that will probably be as effective as John Edwards' post-Iowa claim that he and Obama were the only real contenders left in the Democratic race.

Massachusetts: A Good Sign for Clinton?

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 10:30 PM EST

CHICAGO, IL — Let's remember that the only thing--the only thing--that matters tonight is what the final delegate count is when all the votes are tallied. Still, I know, people cannot resist looking for signs. If you're one of those people, there's Massachusetts. Clinton is in the lead there. Her campaign has already sent out an email calling it the upset of the night. After all, both its senators--including that Teddy Kennedy fellow--and its governor had endorsed Obama. And the state is full of upscale liberals--the types of Democrats who go for Obama. If Clinton does win here, that might provide the Obama camp pause.

The exit polls in Massachusetts show that women made up 58 percent of the Democratic turn-out, and Clinton won 57 percent of this vote. That's the model for Clinton. If the gals come out, and the guys stay home, she wins.

UPDATE: CNN has called Massachusetts for Clinton. "A big, big win" for Clinton, says Wolf Blitzer. It sure is an interesting one.

Democratic Party is Running Out of Ballots in Parts of California

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 10:22 PM EST

SAN JOSE, CA — In a sign of how huge turnout is in parts of the state, the Democratic Party is running out of ballots. The Obama campaign tells me this is a problem in Stockton and Fresno, and San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. In the latter two places, some eight to ten polling places have reported shortages, Luke McGowan, Obama's deputy regional field director there, says. The Democratic Party has told him voters will be allowed to fill out blank ballots, writing in their choices, he says. He does not have information for other parts of the state, so I can't yet tell you how big the problem is. There's only an hour and a half left to vote in California, so any glitches must be fixed fast (unless the polls stay open longer). I'll post on this again if I find out more.

Hillary Clinton Cleaning Up in the Northeast

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 10:18 PM EST

WASHINGTON D.C. — Hillary Clinton has won Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey so far tonight. New Jersey and New York were easy wins for Clinton, while Massachusetts was more hotly contested. Clinton consistently held a lead there, but it was shrunk in recent weeks by the endorsements of Governor Deval Patrick and Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. An impressive win for Clitnon in the Bay State.

One point about McCain's victories that I'll admit I stole from the MSNBC broadcast crew: all of his wins tonight are coming in blue states. Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough seem to think this means horrible things for McCain's chances in the general election. I don't really get it.

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Changing Climate Requires Change in Water Planning

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 10:11 PM EST

flood.jpg Guess what? The past is no longer a reliable base on which to plan the future of water management. So says a prominent group of hydrologists and climatologists writing in Science. The group calls for fundamental changes to the science behind water planning and policy.

Managers currently operate on the premise that historical patterns can be counted on to continue. But human-induced changes to Earth's climate are shifting the averages and extremes for rainfall, snowfall, evaporation, and stream flows. These are crucial factors in planning for floods or droughts, in choosing the size of water reservoirs, and in deciding how much water to allocate for residential, industrial and agricultural uses. Even with an aggressive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, warming will persist and global water patterns will continue to show never-before-seen behavior.

"Our best current estimates are that water availability will increase substantially in northern Eurasia, Alaska, Canada and some tropical regions, and decrease substantially in southern Europe, the Middle East, southern Africa and southwestern North America," said lead author Christopher Milly, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Drying regions will likely also experience more frequent droughts.

Meet the New Bill Richardson!!

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 9:40 PM EST

WASHINGTON D.C. — MSNBC just showed a quick clip of Bill Richardson, who is appearing for an interview in the next few minutes. He has a beard and is deeply, deeply tanned. He looks like a Bond villain. I'll try to have a photo ASAP.

Update: Got the photo. It's low on quality but high on awesome.

richardson.jpg

CA Live Blog: The Polarizing Politics of Pronunciation

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 9:40 PM EST

SAN JOSE, CA — This place is packed! Some forty phone bankers are pitching some major woo. They're doing a great job reading their scripts, except when they get to this part: "It's time to move beyond the polarizing politics of the past." Ok, sure, Scarlett Johansson pulls off this line in robo calls without a hitch, but for average people, it's kind of a persistently perilous problem. Chuck from Chicago, who's sitting next to me, has said the PPP at least 100 times, and he's still not sure he's mastered it. "I can't figure out how to make it sound natural," he said. It might be time to try out something else. Maybe our readers have some suggestions. Nattering Negativity of the Nineties?

Arkansas Goes for Favorite Son, Daughter

| Tue Feb. 5, 2008 9:24 PM EST

WASHINGTON D.C. — MSNBC took just one minute after polls closed in Arkansas to call the state for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and Mike Huckabee on the Republican one.

Now would be a good time to remind folks that "winning" means different things in the Democratic and Republican races. On the Republican side, winning a state usually (but not always) means taking all of that state's delegates. That's because the Republican Party has embraced winner-take-all rules. On the Democratic side, however, winning a state means little because delegates are awarded proportionally at the district and state levels.

For more on this, see my primer on delegates and how they work.

And while we're on the South, here's a note on the evangelical vote nationwide. According to exit polls, 33 percent of evangelicals went for Huckabee, 31 percent went for Romney, and 30 percent went for McCain. No romp for Huckabee among that demographic today.