As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Texas Early Voting

Obama has a reverse-California effect going. Before the "kitchen sink" strategy went into high gear, he racked up a huge early voting lead:

Update 3--Obama jumps out to huge lead in Texas: It would appear that Obama dominated early voting in Texas. With over 800,000 votes already in, Obama holds a huge advantage of 13%, or about 110,000 votes. Functionally, it means that Clinton must win on Election Day by 4-5% just to tie Obama in Texas. This is a huge boost for Obama's chances to win the night on delegates, and possibly even to knock Clinton out of the campaign.

You could see this coming when you noticed what areas were voting early in big numbers. I don't think Clinton is going to be able to make up those numbers. I saw a lot of polls, but none of them had a very substantial lead for Clinton in Texas. Tonight is looking more and more like a split. And how fitting that it's the early vote, before the last-minute mudslinging, that could give it to Obama.

UPDATE: This is awesome:

An Obama source emails First Read that the campaign is expecting turnout between 3.6 to 3.8 million in the Texas Democratic primary.

Consider that John Kerry received 2.8 million votes in the Lone Star State in the 2004 general election.

"That's a lot of 'new' Democratic voters," the Obama source says. "Will be great for Texas Dem Party that's working to rebuild and only needs to pick up four seats to take back the state house."

We're going to give John Cornyn a run for his money in November.

Predictably, the Clinton campaign is pushing hard that the caucuses shouldn't count. You know, this system has been in place since 1968.

UPDATE: Rhode Island's been called for Clinton, BTW. Texas now is a very thin margin for Obama but I'm thinking the cities have yet to report in big numbers. I think Texas may follow Missouri, with a late surge for Obama. And then there's the caucus numbers to come.

UPDATE II: I think we're going to have to take a look at this whole primary system thing at the convention. Publius:

Good lord, what a mess. All of this is anecdotal, obviously, but the turnout in my precinct was huge. Crowds were overflowing from an elementary school auditorium out to the street. The site hosted two different precincts, so that in and of itself was messy.

The Obama/Clinton caucus planning simply didn't contemplate numbers this large. The preparations I read about seem designed for smaller more intimate affairs. This was essentially a cattle call - people were herded in to sign their name, list their preference, and then most left. It was not like the Iowa caucuses at all - and we are all at the mercy of the eventual signature counters.

Contrary to what I heard earlier (and what I think the actual rules are), individuals couldn't sign for absent voters (e.g., if spouse is at home). But, there was really nothing stopping you if you wanted to get in another line and sign them in. The poor people at the various tables were overwhelmed and the verification system was virtually non-existent.

Clinton had more people there than I thought. But Obama had a clear majority on the sign-in sheets I saw. Again, there's nothing scientific here. I'm just trying to give you a sense of what it was like. It's quite possibly the worst delegate-selection system ever.

Labels: , , , ,