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Tilting at Windmills

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January 29, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

FLORIDA THREAD....Sorry for the late start today. Something I ate last night really didn't agree with me.

But while I get caught up, feel free to use this thread to forecast the results of today's Florida primary. My official prediction is this: the polls will probably turn out to be wrong. This just hasn't been a good year for primary polling, has it? Beyond that, though, I have no idea who's going to win. We'll just have to wait and see.

Kevin Drum 12:16 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (37)

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Rudy will finish third, due to the amount of early voting support before he started to tank. He'll somehow spin this as a moral victory and stay in for Super Tuesday.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 29, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

The vomiting act encompasses three types of outputs initiated by the chemoreceptor trigger zone: Motor, parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). They are as follows:

Increased salivation to protect the enamel of teeth from stomach acids (excessive vomiting leads to dental erosion). This is part of the PNS output.
Retroperistalsis, starting from the middle of the small intestine, sweeping up the contents of the digestive tract into the stomach, through the relaxed pyloric sphincter.
A lowering of intrathoracic pressure (by inspiration against a closed glottis), coupled with an increase in abdominal pressure as the abdominal muscles contract, propels stomach contents into the esophagus without involvement of retroperistalsis. The lower esophageal sphincter relaxes. This is part of the motor output, and it is also important to note that the stomach itself does not contract in the process of vomiting.
Vomiting is ordinarily preceded by retching.
Vomiting also initiates an SNS response causing both sweating and increased heart rate.
The neurotransmitters that regulate vomiting are poorly understood, but inhibitors of dopamine, histamine, and serotonin are all used to suppress vomiting, suggesting that these play a role in the initiation or maintenance of a vomiting cycle. Vasopressin and neurokinin may also participate.
Did it go down something like that?

Posted by: steve duncan on January 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is going to win

Posted by: cleek on January 29, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I say that if 400,000 Florida Democrats have already voted absentee, with perhaps several 100,000 more today, that is significant.

And if Hillary wins convincingly, that is significant, too.

Posted by: bob h on January 29, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

SOTU blogging is hazardous to your health.

Posted by: Cap'n Phealy on January 29, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

If Rudy! goes down in flames, I'll be happy.

Posted by: Jimmy Jazz on January 29, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to hear that you are under the weather. But please make sure to NOT feed Inkblot whatever it was that you ate last night.

Posted by: optical weenie on January 29, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I happen to be in Florida on business this week and I can tell you, the lines here are long! I drove by a local school and the voting line was stretching out the door. What that means, I don't have a clue either, but I have seen a ton of Romney yard signs (more money), but I also saw a lot of senior citizens, so that may favor McCain.

I do think you can stick a fork in Rotten Rudy - he is most definitely toast.....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 29, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Bold prediction: Clinton will win (!) and claim it's an "epic victory" of "historical import" that proves her bold declarations of waking up every morning intending to utilize her super-human work ethic and Einstein-esque intellect to solve each and every American's each and every problem is paying off.

On the other side I'd like to think Romney can pull it out but I fear it'll be McCain, unfortunately.

Posted by: greg on January 29, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: Didn't the final three polls disagree? So doesn't that make it certain that at least one poll will be wrong? . . . Good prediction!

Posted by: RiMac on January 29, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I want Rudy to win to keep the disaster alive.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 29, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Turnout will be huge. Weather all across the state, from Pensacola to Key West, will be sunny and warm and dry. Also, there's a statewide Constitutional Amendment on the ballot regarding property taxes, which will draw votes.

Here's a prediction: Democratic turnout will exceed Republican turnout, despite the Republicans actually voting on real delegates and the close McCain-Romney race.

Given the age demographics here (skews heavily to the elderly), the expectation is that Clinton will win big - she's had big leads in all the polls, but there's not been much polling on the Democratic side because of the delegate fiasco. If Obama comes within 10 points, that would be a huge leading indicator of surging Obama support for Super Tuesday. If Obama wins, that would be an earthquake. If Clinton wins by at least 15, that would indicate we're back to status quo pre-South Carolina.

Posted by: Greg in FL on January 29, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

ah ha...Kevin has the green apple splatters.

Instead of cat blogging...maybe a little toilette blogging. I'm sure your reader would be interested.

So, Kev...sinkers or floaters. I have always said, Kevin Drum is the shit...and now ya know!

Posted by: Doo Doo Man on January 29, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think there will be a lot of support for the Lieberman- Buchanan ticket!

Posted by: Stuart Shiffman on January 29, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

The results sort of depend on what the retiree community digs. If they're into an older fellow who makes ass bad jokes about his opponent that only he laughs at, then they'll go with McCain. If they like rich, smarmy white guys who know stuff about making money, they'll go with Romney. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and suggest that the Romney-McCain difference will be on the order of 2% or less.

Guiliani finishes 3rd. Huckabee 4th.

For the Dems, Hillary wins and immediately argues that it would be undemocratic to not include those delegates in her vote total for the convention.

Posted by: Nobcentral on January 29, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Someone said something pretty smart yesterday, and I would quote them if I could find them:

Polls will be wrong because no one knows who the Guiliani, Huckabee, etc. supporters will vote for. People don't want to vote for someone they know will lose, so there may be some last minute, in the booth switches from Huckabee to ... who? Guiliani to ... who? Etc.

So I think Kevin is right. I think the polls are going to be wrong, but in a way, I guess that's an easy bet.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on January 29, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing significant about Hillary "win" is that she can win in a state where none of the other candidates compete, based on name recognition and nostalgia for her husband.

Interesting that her campaign wasn't interested in the "voices of Floridians" until Obama started to gain momentum. This kind of revolting and transparent behavior is why I'll be voting for McCain or an independent if Billary "wins" the nomination.

Posted by: Enoughalready on January 29, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Obama wins todays vote and Hillary wins with the absentee. The spin probably goes Obama's way.

Romney? One can always hope.

Posted by: B on January 29, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton supporters occupy comment threads, arguing that Hillary's win is meaningful.

Posted by: Jon FD on January 29, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

McCain and Romney in a protracted and bitter recount battle!

Oh, please, please, please?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 29, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

What's interesting about Florida is the comments that if Mitt loses, he may decide to stop spending his children's inheritance on getting himself the White House. Which is really the only discussion out there on Mitt basically trying to buy the GOP nomination. The right-wing McCain haters who want Mitt to win haven't quite figured out that if Mitt's got this much trouble winning when he can outspend his opponents 10 and 20 to 1...what's he going to do when the Dem candidate can spend just as much?


Posted by: MBunge on January 29, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

FL has a closed primary, which hurts McCain. I think Mitt is gonna pull it out in a squeaker.

Posted by: afferent input on January 29, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

My prediction is the easiest, and it's already coming true. Florida never disappoints. I predicted that THERE WILL BE PROBLEMS WITH THE !@#$#$!@$! VOTING MACHINES. And there it is - small numbers of malfunctions in many locations. It brings to mind one of Karl Rove's favorite prescriptions: death by a thousand small cuts.

Posted by: Brownell on January 29, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Here are tonight's results:

McCain 34
Romney 33
Huckabee 15
Giuliani 12

Now you don't need to stay up late tonight. You heard it here first!

I think a McCain win doesn't settle things for the Republicans, because too many Republicans don't like him and Romney has infinite money. A Romney win would be tough for McCain to overcome, however, for the same reasons.

Posted by: CA Pol Junkie on January 29, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Something I ate last night really didn't agree with me.

That just goes to show how polarized the country is, filthy red state food...

Posted by: tyu on January 29, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I voted at my precinct at lunchtime. Seemed to be a steady flow, but no lines at all.

There is an important property tax amendment being voted on today statewide.

Here in Pinellas County, there is a school tax referendum.

In Clearwater today, there is a mayoral election and six charter amendments.

The point of this is that there is more to vote for today besides the presidential primary.

Posted by: Jeff in Clearwater on January 29, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I predict a complete joke of a candidate will win the republican primary.

Posted by: Chris Brown on January 29, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Are you sure it wasn't watching the SOTUA that made you ill?

Posted by: Chris Brown on January 29, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Mitt by 50 basis points.

Posted by: parrot on January 29, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Obama campaign did itself no favours in dismissing Florida as "a beauty pageant" and have no measurable impact/consequence on the race. So let me get this straight, SC and the Kennedy endorsements are giving Obama the big mo but since Florida doesn't know Obama while they know HRC if there is no evidence of the big mo making him more competitive than he was showing in the polls prior to his SC win and endorsements by Kennedys it is of no consequence if there is no real evidence of that momentum in the results. If there is any true momentum being generated in any of these primaries let alone SC this Florida race would show it more than anywhere else precisely because of the lack of campaigning/GOTV by any candidate to blunt the effect than in States where each campaign can do what it can to either strengthen or weaken the momentum (depending on which camp you are in and who is seen as having the big mo, this is a general concept not a specific to these specific candidates one) involved/at play.

Given what appears to be exceptionally high turnout by Floridians and Dem Floridians in particular being so dismissive of their votes carrying any meaning to them, especially given the history from 2000, strikes me as incredibly tin eared of the Obama campaign. There were other ways to downplay any Clinton victory in that State without being so dismissive as that, and Florida is a major State to win for the General so why Why WHY do something that if you are the Dem candidate at the end of the race will negatively impact you for the general?!? For someone that appeals to unity and post-partisanship this slip was another example of how his rhetoric does not appear to be matched by his actions in this campaign. Which of course has been a core point of mine all along, despite the fact some would rather I shut up.

I will be very interested to look at the internals of the vote and see how the demographic spreads break down, for me that is where I think the most political value comes from in this contest delegates or no delegates. If Obama wins his ethnic vote but cannot compete well with whites, Latinos and other minorities then he has clearly got some serious weaknesses to deal with, especially for Super Tuesday. If Clinton cannot hold together her coalition between Latinos, white women and lower economic class/educated Dems then she has shown some real weaknesses going forward and that the Obama camp has done her more damage than her camp believes to be the case. So for both of the frontrunners how the internal demographics breaks down makes this more than a meaningless beauty pageant IMHO, and again I have to ask what Obama was thinking in dissing the votes of the Dems because he won't win that State and no delegates are involved since those will be many of the same votes the Dem nominee whoever it is will need to attract. I couldn't believe he was that clumsy about it, I have issues with his media strength and understanding of his opponents, not his basic speaking skills and understanding of the importance of words. This quite frankly completely startled me to see from him and I have to wonder whether this is going to impact him beyond Florida in terms of his image as a uniter not a divider when he divides such a large state into the "beauty pageant" camp solely because of the no delegates issue despite it being the largest State to date with clearly high turnout.

Posted by: Scotian on January 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian, do your criticisms of Mr. Obama also apply to Mr. Edwards? After all, he's ignoring Florida also.

The Democratic Party made a ruling and all the candidates agreed to abide by it.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 29, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

I think Cal Pol Junkie has pegged it pretty well - McCain wins, but by a narrow margin. McCain's prevarication on Romney's "timetable" comment may just have backfired enough, though, that Romney will squeek in.

If McCain wins I think that comes very close to "sealing the deal". A Romney win would not be quite as definitive as a McCain win, but it would definitely make him strongly favored to win the Republican nomination.

Posted by: TK on January 29, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Quaker in a Basement:

Did Edwards make such a comment today too, if so I missed it and yes, if he did speak in the same dismissive manner that Obama did to downplay a HRC win (which is as I said not my complaint, my complaint is the incredibly ham handed way he appears to have done so) in Florida the same critique applies. However, from my distant perspective at this point Edwards is not viable to win the nomination short of being a consensus candidate at a fractious convention, so I keep my focus on the two I currently see as the most probable nominee. As to why I pick on Obama and not Clinton in case you are wondering, like I have repeatedly said since I first spoke to the primary here at PA the flaws she has going into this have been done to death (and enough others here were doing so already from what I saw and they were covering her main weaknesses as I see them), but Obama is the new and therefore far more untested/unknown in the field and because of that the one I am more worried about ticking time bombs such as Rezko may represent, what happens when the media starts to tear him down instead of build him up, and what if his transcendent speechifying is knocked out of consideration as a primary selling point because of some change in the political environment by events unforeseen at this time what then does he have to offer to be President, things like that. Hillary is a known quantity whatever else she is, he isn't yet and he is young for this run given the usual age range of Presidents let alone viable candidates for a party nomination on both sides of the aisle with what looks to be a decent/above average record (although it is thin in terms of accumulative terms) in public life and was quite successful in private life too but not something truly extraordinary aside from his ability to inspire with his words and to be fair some decent abiilty at creating political coalitions to get things done in a legislative setting going by his State record. I don't think it would be all that easy to take that out of the primary consideration for him, but there is a big difference between not very easy and not possible.

Obama is the greater risk, and while the rewards if he wins in November could be profound (I have never denied this btw, the fact I am as concerned about him does not mean I think he is incapable of delivering a major demographic shift to the Dem party) so are the risks for failure. I look at Obama and generally speaking I see a man that has been running for President since he made the US Senate 3 years ago, something set up by that speech in 2004 at the Dem convention and then encouraged by others in the Dem establishment as the candidate of hope/unity that those members believe is (I do think at least some of the anti-Clinton crowd also fall into this category, I rarely believe that any opponent is acting out of other than good intentions, after all villains and bad people rarely see themselves that way it is human nature) necessary for these times. I see his voting record and his actions as a Senator as fairly centrist overall, one can argue whether he is to the left or right of Clinton but either way I don't see it as by very much (which btw is one of the reasons I find it a bit disingenuous of some Obama supporters to claim saying Obama is slightly to the right equates with saying he is in any way a "right-winger", a piece of rhetorical spin I see on a *LOT* of blogs). So one needs to assume that for him the worst case scenario is somehow for some reason his speaking abilities are no longer enough to cause independents/Dems to vote for him, it doesn't matter what and I did state I said this is not something I see easily done but possible yes, so what else does he have to offer to gain/keep their votes? Especially if in the process of whatever takes his speaking abilities out of the equation also somehow tarnishing his brand as the different post-partisan candidate?

I see those are the questions that need to be asked and considered because they rest on his still newness on the scene, there simply isn't enough of a detailed history to develop a reliable pattern, Clinton though this is not true of in no small part because of the GOP partisan culture wars of the past 16 years against her and her husband. I'll leave the Clinton dissecting to others (there certainly isn't a shortage of them after all), Obama is as I have always said the one I see as the greatest risk and the most vulnerable to being significantly damaged and the Democratic Party with him. This is the downside of having someone who could also really get a mandate; his basement is much lower than Clintons just as his potential ceiling is higher than hers too. I could see that as being 10% on either side of 50% easily in his case, her I am inclined to think half that at most, 45-55%.

I know I went a bit farther than you asked, I just wanted to be sure I explained why I am focused on Obama while not actively trying to shill for anyone, just that after 2004 I am not taking anything for granted nor letting slide any reservations of the unknowns that exist with a candidate, and Obama beats out Edwards and Clinton by a large margin with/for me. I am not trying to convince people here which way to vote, I am only offering my observations and people can make as much or little of it as they will. I can understand why some would prefer I butted out, but this is the one American blog I am comfortable even discussing this at because of my long connection/history with it believing that there are some even in the side that really disagrees with me that remember I don't shill or wear partisan blinders as a rule and therefore there would be an audience that might actually consider what was being said on the value of how someone with my history is perceiving this race instead of just being lost as one more Clinton shill/dupe. Obviously I feel I am getting that here or I would have stopped commenting again very soon thereafter.

Posted by: Scotian on January 29, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

my complaint is the incredibly ham handed way he appears to have done so

What he said was OK, just not the way he said it?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 29, 2008 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

I don’t understand why nobody in the Democratic Party is calling Hillary Clinton on her duplicity regarding this issue of the Florida democratic delegates. The Democratic Party decided, for better or worse, not to seat the Florida delegates and, more significantly, all candidates, including Hillary, agreed not to campaign there. Now Hillary appears to be going back on her word. She is OPENLY calling for the seating of the Florida delegates and held a “victory rally” there after agreeing not to campaign. This is typical Clintonism: splitting hairs, going back on her word, and trying to have it both ways. What’s more, if Hillary is successful in her push to get the Florida delegates seated, what will this mean for the authority of the Democratic Party in the future? It will become a free-for –all with States competing to hold their primaries at the point most likely to make their delegates king makers, regardless of the party’s efforts to keep the process somewhat orderly and fair. As a loyal Dem I don’t get why the Democratic Party isn’t slapping her down on this one. What’s worse , the talking heads on TV keep repeating that the “victory” in Florida gives her a big boost going into super Tuesday. It just kills me that the MSM repeats her talking points verbatim instead of calling her on her BS.

Posted by: progressivedem1968 on January 30, 2008 at 6:33 AM | PERMALINK

Quaker in a basement:

That is *NOT* what I said, you need to slow down when you are reading what I say. What I said was that it was ok for him to downplay the Clinton win in Florida just as is the case with all losing candidates when their rival wins, but the way in which he was doing so in the case of Florida was incredibly ham handed and could easily come back to bite him, especially in the general, if he was the eventual candidate and in my first comment said why I thought so. I said his intention was ok, the way he did it though I did not think was "ok", which is why I said that if Edwards had used the same dismissive "Florida doesn’t count/matter" frame that Obama did when you asked me the same applied to him. Now, you mind explaining how that translates into the interpretation you gave it?

Perhaps you are a partisan too caught up in your beliefs to realize that just because I have been critical of Obama that I must want him to lose and/or will spin whatever I can to make it harder for him to win. I don't know. Whatever the reason is though I would appreciate it if next time you did not put words in my mouth like you did in your last reply, because if you re-read what I wrote in the top of the first paragraph I repeated that my issue was not with his trying to downplay a HRC Florida win but the manner in which he chose to do so, which does *NOT* equate with "What he said was OK, just not the way he said it?" which is why I said you were putting words in my mouth and not honestly/accurately paraphrasing what I said.

Posted by: Scotian on January 30, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Me: What he said was OK, just not the way he said it?

You: it was ok for him to downplay the Clinton win in Florida just as is the case with all losing candidates when their rival wins, but the way in which he was doing so in the case of Florida was incredibly ham handed and could easily come back to bite him


Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 30, 2008 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK



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