I got a cheesesteak and some chips, so another quick thing while I eat, and then back to trying to figure out some fun work things that I need to have done for tomorrow.
Anyway, I thought I would give some final thoughts on Super Tuesday before the polls actually close. (Except for Americans in Indonesia for whom the results are already in - 75% Obama, 25% Clinton.)
Of course, I gave most of my thought's in this weekend's podcast, but I thought it would be good to do it in writing. And then I realized I already had... in an email to someone earlier today. So rather than writing it again, here is what I wrote about 12 hours ago:
Subject: Re: SPF20080130: Edwards Out....And for those of you who work with me who may read this, my last meeting turned out to be a duplicate of one tomorrow, so I'm just going to go to that one instead, so I won't miss anything significant and I'll make up any lost productivity on Wednesday and Thursday. :-)
Date: 2008 Feb 5 09:44 UTC
To: (Name withheld)
... (other stuff) ...
As for Super Tuesday (today!!!) I'm standing by what I said in this weekend's podcast. Obama has been surging, but I don't think he has had enough time to pull out enough clean wins that he will actually be ahead in delegates once today's results are counted. (Especially since some of the states, most importantly California, have been voting by mail for weeks.) If he had another week, I think he would win in a lot more states and pull ahead in delegates. But while he has had a big surge, I'm not sure he'll quite get there. The latest polls as of right now don't show that. Hillary is still ahead in too many places, and comes into it with a delegate lead (when superdelegates are included). Of course, polls lag reality by a few days. So maybe with a last spurt of momentum over the weekend he could get there. We shall see. I can't say I wouldn't be pleased if that happened.
But I think more likely Obama will still be behind in delegates, but he will have closed the gap considerably in percentage terms, and the big question will be just how close he got and how it gets spun by the people reporting the event. Will it be: A) So close, nice try, but no cigar, Hillary wins! Woo! Obama's done! or B) Obama closes the gap, his momentum is huge, Hillary may be ahead on delegates, but Obama's momentum is unstoppable or C) Wow, we have a complete dead heat in the delegate count! For all intents and purposes it is a brand new race, now lets watch Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington State on Saturday and see what happens then... and then Maine on Sunday... and Maryland and Virginia next Tuesday...
A, B and C above are all different ways to spin the exact same delegate count coming out of today. But which way of talking about it becomes what people pay attention to will make all the difference in terms of what comes next.
Having said all that, I think what happens in California will be a big part of determining that. In pure delegate terms, it is almost certainly going to essentially be a tie. One of them will get a little more than the other, but it will be close. But whoever "wins" will get all sorts of attention from it. Especially if it is Obama. If Hillary wins, she was expected to. If Obama wins, it will all be about the come from behind victory, etc. The latest polls are all over the place on this one. If you average them together you basically get a dead heat. So who the hell knows.
As of right now on the states with polls it looks like:
Obama: Illinois, Georgia, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah
Toss Ups: Alabama, Connecticut, Arizona, Missouri, California, Massachusetts
Clinton: Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, Oklahoma
(And then there are about 5 states with no polls at all, who the hell knows in those... but they are also smaller and matter less.)
I base the categories on it being a toss up if both candidates have some polls from the last week showing them ahead. If all the polls in the last week are for one candidate, I'm putting the state down for them, even if the trend is against them and the most recent poll shows them barely ahead (this is the case in New Jersey for instance).
In any case... with so many toss up states... and even the possibility for an upset or two in the "safe" states... it will be a very interesting night... I'm going to be trying to get out of my last meeting for the day so I can be home and in front of election coverage by the time the first state results start coming in at 00:00 UTC (4 PM Pacific, 7 PM Eastern). And I will be pissed as hell if I can't manage to be home by an hour later when a whole BUNCH of states start coming in.
Because things are proportional though, even if we get state "winners" early... it may be a bit later until we get good delegate counts. And if some of these states are close... especially California... it may be a long night.
And I'll be enjoying every second of it. :-)