Spring coming; Obama gains, McCain slips

Workout notes: 3600 yards; 5 x 100 fist warm up, 5 x (front/free/3g/free) warm up (almost on 2). 10 x 100 on the 2: (1:35, 34, 33, 34, 35, 33, 33, 32, 31, 29), 100 back, 5 x (100 pull, 100 free) (16:53); did flip turns on last 2 free intervals, 500 mixed strokes.

On my 100’s, I had a bad attitude on the first 5; I was doing “oh, stay long and keep it easy” stuff. I put some pepper in the last 5 (by my standards).

Local Politics
A whopping 9.7% voted in our city primary elections. C. J. Summers reports from the Peoria Chronicle:

1 Gary Sandberg 5518.41 17%
2 Ryan Spain 4575.33 14%
3 George Jacob 4540.83 14%
4 Eric Turner 4371.16 14%
5 Jim Montelongo 3420.08 11%
6 Gale Thetford 2233.66 7%
7 Patti Polk 1622.24 5%
8 Dan Irving 1592.25 5%
9 Charles Schierer 1565.16 5%
10 Gloria Cassel Fitzgerald 945.83 3%

There was about a 9.7% voter turnout for this primary, which is, of course, pathetic, but in the world of local primaries is actually not that bad. The top ten vote-getters move on to the general election on April 17.

“My” candidates placed 1’st, 3’rd, 4’th and 7’th. Note that this was cummulative voting and you got to vote for up to 5. So if you just voted for one candidate, he/she got 5 votes. If you voted for 2, each got 2.5 votes, and so on. I voted for 4. Note that Sandberg not only got the highest total, but he also had the most voters voting for him (that is, he didn’t win only because a few people gave him all 5 of their votes; more voters total punched his name than any other name).

Politics Obama continues to gain, and now holds a lead among African American voters:

The big news in today’s Washington Post/ABC poll is that black voters like Barack Obama. He now leads Hillary Clinton among black voters by nine points, a huge shift from last month, when the same poll found black voters preferred Clinton by a whopping 40 percent.

Reporters had jumped on that early gap to write speculative stories about Obama’s supposed trouble with the “black vote.” The Washington Post ran a front page article last month under the headline “Obama’s Appeal to Blacks Remains an Open Question,” citing Clinton’s “3 to 1” edge among black Democrats.
(Never mind that everything is an “open question” when the candidate hasn’t even announced yet.)

Then this month, The New York Times offered a front page news flash under the headline, “So Far, Obama Can’t Take Black Vote for Granted.” The article quoted Debra J. Dickerson’s claim that “Obama isn’t black” in an American racial context, and then explored why “some black voters” are “so uneasy” about Obama. One barber explained that Obama might not be right for the Presidency because he was not “born, raised, bred, [and] fed in America.” Whatever. That kind of talk has been shredded by The Nation’s Patricia Williams, among others. Now these new poll numbers should remove one crutch reporters were using to write premature stories about how black voters supposedly did not like Obama “enough.”

By the way, I loved the Patricia Williams article.

The results of the new poll can be found here.

In the Republican race, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who recently made clear his intentions to seek the presidency, has expanded his lead over Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Giuliani holds a 2 to 1 advantage over McCain among Republicans, according to the poll, more than tripling his margin of a month ago.

The principal reason was a shift among white evangelical Protestants, who now clearly favor Giuliani over McCain. Giuliani is doing well among this group of Americans despite his support of abortion rights and gay rights, two issues of great importance to religious conservatives. McCain opposes abortion rights.

Among Democrats, Clinton still enjoys many of the advantages of a traditional front-runner. Pitted against Obama and former senator John Edwards of North Carolina, she was seen by Democrats as the candidate with the best experience to be president, as the strongest leader, as having the best chance to get elected, as the closest to voters on the issues and as the candidate who best understands the problems “of people like you.” Obama was seen as the most inspirational.

The Post-ABC News poll was completed days after aides to the two leading Democrats engaged in a testy exchange over comments critical of Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, by Hollywood mogul David Geffen, a former friend and financial backer of the Clintons who held a fundraiser for Obama last week in Los Angeles.

Early national polls are not always good predictors for presidential campaigns, but the Post-ABC poll offers clues to the competition ahead.

On the January weekend when she announced her candidacy, Clinton led the Democratic field with 41 percent. Obama was second at 17 percent, Edwards was third at 11 percent and former vice president Al Gore, who has said he has no plans to run, was fourth at 10 percent.

The latest poll put Clinton at 36 percent, Obama at 24 percent, Gore at 14 percent and Edwards at 12 percent. None of the other Democrats running received more than 3 percent. With Gore removed from the field, Clinton would gain ground on Obama, leading the Illinois senator 43 percent to 27 percent. Edwards ran third at 14 percent. The poll was completed the night Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Academy Award.

Clinton’s and Obama’s support among white voters changed little since December, but the shifts among black Democrats were dramatic. In December and January Post-ABC News polls, Clinton led Obama among African Americans by 60 percent to 20 percent. In the new poll, Obama held a narrow advantage among blacks, 44 percent to 33 percent. The shift came despite four in five blacks having a favorable impression of the New York senator.

African Americans view Clinton even more positively than they see Obama, but in the time since he began his campaign, his favorability rating rose significantly among blacks. In the latest poll, 70 percent of African Americans said they had a favorable impression of Obama, compared with 54 percent in December and January.

Overall, Clinton’s favorability ratings dipped slightly from January, with 49 percent of Americans having a favorable impression and 48 percent an unfavorable impression. Obama’s ratings among all Americans improved over the past month, with 53 percent saying they have a favorable impression and 30 percent saying they have an unfavorable impression.

In the Republican contest, McCain was once seen as the early, if fragile, front-runner for his party’s nomination, but Giuliani’s surge adds a new dimension to the race. In the latest poll, the former New York mayor led among Republicans with 44 percent to McCain’s 21 percent. Last month, Giuliani led with 34 percent to McCain’s 27 percent.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia ran third in the latest poll with 15 percent, while former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was fourth with 4 percent. Gingrich has not said he definitely plans to run, and without him, Giuliani’s lead would increase even more, to 53 percent compared with McCain’s 23 percent.

On the Republic party side, McCain is in trouble, and Romney is done:

No one is buying what Mitt Romney is selling. Voters love strength and hate wishy-washy politicians, especially Republican voters. And no one does wishy-washy, flippy-floppy like Mitt Romney.

I knew he was done as soon as I saw this video. We ran the video on our show a couple of weeks ago and I pounded the gavel right afterward and said it then — he is done.

No one recovers from flip-flops this large, this brazen and this over the top. It’s like he’s arguing that he is a black Jew. Dude, you just said you were a white Mormon and I can see with my own two eyes that you aren’t black. But he still looks at you with a straight face and tells you, “No, I believe in my heart now that I am black and Jewish.” Okay, whatever. Who’s next?

And now my suspicions have been confirmed. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll he got a whopping 4% of the Republican voters. Where’s that fork?


February 28, 2007 Posted by | edwards, hillary clinton, obama, Peoria/local, politics/social, swimming, ultra | Leave a comment