10 oclock news: the margins of victory have shrunken for both candidates vs earlier counts. That is interesting since that means a 2% flip in the count would make Obama the winner in Indiana. Lake county has not reported at this time and we know it has problems.
2 AM: Lake county, saying the delay was to count absentee ballots comes in. I am relieved it was nothing worse. Hillary gave a speech at 11 PM that sounded like it was written as her victory speech for Denver in August, but the margin is now 49/51, far slimmer than her lead in the polls of only two weeks ago. ...Maybe her last chance to deliver that speech.
This morning's papers generally treat yesterday's voting as a modest win for Obama and critical reality check for the seeming success of Clinton's recently more negative tack. The Huffington Post front page was brutal, dismissing Clinton by showing Obama vs McCain as all that's left. But the story under the headline is a well written summary by a name brand journalism professor. Not so heralded, Obama actually is moving on to the bigger fight. It may not literally be over for Clinton at this point but for Obama, reports were that he was already working to focus on repairing the demographic rifts that were aggravated by the recent desperate campaigning tactics.
Was I too harsh on Hillary? Not as harsh as Arianna Huffington who appears to have a grudge against dishonesty and stupidity. How on earth is that Arianna going to write about politics with that attitude?
The coverage of the so called "Limbaugh effect" [yes, we do call this a democracy!] in Huffington Post graphically pairs HRC with worse company than even McCain:
But Limbaugh aside, what does a woman have to do to get elected? I do not know how her campaign determined that dumbed down petro-populism would give her an edge. I am sure she is smarter than that but she also has the stomach to strike any pose that will get her the nomination, which is pretty similar to the spinning compass of the explosive Capt. Windsock. It sure isn't working with me. Anyone can stand on the bed of a pickup truck at a gas station and milk the anxiety over gas prices with unworkable promises. The bed of a pickup truck is not much of an altitude from which to talk down to voters but talking down is what she is doing. Not all voters are that dumb. Not everyone is unaware that the gas mileage of pickup trucks is part of the problem. At least 49 percent of them in Indiana are not that dumb. Campaigning with a new-found and shallow populism that underestimates voters maturity, even if it properly assesses their pain, is more elitist than anything Obama has pulled. After three weeks of helping McCain by directly and indirectly raising every doubt and rumor, Clinton is as tarnished as her target.
More voters blamed Hillary for negative campaigning -- 63% of Indiana voters and 67 % of North Carolina voters thought Clinton attacked Obama unfairly. Only 43 % in Indiana and 40% in North Carolina thought the reverse.
Note that when republicans were given a choice between McCain and political corpses, 20% voted for corpses. I don't think that particular 20% would provide any help for Obama except by staying home in November...but Ron Paul supporters are strange creatures to me.
The economy is reported to dominate the choice voters make. What about the war? Two good signs I found:
- A down ticket election where the anti-war republican overcame all expectations
- NC counties where the military is a big employer STILL went for Obama over Clinton