# US Presidential Election

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Homework Helper
I think it's safe to say that the final nail has been driven into the Clinton campaign.

It's time to start talking about McCain vs. Obama.

Right now, the electoral vote looks like a tie: http://www.electionprojection.com/elections2008.html [Broken]
It doesn't look like a tie at first glance, but the latest polls give McCain the advantage in Ohio (20 electoral votes) and Obama the edge in Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), so that will change the electoral projection to a 269 to 269 tie.

Kind of a good point to start the general election thread, eh?

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Homework Helper
I have to start with one knock on McCain: his stand on the GI Bill.

He's right from a strictly economic point of view. If you're fighting a decades long war on terror, it's counter productive to offer incentives that will result in military personnel getting out of the military to take advantage of them.

I don't think you can evaluate this issue strictly on an economic point of view. They deserve an expanded GI Bill whether they choose to stay in or not.

Staff Emeritus
Days to go to Nov 4: 164 days.

McCain vs Obama will be interesting, especially of Chuck Hagel is the VP candidate. I suppose we'll have to wait for the Democratic Convention.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
This is the site I use for electoral vote projections: http://electoral-vote.com/

They are a little slow in updating the latest polls into their projection.
http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Obama/Maps/May24.html

They have McCain with a 30 point lead, but are currently calling OH and WI "barely GOP". Every polling aggregate I've seen so far has Obama with a tiny lead in both states (30 EVs), which would give him the 30 point lead. In any case, it is essentially meaningless to look into small differences this early in the process.

Staff Emeritus
Makes me wonder if in Sept or October, some pollsters are going to claim one or the other as the 'presumptive' president-elect, well before Nov. 4.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
What do folks here think of Kathleen Sebelius for Veep?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Sebelius

Some tidbits that I think are noteworthy (from the wiki):
Kathleen Sebelius (born May 15, 1948) is currently serving as the 44th Governor of Kansas. She is the second female governor of Kansas, the 2008 respondent to the State of the Union address, and chair-emerita of the Democratic Governors Association.
...
Sebelius was born and raised in a Catholic family in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Sebelius is the daughter of former Ohio governor John J. Gilligan, and thus they became the first father/daughter governor pair in the United States after her election. Her husband K. Gary Sebelius is a federal magistrate judge and the son of former U.S. Representative Keith Sebelius, a Republican. They have two sons. She also visits her childhood and current vacation home, located in Leland, Michigan, north of Traverse City, Michigan.
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She was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1986. In 1994 she left the House to run for state insurance commissioner and stunned political forecasters by winning — the first time a Democrat had won in more than 100 years. She is credited with bringing the agency out from under the influence of the insurance industry. She refused to take campaign contributions from insurers and blocked the proposed merger of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, the state's largest health insurer, with an Indiana-based company. The decision by Sebelius marked the first time the corporation had been rebuffed in its acquisition attempts.
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On March 21, 2006 she vetoed Senate Bill 418, a similar concealed-carry bill. On March 25, Sebelius's veto was overturned after the Kansas House of Representatives voted 91-33 to override it. This followed the Kansas Senate's 30-10 override vote, which occurred the day after her veto.
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Sebelius did not support an April 2005 amendment to the Kansas Constitution that made same-sex marriage in the state unconstitutional. Sebelius said she supported the existing state law outlawing same-sex marriage, viewed it as sufficient,[14] and therefore opposed the constitutional amendment. The amendment passed with 70 percent voter approval.
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On May 26, 2006 Sebelius formally announced her candidacy for re-election. Four days later, Mark Parkinson, former Kansas state GOP Party Chair, switched his party affiliation to Democratic; the following day Sebelius announced that Parkinson would be her running mate for Lieutenant Governor. Parkinson had previously served in the state House during 1991–1992 and the Senate during 1993–1997. Parkinson was a popular and successful GOP Party Chair. He was viewed as a pro-business moderate who strongly supported public education. This was somewhat reminiscent of the fact that John Moore had also been a Republican, before switching just days prior to joining Sebelius as her running mate.
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As of 2004 50 percent of Kansas voters were registered Republicans, compared to 27 percent as registered Democrats.[17] Sebelius, nevertheless, won a landslide re-election with 57.8 percent of the vote to Barnett's 40.5 percent.
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In 2001 Sebelius was named as one of Governing Magazine's Public Officials of the Year while she was serving as Kansas Insurance Commissioner.[28]

In November 2005 Time named Sebelius as one of the five best governors in America, praising her for eliminating a \$1.1 billion debt she inherited, ferreting out waste in state government, and strongly supporting public education — all without raising taxes. Also praised was her bipartisan approach to governing, a useful trait in a state where Republicans have usually controlled the Legislature.

To summarize: She is a popular Democratic Governor in a red State (one that Obama can call a "home state"). She can call Kansas, Ohio and Michigan "home" (we've now learned the importance of being able to call key states your home). She has partered with Republicans (both her Lt. Govs were GOP members before the election). She is a highly successful Governor - a strong fiscal conservative and a moderate on social issues, but is not popular among gun owners. She has refused key lobbyist money during her campaigns. And she rocks!

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Staff Emeritus
She sounds like a viable VP candidate.

I'd be interested in Obama's choices for SecState and SecDef, both important positions these days.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
She sounds like a viable VP candidate.

I'd be interested in Obama's choices for SecState and SecDef, both important positions these days.
With the way the entire Primary season has been moving forward I wonder how soon positions like these will be talked about by the campaings. I don't think it's common to actually announce cabinet positions in the Convention, is it? I do remember that Colin Powell gave the keynote speech in 2000, so that was already an informal announcement of sorts, I guess.

Obama will be well served to put his money where his mouth is and offer cabinet positions to Republicans, like Hagel, Lugar or Specter.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I don't think you can evaluate this issue strictly on an economic point of view. They deserve an expanded GI Bill whether they choose to stay in or not.
Listen to the caller at 16:30 in last week's Talk of the Nation, on NPR. The Republicans have always been good at connecting with the masses on an emotional level. Are they losing that edge now?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90596524

Homework Helper
What do folks here think of Kathleen Sebelius for Veep?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Sebelius

Some tidbits that I think are noteworthy (from the wiki):

To summarize: She is a popular Democratic Governor in a red State (one that Obama can call a "home state"). She can call Kansas, Ohio and Michigan "home" (we've now learned the importance of being able to call key states your home). She has partered with Republicans (both her Lt. Govs were GOP members before the election). She is a highly successful Governor - a strong fiscal conservative and a moderate on social issues, but is not popular among gun owners. She has refused key lobbyist money during her campaigns. And she rocks!

I've always felt that Sebelius or Napolitano would make better "first female President" candidates than Clinton. Fair or not, Clinton is too close to matching the previous "first females" that actually just continued their husband's tenure.

The other benefit is that Dems can't win in the West if they marginalize every western Democrat that actually does get elected. And they can't afford not to win the West since migration to the Sun Belt steals electoral votes from Dems traditional states, but also changes the demographics of the smaller Sun Belt states.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Numerically, I think the biggest thing to take away from current polling is seen in the bolded lines below:
Strong Dem (197)
Weak Dem (33)
Barely Dem (12)
Exactly tied (24)
Barely GOP (66)
Weak GOP (104)

Strong GOP (102)
There are 170 EVs that the GOP will need to sink money into fighting. That compares with only 45 EVs on the Dem side. The GOP has their work cut out for them in terms of fund-raising. Their margin of error is tiny.

Staff Emeritus
http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/ [Broken] - Some of the issues:

Civil Rights
Disabilities
Economy
Education
Energy & Environment
Ethics
Faith (Separation of Church & State)
Family
Fiscal (Federal Budget (Deficits) and Supplemental Spending)
Foreign Policy
Healthcare
Homeland Security
Immigration
Iraq
Poverty
Rural
Service
Seniors & Social Security
Technology
Transportation
Urban Policy
Veterans

It would be interesting to pick each issue and compare the candidates on proposals and past record.

Also - http://factcheck.barackobama.com/ [Broken]

Factcheck.barackobama.com said:
McCain Campaign: "In Senator Obama's world, lobbyists can raise money..." [McCain release, 5/21/08]

FACT: Obama's Campaign Does Not Allow Lobbyists To Bundle Donations. "Among some of the leading Democratic and Republican candidates, the plans for disclosure are still unformed even as the bundlers are being recruited. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will provide that information on his campaign Web site; he's also not taking checks, or bundles, from lobbyists." [Washington Post, 2/5/07]

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Staff Emeritus
It's time to start talking about McCain vs. Obama.
Wait!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20080525/pl_cq_politics/politics2884125 [Broken].

Will he take popular votes from McCain or Obama or both?

Former Rep. Bob Barr won the Libertarian Party's Presidential nomination at the party's convention in Denver Sunday afternoon. He defeated long-time party activist Mary Ruwart, 54 to 46 percent, on the sixth ballot.

Fourteen candidates ran for the nomination. Former Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel was defeated in the fourth round.

Ruwart, a scientist and consultant from Texas, is a frequent Libertarian candidate, and challenged Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2002. She campaigned earlier this year for Ron Paul.

"I'm sure will we emerge here with the strongest ticket in the history of the Libertarian Party," Barr said in his victory speech.
. . . .

Some of his earlier positions were at odds with the party. He was a opponent of the legalization of medical marijuana, a position he has since reversed. The Libertarian party's platform states that "all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs" should be repealed. And he was a strong opponent of legalized abortion. The party opposes any restrictions on reproductive rights.

But he was always a gun rights supporter, and called for the end to federal income tax and the IRS, all Libertarian principles.

. . . .
Interesting.

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Poop-Loops
Wait!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20080525/pl_cq_politics/politics2884125 [Broken] Will he take popular votes from McCain or Obama or both?

What, all 5 of them?

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Mentor
sheer stupidity

I wonder how many nimnalls will vote Libertarian? Yes, I said nimnals, because they know they have no chance in hell of winning but can possibly screw up an election if it is close.

Who is this going to hurt more, Democrats or Republicans? We all know that the nimnalls that voted for Nader put Bush in office.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20080525/pl_cq_politics/politics2884125 [Broken]

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I'll be voting for Barr.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
After a quick glance, his stands on most issues sound sensible. I don't know what alternative he has proposed for the federal income tax, but that's the one issue that could be the biggie.

Barr could cut into McCain's bloc. How much, we'll have to wait and see.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
My prediction of people that will not fill McCain's VP spot: Crist, Jindal and Romney.

I think we just saw a consolation prize weekend gathering in Sedona.

TR345
It is funny, because the vice presidents may be pretty darn important this time around since Obama is likely to get assassinated, and McCain is likely to die of old age.

TR345
Actually it isn't funny, for the record.

Homework Helper
I wonder how many nimnalls will vote Libertarian? Yes, I said nimnals, because they know they have no chance in hell of winning but can possibly screw up an election if it is close.

Who is this going to hurt more, Democrats or Republicans? We all know that the nimnalls that voted for Nader put Bush in office.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20080525/pl_cq_politics/politics2884125 [Broken]

Defecting Libertarians definitely tipped the '92 election to Clinton even if Perot was technically a member of the Reform Party. Given Bush and Republican popularity, Barr will probably hurt McCain more than Obama. I'd almost say that whether he hurts Republicans more than a liberal third party candidate like Nader remains to be seen, but Nader's 2.7% in 2000 dropped to 0.38% in 2004 (still higher than the 0.32% for Libertarian Badnarik, but not higher than the combined Badnarik/Peroutka vote of 0.44%).

Libertarians sure think they'll play a pivotal role in this year's election: The Libertarian Voter. He and another Libertarian even did a study: The Libertarian Vote.

The study identified Libertarians by their political views vs belonging to the Libertarian Party. It was also done by two Libertarians, so they would benefit from results showing the importance of the Libertarian vote. Regardless, they probably did play a key role in a small number of the close races that switched from Republican to Democrat in 2006.

Still, a socially conservative Libertarian such as Barr will pull some votes from McCain and, worse yet, he'll probably pull different votes than the Libertarians most likely to defect to Obama. He could be a factor in a Western state like Colorado, which should wind up being very close. (a socially conservative Libertarian seems like a misnomer, but Ron Paul has a lot of Libertarian appeal, as well).

Close races are the only time third party candidates can force the big two parties to listen to them. They'd be silly to pass up on that chance.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I wonder how many nimnalls will vote Libertarian? Yes, I said nimnals, because they know they have no chance in hell of winning but can possibly screw up an election if it is close.
Evo, there have been many groups throughout history that started out as hopeless minorities without sufficient support to achieve anything. But it was their perseverance against the majority opinion that eventually won them their place in the mainstream. The suffragists, the abolitionists...all started out as hopeless minority movements.

A libertarian is a libertarian. They won't - and shouldn't really - see the election as being screwed up if either the Dem or the Rep loses.

Mentor
Evo, there have been many groups throughout history that started out as hopeless minorities without sufficient support to achieve anything. But it was their perseverance against the majority opinion that eventually won them their place in the mainstream. The suffragists, the abolitionists...all started out as hopeless minority movements.

A libertarian is a libertarian. They won't - and shouldn't really - see the election as being screwed up if either the Dem or the Rep loses.
I'm not saying that they don't have the right to do it. I can see this possibly taking votes away from Obama. There will be a large group of Democrats that will be uncomfortable enough that they might go Libertarian when they wouldn't swing all the way to McCain. Just what I've picked up from different forums, people are saying they wouldn't vote for McCain but would vote for someone other than Obama if they had a decent alternative. Of course that doesn't mean Barr is a decent alternative.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Just what I've picked up from different forums, people are saying they wouldn't vote for McCain but would vote for someone other than Obama if they had a decent alternative. Of course that doesn't mean Barr is a decent alternative.
Those folks would more likely stay home than go out and vote for Obama. Barr is very much like McCain (more accurately, like the former version of McCain), and not much like Obama.

I think it's more likely that conservatives that were reluctantly going to vote for McCain might see a good alternative in Barr.

Homework Helper
Gold Member
I wonder how many nimnalls will vote Libertarian? Yes, I said nimnals, because they know they have no chance in hell of winning but can possibly screw up an election if it is close.

Who is this going to hurt more, Democrats or Republicans? We all know that the nimnalls that voted for Nader put Bush in office.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20080525/pl_cq_politics/politics2884125 [Broken]

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Zero. Why is this important?

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Because someone has written that Nader's candidacy put Bush in office. It was a close election but Nader did not screw it up.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Bush would have lost if FL went to Gore instead of Bush. The margin in FL was less than 2000 votes. All of the other 5 candidates competing in FL won over 2000 votes, but Nader had the biggest haul with nearly 100,000 votes. His abstention would have made the biggest difference in FL.

It is theoretically possible that John Hagelin's 2300 votes could have made the difference too, and Hagelin also won zero electoral votes.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/results/ [Broken]

So it is possible to influence the outcome of the election without winning a single EV.

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Gold Member
Bush would have lost if FL went to Gore instead of Bush. The margin in FL was less than 2000 votes. All of the other 5 candidates competing in FL won over 2000 votes, but Nader had the biggest haul with nearly 100,000 votes. His abstention would have made the biggest difference in FL.

It is theoretically possible that John Hagelin's 2300 votes could have made the difference too, but Hagelin also won zero electoral votes.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/results/ [Broken]
Not only that, Pat Buchanan got WAY more than enough unexpected votes in liberal counties in Florida to turn the election to the Dems (due to confusion over the butterfly ballot). To Buchanan's credit, he pointed this out during the appeal and the aborted recount.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Not only that, Pat Buchanan got WAY more than enough unexpected votes in liberal counties in Florida to turn the election to the Dems (due to confusion over the butterfly ballot). To Buchanan's credit, he pointed this out during the appeal and the aborted recount.

Yes, I was impressed at Buchanan's frankness on what he saw as his unearned votes.

He's another righty I don't see eye-to-eye with on many matters, but I do enjoy hearing his point of view. He doesn't heap derision or contempt on people who disagree with him.

Homework Helper
Not only that, Pat Buchanan got WAY more than enough unexpected votes in liberal counties in Florida to turn the election to the Dems (due to confusion over the butterfly ballot). To Buchanan's credit, he pointed this out during the appeal and the aborted recount.

Actually, just one - Palm Beach County. Buchanon got 0.29% of the vote through the entire state. In one of the most liberal counties, he got 0.79%. You'd expect him to get 1200 or less votes in Palm Beach County (400 to 500 would be realistic given that Palm Beach was pretty liberal). Instead, he got 3400.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Voterseyeview.jpg [Broken] Worse yet, I wonder how many Buchanon voters mistakenly voted for Bush? If 1% of Gore voters in Palm Beach voted for Buchanon (about 3,000 out of 270,000), then surely 4 or 5 voters mistakenly voted for Bush instead of Buchanon.

He's another righty I don't see eye-to-eye with on many matters, but I do enjoy hearing his point of view. He doesn't heap derision or contempt on people who disagree with him.
Proof you don't need to agree with someone to find it entertaining to listen to them. He takes some outrageous points of view sometimes, which makes me wonder if he's just playing devil's advocate, but he usually has some thought behind what he says no matter how outrageous the idea seems.

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Poop-Loops

Staff Emeritus
Code:
TN
Bush  1,056,480 51% 11EV
Gore    977,789 48% 0
Buchanan  4,218  0% 0

MO
Bush  1,189,521 51% 11EV
Gore  1,110,826 47% 0

AR
Bush  472,120 51% 6EV  Clinton?
Gore  420,424 45% 0

OH
Bush  2,294,167 50% 21EV
Gore  2,117,741 46% 0
Buchanan 25,980 1%  0

FL
Bush  2,909,176 49 % 25EV
Gore  2,907,451 49 %  0
Browne   18,856  0 %  0
Buchanan 17,356  0 %  0
Just a sample of states - Ref: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/results/ [Broken]

Bush had won in 29 states, Gore 20 states.

The FL debacle/fiasco was not the fault of Nader or Buchanan.

Gore lost in TN, his home state. 11 EV! Gore didn't even get Arkansas, Clinton's home state, but then a lot of folks were probably upset with Clinton over Lewinski and Whitewater.

Both Gore and Kerry failed to make compelling cases why those in the middle should vote for them. It completely slipped past Gore during the Wakeforest debate in 2000 that Bush mentioned the consideration of using US troops to oust a dictator.

BUSH: Started off as a humanitarian mission and it changed into a nation-building mission, and that's where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed. And as a result, our nation paid a price. And so I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow the dictator when it's in our best interests. But in this case it was a nation-building exercise, and same with Haiti. I wouldn't have supported either.
http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2000b.html [Broken]

Bush's statement "I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow the dictator when it's in our best interests," was prescient to say the least. It certainly appears he had one dictator in mind, as is consistent with the mention by Paul O'Neill that Iraq was the first item on the agenda during the first cabinet meeting in 2001. Gore should have jumped in and asked "What dictator do you have in mind?"

In Kerry's case, he blew off a number of red states, basically by-passing much of the middle of the country. That's not very presidential.

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Homework Helper
Gold Member
Code:
TN
Bush  1,056,480 51% 11EV
Gore    977,789 48% 0
Buchanan  4,218  0% 0

MO
Bush  1,189,521 51% 11EV
Gore  1,110,826 47% 0

AR
Bush  472,120 51% 6EV  Clinton?
Gore  420,424 45% 0

OH
Bush  2,294,167 50% 21EV
Gore  2,117,741 46% 0
Buchanan 25,980 1%  0

FL
Bush  2,909,176 49 % 25EV
Gore  2,907,451 49 %  0
Browne   18,856  0 %  0
Buchanan 17,356  0 %  0
Just a sample of states - Ref: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/results/ [Broken]

Bush had won in 29 states, Gore 20 states.

The FL debacle/fiasco was not the fault of Nader or Buchanan.

Gore lost in TN, his home state. 11 EV! Gore didn't even get Arkansas, Clinton's home state, but then a lot of folks were probably upset with Clinton over Lewinski and Whitewater.

Both Gore and Kerry failed to make compelling cases why those in the middle should vote for them. It completely slipped past Gore during the Wakeforest debate in 2000 that Bush mentioned the consideration of using US troops to oust a dictator.

http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2000b.html [Broken]

Bush's statement "I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow the dictator when it's in our best interests," was prescient to say the least. It certainly appears he had one dictator in mind, as is consistent with the mention by Paul O'Neill that Iraq was the first item on the agenda during the first cabinet meeting in 2001. Gore should have jumped in and asked "What dictator do you have in mind?"

In Kerry's case, he blew off a number of red states, basically by-passing much of the middle of the country. That's not very presidential.

Hurrah! Finally I see some real analysis. Last night the Spurs lost a close one to the Lakers. San Antonio was behind by two points with only seconds to go and the ball was in the hands of San Antonio's best three point shooter. His desperate last minute shot missed but there was contact on the shot that, in any other game, would have resulted in a foul and a chance to tie the game and go into overtime. The foul was not called... it never is in that situation. So, did San Antonio lose the game because some partisian official didn't call a foul? Hardly! San Antonio lost because they were behind all game and struggling (on their home court!) and were forced to take a shot that has less than a 50% chance of being made. Still, there are some that think that the official was responsible for the loss.

There are a lot of reasons that Gore lost the election. Some of those reasons are listed in Astronuc's post but there are others. I'll add one that I feel was more important. America was pretty tired of partisian bickering in 2000. Bush had a real track record of working with both parties in Texas and his promised education bill probably pulled out his win in California. That kind of position is one usually reserved for Democrats but Bush claimed it as his own. Sure, Gore came out with his own 'rebuild crumbling schools' rhetoric but America remembered that he was in the office of Vice President for the previous 8 years and only now realized that there were problems. His own campaign was at odds with the "Education President" and the administration he served under.

One could easily argue that Clinton's DNA stains had much more of an effect than Ralph Nader.

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