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Author Topic: Presidential General Election News & Discussion Center
Lyrhawn
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Squicky -

DK is talking about the discussion we had at the top of this page about infrastructure spending and earmarks. Honestly I'm not sure what point he is making though I think he is saying that Bloomberg is admitting that Mayors ask for and use these funds even though everyone realizes that it'll have no long term good.

But in the same article he decries the practice and says that Congress needs to say no and stop doing it, but he also says that they need to start doing projects with long term interests in mind, and I agree.

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the_Somalian
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Heh.
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Lyrhawn
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There are a few of those coming out soon, and on the other side against Obama.

The PACs are coming...

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MrSquicky
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Lyr,
I get what conversation he's referencing. I just don't see what he is trying to say with that quote. From what I can tell, it doesn't support what he was saying.

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Strider
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Obama leads McCain in swing states
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Lyrhawn
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Squick -

Ah okay. Yeah I'm with you there, I don't really get what he's saying with that either. Knowing him, I think I know what he's TRYING to say, but without explicitly stating his point, you could take that article a couple different ways.

Strider -

Wow, that's a huge reversal from before. Obama was trying to make an argument as to how he could win without those states, more or less writing Florida off entirely and hoping to keep MI and PA and maybe pickup OH and then leverage the difference with VA and maybe SC. The electoral college is looking funkier all the time. Also don't forget that several states have signed on to that compact to apportion their delegates to the popular vote winner. I think that has passed in 4 states now.

In general news -

It looks like the latest controversy is going to be over Continental Shelf Drilling, or offshore drilling, which has been banned for like 20 years. Bush is saying it's the way we secure energy independence, and I'll leave out for a moment the ridiculousness of that argument. McCain in 2000 was against the practice, and is now supporting it. Ironically, the two states that perhaps have the biggest stake in the issue are California and Florida, both who have Republican governors, and both who oppose the Federal government forcing offshore drilling on them. Arnold says no, outright. Charlie Crist in Florida says he isn't going to reject the idea, but that state governments should decide, and nearly every coastal state says no, emphatically. Most everyone loves the idea of more domestic production, but no one wants it in THEIR back yard. Especially in a swing state like Florida, McCain is going to have a hard sell with this one, and it might be a great place for Obama to pick up some points.

Florida would've been a great place for one of those townhall meetings that he turned down. Bad move Obama.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
Also don't forget that several states have signed on to that compact to apportion their delegates to the popular vote winner. I think that has passed in 4 states now.
Depending on the states, that could be a huge deal. I'm surprised it's not getting more press. Maybe I'm misunderstanding. Are you saying that some states are agreeing to drop the electoral college "winner-take-all" system for the general election?
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MrSquicky
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President Bush is pushing for starting off-shore drilling. From what I've read, Sen McCain is saying that he wants to end the federal ban, but leave it up to the states to decide.

---

I never took the primary matchup polls seriously for either Sen Clinton or Sen Obama versus Sen McCain. The supporters for either had no resaon to say that they would vote for the other Democratic candidate and lots of reasons to say that they wouldn't.

I'm pretty sure, come November, nearly all the states that could be in play are going to be.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong:
quote:
Also don't forget that several states have signed on to that compact to apportion their delegates to the popular vote winner. I think that has passed in 4 states now.
Depending on the states, that could be a huge deal. I'm surprised it's not getting more press. Maybe I'm misunderstanding. Are you saying that some states are agreeing to drop the electoral college "winner-take-all" system for the general election?
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement to apportion electoral votes to whoever wins the popular vote. So even if a majority of voters in the state vote for one guy, whoever wins the national popular vote gets all the electoral votes. Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland and New Jersey have all signed onto the Compact and it is now state law. New Jersey has swingstate potential, but Illinois, Maryland and Hawaii have traditionally been fairly safe Democratic states.

I took am surprised, given the fact that Illinois has 21 electoral votes, and as Obama's home state is expected to go to him. But if McCain gets the popular vote, that's a big swath of votes he'd steal away.

The measure was passed in both houses of the California state legislature last year but was vetoed, and has since again been introduced and sits in the Senate I believe after being passed by the House. Similar measured have been introduced in one or both houses of state legislatures in North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota and a couple others and still remain in the legislature as introduced legislation.

All in all, between the four states that have signed on, there are 50 electoral votes that will automatically go to the national popular vote winner regardless of who that state actually votes for. (IL - 21, HI - 4, MD - 10, NJ - 15).

Largeley I see this is as a lose only position for Obama, since I think he'll win all, or at least three of those states, and if McCain can win the popular vote it'll be an electoral landslide, but frankly I don't see that happening. I think Obama's voter registration efforts in communities and enthusiasm for his campaign make him far more likely to win the popular vote, even if he loses the electoral college. Far more in the south, where Democratic turnout especially among the African American population is often depressed, there will be a huge uptick this year in turnout, that even if it doesn't win him those states I think will put him over the top in the popular vote.

So whenever you see any speculation for those four states this year, it's likely the commentators are just wrong.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
All in all, between the four states that have signed on, there are 50 electoral votes that will automatically go to the national popular vote winner regardless of who that state actually votes for. (IL - 21, HI - 4, MD - 10, NJ - 15).
Wow. That's amazingly stupid.
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Mike
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Wow. That's amazingly stupid.

How so?
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BlackBlade
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I suppose those votes could represent the spill over votes we get from every state where you don't have quite enough for another electoral vote.
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Shawshank
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I'd just like to say thanks to all of you who regularly post links and the like- I come to Hatrack to get my news more than any other place. So yeah- keep up the good work!
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Katarain
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How so? They're giving away their votes. A majority votes for one guy in the state and because of the national popular vote, the guy they voted for gets nothing? Yeah, that's beyond stupid.
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ElJay
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I thought there was a condition on those laws that they didn't go into effect until enough states had signed on that there were enough electoral votes committed to decide the election. In other words, once states totally 270 electoral votes make a similar law, then each of their electoral votes goes to the winner of the popular vote. In the meantime they are assigned in the old way.
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ElJay
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Yep, that's the case.

quote:
The National Popular Vote bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

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Lyrhawn
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Kat - You could make the same argument for the status quo. I vote for a certain guy in my state but since my guy gets however many less votes, every vote that was cast for him makes zero difference nationally since the winner take all system means the minority is entirely shut out for that state, and the guy I vote for gets nothing.

Eljay -

Whoops, apparently I don't know what I'm talking about. I missed the part about when it goes into effect, and frankly that makes a heck of a lot more sense. Thanks for the correction. Sorry about that!

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ElJay
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Yeah, it would be pretty silly otherwise. I remember reading about it in 2004, though, and I was pretty sure there was that loophole there. It's basically an end-run around the electoral college, and I think it has a much better chance of getting the president directly elected (effectively) than trying to actually abolish the electoral college. I also don't think it will get enough states to sign on until/unless we have another situation where the winner of the popular vote is not the winner of the election. Too much inertia otherwise.
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the_Somalian
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I saw this on DailyKos. Their post said that it made McCain look "creepy" but I think it shows that he has a sense of humor..

Using something like this against McCain would be pretty dumb...

[ June 19, 2008, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: the_Somalian ]

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Strider
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Obama won't accept public financing for the general

quote:
Sen. Barack Obama notified supporters Thursday that he has decided not to accept public financing for his general election campaign.
Sen.

In an e-mail message, Obama said the decision means that his campaign will forgo about $85 million in public funds that would be available when he officially becomes the Democratic presidential nominee in August.

"It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Obama wrote. "But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system."

What do you think? This decision does allow him to raise and spend significantly more money than he would be able to otherwise, so its not exactly like this is going to hurt the campaign, just the opposite.

[ June 19, 2008, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: Strider ]

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Morbo
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I agree that it's a neccesary step Obama's campaign had to do. The extra money will outweigh the political hay McCain is trying to make out of it.

I see that AP has swallowed the meme that Obama "committed" to take public financing in the general, despite the weak language he used in a questionnaire last year.
quote:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday he'll bypass the federal public financing system in the general election, abandoning an earlier commitment to take the money if his Republican rival did as well.
[snip snip]
Last year, both Obama and McCain indicated in separate commitments that they would participate in the public system for the general election, as long as both candidates agreed.

In response to a questionnaire in November from the Midwest Democracy Network, which is made up of nonpartisan government oversight groups, Obama said: "Senator John McCain has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."

Not much of a commitment.
*shrug* Obama's campaign did have talks with McCain's about this. They were fruitless.

I do admire this from the McCain campaign:
quote:
"Barack Obama is now the first presidential candidate since Watergate to run a campaign entirely on private funds."
I admire both it's chutzpah, coming from a candidate who's thumbed his nose at the FEC, and it's sly use of Watergate. It implies corruption without needing to lay out a case for it.

Ultimately, I don't think the McCain campaign will change any significant number of votes by harping on this.

quotes from
http://apnews.myway.com//article/20080619/D91D8NV80.html

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Dagonee
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quote:
When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
The most frightening possible outcome of this is a court action in, say, Maryland about what the actual popular vote count in Florida was.

Granted, the odds of that happening are slim, because one state totals have much less impact under a national popular vote system. But if the disputed amount in one state exceeds the national margin, the resulting legal tangle would be impressive, to say the least.

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MrSquicky
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He never promised to accept public funding, though I think that he probably didn't live up to aggressively pursuing a publically financed general election.

Considering how Barack Obama has raised most of his funds from small donations, I think he's pretty close to the spirit of public financing anyway.

Maybe a minor bad, but pretty minor to me.

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Morbo
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McCain Camp Timeline of Obama and Public Funding Hmmm, there's a little more to it. Obama's said a bevy (a pack?) of weasel words about accepting public financing, not just that Nov. '07 questionnaire.

AND McCain's using Clinton's blasts about this issue against Obama.

Yeah, nobody saw that coming. [Wall Bash] [Grumble]

I still hope the issue won't get any traction. McCain's weak statement washing his hands of any responsibility for 3rd party attack groups helps Obama's case.

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Lyrhawn
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I have no problem with him turning it down. The grand majority of his money is coming from small five, ten and twenty five dollar donations to his campaign from regular people, over a million of them now, including me as of a few days ago.

If he can outraise the government election fund using regular citizens to do so, then I think that's not only fair, I think it's preferable. I still think the public financing option should be available to level the playing field a bit, but I'm okay with this. Republicans have had a fundraising advantage for years, and now McCain is going to cry foul? Meh.

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MrSquicky
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(After reading the linked time line) Yeah, but there is the problem of him making a commitment to this several times. If he's going to break that now, I'd like him to be upfront about it. "Yes, I said this. It was a mistake to bind myself like that. I feel confident that with the lion's share of my fund raising coming from regular people that the spirit of what I was trying to do is intact."

I'd respect a politician who realizes they want to change their course and owns up to it, while also remaining true to the basic principle of the thing.

[ June 19, 2008, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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Strider
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two funny headlines on the cnn political ticker...almost back to back

Cindy McCain: Families of candidates not fair game
Cindy McCain not backing down on Michelle Obama comment

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Dagonee
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quote:
The grand majority of his money is coming from small five, ten and twenty five dollar donations to his campaign from regular people
Can you provide a definitive source on that. I haven't seen one that I'd feel comfortable citing to, but the consensus seems to be that most of his money comes from $200+ donations, and that he has a lot of max ($2300) donors. Also I've seen claims that he has a significant number of $200,000+ bundlers.

I've also seen claims such as the one you make here. Neither side seems to be sourced better than the other. I'd love to see something definitive on this one way or the other.

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Strider
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I think the Obama camp tries to stress the small donations as much as possible to make a point. I agree that must also get a good bit of larger donations as well, or he wouldn't have raised as much money as he did, but I also think it's fair to say he's raised an unprecedented amount from smaller donors.
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katharina
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The NYT articles said that 90% of his money came in increments of less than $100.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/us/politics/20obamacnd.html?hp

quote:
All indications this year are that Mr. Obama will have no problem raising more than that amount for the general election; he raised $95 million in February and March alone, most of it, as his aides noted Thursday, in small contributions raised on the Internet. More than 90 percent of the campaign’s contributions were for $100 or less, said Robert Gibbs, the communications director to Mr. Obama.

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Dagonee
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quote:
More than 90 percent of the campaign’s contributions were for $100 or less, said Robert Gibbs, the communications director to Mr. Obama.
This is ambiguous. It could meant that 90% of the money came in individual contributions of $90 or less. Or, it could mean that of the total number of individual contributions, 90% were for $90 or less. If the latter, then it's likely that significantly less than 90% of the money came in through $90 or less transactions.
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MrSquicky
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Unless he mispoke, I'm pretty sure it's the latter.
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scholarette
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Ok- is this really the story or is this the news "interpreting" things? Obama said that he thinks we can fight terrorists within the bounds of the Constitution and McCain responded that's naive, pre 9-11 thinking. Surely a candidate running for a position where they take an oath to uphold the Constitution is not really saying that.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
More than 90 percent of the campaign’s contributions were for $100 or less, said Robert Gibbs, the communications director to Mr. Obama.
This is ambiguous. It could meant that 90% of the money came in individual contributions of $90 or less. Or, it could mean that of the total number of individual contributions, 90% were for $90 or less. If the latter, then it's likely that significantly less than 90% of the money came in through $90 or less transactions.
This is not making sense to me.
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MrSquicky
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scholarette,
That's most likely coming from their reactions to the recent Supreme Court rulings on the prisoners in Guantanamo. I'd be amazed if it wasn't some pretty out there extrapolation of something like this.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I'm of a few minds about this. I wish Obama would have accepted the public financing because I don't like the idea of any candidate buying an election, and I'm sure Obama is going to be able to outraise McCain by a large margin. I liked the idea of them going forth with even monetary resources. Then again, why not raise the limit and let individuals donate as much as they'd like?

The good part of public financing, for me, was that it would lead to a campaign that depended on the quality of the message rather than the number of donors. I don't envy McCain's position here. I mean, for a candidate to champion limited government, but then have his hand out to the voters is a peculiar position. The truth is, I'd rather have public financing and relatively free and equal media time for the candidates. I'm not sure that raising money should be the primary objective for the future President of the United States.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
More than 90 percent of the campaign’s contributions were for $100 or less, said Robert Gibbs, the communications director to Mr. Obama.
This is ambiguous. It could meant that 90% of the money came in individual contributions of $90 or less. Or, it could mean that of the total number of individual contributions, 90% were for $90 or less. If the latter, then it's likely that significantly less than 90% of the money came in through $90 or less transactions.
This is not making sense to me.
Suppose I receive individual contributions in the following amounts:

10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100.

These total $550. 9 of these contributions are $90 or less. That means 90% of the individual contributions are $90 or less.

However, only 450 out of 550, or 81%, of the total money contributed came from contributions of $90 or less.

The maximum donation by law is $2300. Each single max contribution is greater than 25 $90 contributions. This would magnify the effect I illustrated above. If we had 10 $90 donations and one max donation, the total donations would be $2750. 90% of the individual donations are still $90 or less. But now only 16% of the total amounted donated comes from individual donations of $90 or less.

I suspect the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes. Again, I don't have hard figures on Obama's finances. I just know that the statement presented is ambiguous about which meaning applies.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong:
I'm of a few minds about this. I wish Obama would have accepted the public financing because I don't like the idea of any candidate buying an election, and I'm sure Obama is going to be able to outraise McCain by a large margin. I liked the idea of them going forth with even monetary resources. Then again, why not raise the limit and let individuals donate as much as they'd like?

The good part of public financing, for me, was that it would lead to a campaign that depended on the quality of the message rather than the number of donors. I don't envy McCain's position here. I mean, for a candidate to champion limited government, but then have his hand out to the voters is a peculiar position. The truth is, I'd rather have public financing and relatively free and equal media time for the candidates. I'm not sure that raising money should be the primary objective for the future President of the United States.

Firstly by putting a cap on it, hopefully it will lessen the impact of lobbyists on the electoral process making it a campaign that relies on public support rather then the support of the rich and powerful.

I think the truth of the matter is that I don't think people really trust whichever organization is in charge of "keeping things fair" to remain fair.

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Lyrhawn
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Depending on your opinion, that'd either be the FEC or Congress. I certainly don't trust Congress on it, and as of now, the FEC is without a quorum, and can't do anything at all.

Congressional Democrats are forcing the issue on McCain's own public financing problems, to come to a decision on whether or not he broke the law on loans he received.

I'm surprised McCain hasn't made any comments about his flipflopping on OCS drilling. I agree with Squicky on Obama and public finance though. While I don't have a problem with him opting out of the system, I would have liked to see him give a better explanation.

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Dagonee
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Finally found what looks to be hard data:

quote:
But the taxpayer-financed system, administered by the Federal Election Commission, and Obama's chosen path diverge in significant ways. Obama's campaign isn't built entirely on small donors--about 55 percent of his total haul so far has come from big donors (those giving more than $200), CRP has found.
Not sure why $200 is the cutoff for "big donor."

Here's a summary:

Obama has 141,658 donors who've given over $200, 28,215 who've given the max of $2300. He's received 55% of his money from those giving over $200, and 28% from those giving the max.

For McCain, it's 52,564 donors who've given over $200, 15,953 who've given the max of $2300. He's received 76% of his money from those giving over $200, and 46% from those giving the max.

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katharina
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Woah. From the Fix today:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/

quote:
A single question in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll says all you need to know about the problems facing Republicans in the fall election.

Asked if the election were held today which party's candidate would they vote for in their own congressional district, 53 percent of registered voters said they would back the Democratic candidate, compared with just 38 percent said they would support the Republican candidate.


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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, it's looking ugly for Congressional Republicans this Fall. I think they're going to lose as many as six Senate seats, with only one real chance to pick up a seat, in Louisiana from embattled Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu. Plus I think they'll hold on the Minnesota, as I really don't see Al Franken winning, but you never know. Even he has a lot going for him.

But the problem for Republicans is downticket racing. It was bad enough 2 years ago during the midterms when they took heavy losses, but this time around, Democrats and independents are flocking to and rallying around Obama, which will have a huge effect on downticket racing, which is most significant because Obama is campaigning in every state, which few Democrats I can think of in recent memory have really tried seriously. It will drive up turnout in districts that are usually heavily Republican, largely because Democrats don't bother voting in presidential years because they think there's no point.

Combine that with a glaring lack of enthusiasm on the Republican side, their lack of rallying around McCain as a standard bearer, and the three big failures this year in special election runoffs, most notably in MS-01, and yeah, they have a big, big problem.

I don't think Democrats will come away with a fillibuster proof 60-40 advantage, but I think it could be as wide as 57-43, which will still give them a big advantage. Republicans will have to be careful in how they use their fillibuster, or Democrats will threaten to do what Republicans threatened to do a few years back, which is to change rules to eliminate the fillibuster entirely. And either way, inaction will only spur more losses amongst them, and they'll be forced to negotiate rather than stymie with those kinds of margins. In the House, Republicans have a chance to steal back some of the seats they lost in the midterms. A lot of right leaning Blue Dog Dems got elected to Republican districts by slim margins, and the glow might have worn off two years later, giving a lot of Republicans a chance to win back their seats, but incumbency is a big advantage. Besides, they're going to lose in a lot of new places. I could see a net gain of another 20 seats for Democrats this Fall easily, barring a major shift in the country's politics. If the economy is still bad in six months, which I think it will be, and the war in Iraq isn't doing anything, or even gets worse, then McCain will be in even more trouble, and it'll spell doom all over the map.

Even Ted Stevens of Alaska might lose his seat, which is telling. Alaksa has voted Republican in every presidential election except 1964 since it became a state. He's been in the Senate representing Alaska since 1968, along with Alaska's only Representative, who has been elected to 17 straight terms in office. He's popular because of his ability to bring home a surprising amount of money to a state with a relatively tiny population. But he's facing a big challenge from I think the former mayor of Anchorage, and is also facing multiple charges of corruption and is being investigated by the IRS and FBI.

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scholarette
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I think that more democrats will vote in Texas this year, not enough to flip us, but it will not be the blowout it normally is. The primary showed that there are more of us out there and just knowing that should help get people out voting.
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ElJay
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Plus I think they'll hold on the Minnesota, as I really don't see Al Franken winning, but you never know. Even he has a lot going for him.

Franken isn't the only option. Former Governor Ventura is thinking about entering the race as a third party candidate. [Smile]
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Noemon
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Obama backs FISA legislation
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Lyrhawn
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ElJay -

That's interesting! I hadn't heard that. Ventura is a weird figure in Minnesota politics. He's anti-teacher lobbys, which will hurt him with liberals, but he's also pro abortion, and pro gay rights, which will kill him with the Republicans. With any serious opposition, I wonder if he'd really draw moderate votes from both sides and make it a real three way race. He does have a few good ideas to my mind, but he also seems to be a bit of a gaffe machine, and didn't run for reelection after having a sharp drop in popularity. And all that will come back in a campaign. I don't know enough about politics at the state level in Minnesota to know which side his running would help more.

Noemon -

Looks tactical to me. In general it looks tactical. Democrats caved because they want the issue settled before we really get into the thick of the election so Republicans can't hammer them for being weak on domestic security, and in order to do that they granted retroactive immunity, not even knowing what the hell they are granting immunity for. It was a political move. I'm glad the program has ended, and that FISA courts would be restored to their rightful place, but Americans deserve to know what happened to their records and how such a breach was allowed to happen.

As for Obama, I'm not satisfied with his explanation. On the surface it looks EXACTLY like old school politics and smacks a bit of a sort of betrayal of his espoused principles. The bill still has to be voted on by the Senate I think, so we'll see what happens. I'm most interested in hearing Dodd's speech on the matter, as he has been an ardent and well spoken opponent of the provision, and is also an Obama supporter.

Voting for a bell that has something in it that you oppose isn't automatically wrong. It happens all the time. No bill is perfect and no one is ever 100% totally satisfied with a bill. But the pill he has to swallow here was pretty big. I would have either liked to see him reject the bill entirely with that provision and then campaigned on why he thought he was right, or I would have liked to see something more strong than "we'll get 'em next time!" as his defense for this caving.

Bit of a let down, but that's my knee-jerk reaction. I was pretty stunned when I heard about the deal that Hoyer announced today when I was listening on NPR, and I'm even more stunned to find Obama supporting it. But like most times, I'm still awaiting more details and analysis.

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Lyrhawn
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I'm starting to wonder about the money issue at hand now over fundraising. I'm reading stories about how Obama will raise half a billion dollars for the Fall campaign, and that he'll outspend McCain by as much as 8 to 1, and since McCain will have nearly $90 million for the Fall Campaign, that's a crazy guess.

But Obama's fundraising seems to have tapered off a bit in recent months, even as McCain's has picked up a bit. McCain can't actually raise that much more money from what I understand. Since he is taking public financing, he's limited to what he can raise, and from what I can tell, he's over the limit for what he can spend for the primaries, which technically we're still in for another month and a half.

Election day is four months and change away. Obama has less than $35 million on hand, and he's raising between $35 and $50 million a month on average. Where is this massive war chest supposed to come from that everyone is talking about? Even if he raised $60 million every month for the next four months, he still wouldn't have the vast sums of money that a lot of analysts are talking about. Is there an element I'm missing here, or is there some really faulty journalism going on?

Recent reports have questioned the money advantage that many assume the Democrats will have. May was the weakest month yet for Obama, and was McCain's strongest. The RNC has several times over the funds that the weakened DNC has. That means it will fall on Obama to spend to help a lot of downticket races that traditionally the DNC would fund. Obama has raised almost $300 million so far in this campaign, which is a massive amount of money, but that represents over a year of fundraising. How is he supposed to raise that again, and then another half of that, in three or four months? Something's not right here.

In polling news, Obama has surged to a 15 point lead in a recent Newsweek poll. Not like it means anything this far out.

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Bokonon
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Lyr, the DNC is cash-poor, but the democratic senate and congressional re-election groups have a very large advantage over their Republican counterparts.

At least, if electoral-vote.com is to be believed.

-Bok

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Lyrhawn
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I'm looking at the site, but I don't see where they is any kind of fundraising breakdown. Can you link me?

Edit to add: On rereading your post, are you talking about the DCCC and it's Senate counterpart?

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Lyrhawn
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McCain unveils plan to spur innovation on cars to get us off foreign oil.

quote:
Still, what's clear is that energy policy is a major issue in this year's election, and nothing highlights that more vividly than today's bold proposal by Senator McCain to offer a "$300 million prize for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars."

You read that right: McCain wants the U.S. government to offer $300 million for the development of a car battery that is 30% cheaper than current technology

quote:
For starters, he suggested that automakers that fail to meet current efficiency standards should be subjected to greater fines. He also wants to see Detroit build more flex-fuel vehicles, and proposes more incentives "to increase use of domestic and foreign alcohol-based fuels such as ethanol." (One way he wants to increase the use of foreign ethanol is through the abolition of the tariff on Brazilian ethanol, which is cheaper and far less energy-intensive to produce; he also wants to reduce or eliminate subsidies for American corn-based ethanol) Finally, McCain discussed a 'Clean Car Challenge' that would "provide U.S. automakers with a $5,000 tax credit for every zero-carbon emissions car they develop and sell."
What I'm most curious to hear is how Congressional Republicans respond to this, but I certainly have no problem with it. Private donors have already already come together to create the $10 million X Prize, to the winner of a competition to create a 100mpg car that is commercially viable, and is relatively cheap. But a major boost in funding will I think get more people involved and result in better, faster results.

The tax credit sounds good but, I don't think it'd do much. Tax credits only work for people who pay enough taxes to get the money back. McCain is offering tax credits for so many things, who but the uber wealthy will actually pay enough taxes to actually collect on all these things? Someone making $25K a year isn't going to get enough out of a credit like that to make buying such a car affordable. It's the problem with offering $5K tax credits for health care to the poor when the poor pay few or no taxes.

I think the better solution would be to give the tax credits to the car manufacturers themselves. They can fully realize the benefits, collect full value, and then drop the price of the car accordingly, which will make it much more affordable to regular people. It's either that or I find a rich friend to cosign with so they can write me a check after I buy it.

But the idea is sound, it's beyond sound, it's awesome. I hope Obama comes back with something equally impressive! This is the beginning of what could be the kind of debate on science and technology that I was waiting for. Regardless, it's an impressive announcement that, given the Congress, stands a good chance of becoming law if he's elected.

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