Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
An early vote surge, fueled by black voters
With a hat tip to FiveThirtyEight.com, Michael McDonald of George Mason University has compiled early voting numbers across the country, and they are crushing 2004 totals, with the black vote doing blockbuster numbers. In Florida, for instance, more than 35% of the early voting total is black voters. And that's with blacks making up just 14 percent of the state population. Nearly a third of Florida's votes had already been cast as of yesterday -- astounding in any election year. In Georgia, 36% have already been cast and 35% of the voters are black. In North Carolina and New Mexico, more than 39% of the vote is already in. Extraordinary.

I've seen it for myself here in South Florida, where the lines at polling sites in black neighborhoods are literally spilling onto the sidewalk. True, lines are long everywhere, but for majority black areas to have the longest lines is a change from recent elections, in which the black vote has steadily declined.

If you want more, refresh the site often. Back to the black vote. Nate Silver of 538 writes:
... there are three states in which early voting has already exceeded its totals from 2004. These are Georgia, where early voting is already at 180 percent of its 2004 total, Louisiana (169 percent), and North Carolina (129 percent).

Hmm ... can anybody think of something that those three states have in common?



The African-American population share is the key determinant of early voting behavior. In states where there are a lot of black voters, early voting is way, way up. In states with fewer African-Americans, the rates of early voting are relatively normal.
History in action, and shades of 1960...

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posted by JReid @ 12:05 AM  
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Hillary's Never Never land
Did Hillary Clinton and I watch the same returns tonight? Probably not, given that her camp has probably banned MSNBC (except for HRC-friendly "Scarborough Country,") in favor of her newfound friends at Fox News. Fox (and CBS) have definitively called Indiana for Hillary, though her lead is down to less than 40,000 votes with 200,000 or so outstanding. NBC/MSNBC remains the loan holdout, but if their instincts turn out to be right, Hillary might regret opening her surreal speech tonight with "we broke the tie," and "now it's full steam ahead, on to the White House!"

Not the speech I was expecting. Not that I thought she'd concede. Never that. But tonight was perhaps Hillary's last best chance to leave Democratic voters not already in her camp with a positive impression of her. She should have reached for inspiration, not politics. She should have gone for grace notes, not excuse-making ("we were out-spent five to one") and snidery (referring to Barack as "my opponent" instead of using his name.) Even her supporters' borrowed chant of "yes she will" sounds stilted (as does the chant "Hillary! Hillary!" next to the higher plane rhetoric of Obama's "yes WE can!" I don't think the speeches even come close to comparing. And while I'm biased, I used to be a Clintonista, and I know a good -- and a bad -- speech when I hear one.

Hil, this was a sucky speech.

Update: the pundits on MSNBC are focusing on the second half of HRC's speech, which they're describing as conciliatory. I suppose so, but I think the first part was such a misfire, it probably negated it. Her followers remain as angry as ever. I'm struck by just how angry they are, judging by their comments on posts like this one...

I think one big loser tonight is Evan Bayh, who may yet deliver Indiana, but Russert is hearing that it could be by 1,800 votes.

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posted by JReid @ 10:50 PM  
No joy in Hillaryville
One of the reasons I love politics is that it is one of the few things in this modern life that has the genuine possibility to surprise. Tonight, that happened. Barack Obama appears to be headed for a blowout (15 points or so) in North Carolina; not unexpected given the fact that he has led by as many as 20 points in recent weeks. But Hillary Clinton's forecast parallel victory (10 points or so) in Indiana not only has not materialized, that race is now too close to call. It's down to 39,000 votes, with some 300,000 votes or more still outstanding, many of them in Obama territory in the northern part of the state, according to Chuck Todd at MSNBC.

Barack's victory speech tonight was a back to his core strength barn burner. (Note to my friend, Newton: you called it. Barack has gone back on message.) It was as inspiring a speech as I can imagine, hitting all the themes he needed: magnanimity for Hillary and her supporters, unity within the party and the country, a campaign, not about him, ("an imperfect messenger,") but about "you." He took a needed swipe at the media and the politics of distraction, and he said he "trusts the American people" to rise above it all, focusing instead on bettering the "country he loves." This was Barack's most substantive speech, even if it lacked detail, because it improved upon his previous loftiness by making him a man who cares about real people, in Indiana, in Iowa, in Pennsylvania, and in North Carolina. Even the gas tax issue, one on which I was critical of Barack's campaign for not hitting Hillary harder, Barack (and the much maligned "economists,")appear http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifto have won the day. Even in Indiana.

Hillary Clinton may wake up tomorrow having lost Indiana. Even if she squeaks through, she will have one hell of a time explaining what she's still doing in the race, other than mounting a vain attempt to take down the certain Democratic nominee.

This primary is effectively over, folks. (Sorry, Rush. I guess your listeners aren't as dumb as them seem...) Welcome to the general election.

What a night.


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posted by JReid @ 9:47 PM  
Barack wins NC, Indiana still counting
No surprises in North Cahttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifrolina, which MSNBC (and the other nets) have just called for Barack. At this point, Barack is guaranteed at least a split, and because NC has more delegates on offer, the results in Indy just became less important. That said, exit polls suggest that HRC is pulling 60 percent of white women, 72 percent of voters 65 and older, and just 8 percent of the black vote. Barack is winning every age group under 65, according to Russert and Company. The nets have been reporting all day that turnout in both states is shattering records.

On the "old politics" front, Barack was reduced to downing Pabst at a NC bar today. Can the beat-up jeanhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifs jacket be far behind? Maybe he should start smoking again! And basketball ... lots and lots of basketball...

Still watching Indiana.

Update: Exit polls suggest Obama will get at least 36% of the white vote. Take that, Pat Buchanan. Essentially, the race is down to age and to a slightly lesser extent: gender. Barack, however, is getting more women, percentage-wise, than white voters. Bottom line: old-line Democrats who haven't caught up with the multiculturalism thing: Clinton. Modern Americans who don't commonly use the word "coloreds": Obama.

Game over.

View the NC exit polls here, and the Indiana exits here.

In NC, it appears Barack has won a majority of men, women, churchgoers, voters with and without college degrees, high school graduates, all income levels except $50-75K, and voters who cared most about the economy. He carried conservatives, got 35% of the white vote and 56% of voters who said the candidate "caring about people" was most important (take that, Chris Matthews.) Hillary won gun owners, Republicans, white Democrats and Independents, by one point (46%-45%) because she carried white Independents. (BTW Rush, GOPers represented just 5% of the turnout in NC, and don't fool yourself into thinking most of them were your "Operation Chaos" lemmings.) Worse, 50 percent in NC said she is not trustworthy. Only 40 percent said she is, while 72% called Obama trustworthy.

In Indiana, Hillary barely edged Barack among men and even women (he got 47% according to exit polls.) The candidates split church attendees, though Hillary carried both Catholics and Protestants by about two-thirds margins. The Rev. Wright issue was very important to just 28% of Indiana voters, it turns out (sorry, MSNBC) and Hillary got 73% of those voters. Hillary's downscale voters returned to the fold in Indiana, but not overwhelmingly. She scored in the high 50s with these folks. Obama got the college educated crowd, which is significant for him, because turnout on the numerous campuses in Indiana is said to have been heavy.

We're waiting for the call, which I would expect to be for Hillary, thought not by double digits.

Most important of all, I think, just 15% and 17% of voters in the two primaries said they would prefer John McCain in the fall if their candidate didn't win.
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posted by JReid @ 7:31 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
Listen now:


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