Exclusive: Election 2008 – Is It Over Yet?

by WALTER ANDERSON May 21, 2008

Democrat primary results from Oregon and Kentucky are in, and as predicted, Hillary Clinton wiped the floor with Barack Obama in Kentucky by a 35 point spread (65% to 30%). Here are some Kentucky exit poll stats from Fox News:

  • 65% of Kentucky voters say the economy is the top issue facing America today
  • 45% say they are affected by the economy; 65% of these voters voted for Clinton
  • 47% are looking for change in their candidate; 23% are looking for experience
  • 62% believe Clinton could beat John McCain in November; 35% think Obama could beat McCain
  • Less than half of Kentucky Democrats believe Obama share their values and less than half also think he's honest; only 45% say Clinton is honest
  • 45% of Kentucky voters said the John Edwards endorsement of Obama was important to their vote; 51% said it didn't matter
  • 57% of Kentucky voters think the summer tax holiday is a good idea; 39% said it was not a good idea
  • 53% believe Obama shares the same views of Rev. Wright
  • 88% of Kentucky voters in the primary were white; 71% of them voted for Clinton while only 19% voted for Obama
  • In a Clinton/McCain match up: 77% of Kentucky Democrats would vote for Clinton, 16% would vote for McCain, 5% would stay home.
  • In an Obama/McCain match up: 50% of Kentucky Democrats would vote for Obama, 32% would vote for McCain, 15% would stay home.

And as also expected, Barack Obama trumped Hillary Clinton in Oregon by a 16 point spread (58%-42%). Voter stats from Oregon, courtesy of Fox News:

  • 83% of Oregon voters say sex of candidate not important; 89% say race is not important
  • 68% of Oregon voters say Clinton shares their values; 77% say Obama shares their values
  • Only 26% believe a summer tax holiday is a good idea compared to 63% who say it is not
  • 32% think Obama shares the same views of Rev. Wright; 56% say he does not
  • 61% of Oregon voters think Clinton attacked Obama unfairly while only 39% think Obama attacked Clinton unfairly
  • 49% of voters are looking for a change candidate; 21% are looking for experience
  • 32% think Clinton can beat McCain while 57% think Obama can beat McCain
  • Honesty: 75% say Obama is honest; 51% say Clinton is honest
  • The women's vote is tight: 50% voted for Obama, 49% voted for Clinton
  • Union voters went 60% for Obama, 37% for Clinton
  • Seniors: 55% voted for Clinton, 43% for Obama
  • In a Clinton/McCain match up: 84% of Oregon Democrats would vote for Clinton, 11% would vote for McCain, 3% would stay home
  • In an Obama/McCain match up: 82% of Oregon Democrats would vote for Obama, 12% would vote for McCain, 2% would stay home

The delegate count for Democrats now stands at 1,949 for Barack Obama, 1,768 for Hillary Clinton. 2,026 delegates are needed to capture the Democrat nomination.

I think we will all breathe a sigh of relief when June 3rd has come and gone and the final primary contest of election 2008 is over. Will we finally have the Democrat nominee in place so the discussion between the two presidential candidates can address the real issues?

It seems as though the general election has finally begun, for in the past week or so, the sniping between the candidates has strayed across party lines:

  • John McCain said that Hamas would be pleased if Barack Obama was elected President (Hamas did, in fact, state that they support Obama's foreign policy position). Obama's response was to say he would not sit down in negotiation with Hamas until they renounce terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist.
  • McCain questioned Obama's association with homegrown terrorist William Ayers, who bombed public buildings and killed people in the 1960s and is now a university professor and served on a board of directors with Obama. Ayers also hosted a fund raiser for Obama in the past and lives near him. Obama says he is friendly with Ayers, but is no particular friend.
  • Oregon Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, an Obama supporter, brought up the McCain association with the Keating Five savings and loan scandal of 20 years ago when he introduced Obama at an Oregon rally. Off limits? Not according to Obama, who said, "John McCain's public record about issues that he's apologized for and written about is germane to the presidency...I can't quarrel with the American people wanting to know more about that."

Making these revelations from both the McCain and the Obama sides even more ridiculous is the fact that they had both promised to carry on a truthful and respectful campaign versus each other only a short time before these charges surfaced. I say let's PLEASE get on with the campaign and stop the irrelevant theatrics.

On another note, Sen.Ted Kennedy remarked that Hillary Clinton should not be Obama's running mate because the position requires "real leadership." A spokesman later clarified Kennedy's position, saying Clinton is eminently qualified but that Obama would not pick her due to the campaign differences. Then again, my opinion of Sen. Kennedy is that sometimes he says things in order to hear himself talk. However, I do wish him well upon learning that he has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

To say Clinton and Obama have strong campaign differences is a gross understatement. I cannot see how they could work closely together or even support and campaign for each other after the rough and tumble primary season. There has been little if any respect shown by either for the other and the name calling, accusations and disrespect by the staff on both sides has been way overboard. The voters are tiring of it and the distraction caused is out of hand. Several ranking officials in the Democrat Party have commented that the two candidates are dividing the party and that bringing the race question back into the campaign by Clinton when she said he was losing his white supporters could be hurting the party at the core.

Last week, former presidential contender John Edwards gave his endorsement of Barack Obama for president (expected, in my opinion). Some wonder why he waited so long; why didn't he speak up in March? My personal theory is that in the rush to garner his favor after he withdrew from the race by both Clinton and Obama, a deal was struck between he and Obama that his announcement should wait until the most opportune moment, especially after a landslide win by Clinton (should that take place) to take the "sparkle" off Clinton and place it back on Obama. This need occurred after the stellar and lopsided showing by Clinton in West Virginia. Obama's camp expected the loss, but I don't think they anticipated a loss with a vote spread in excess of 41%. I think the planning may have also included that the announcement be made in Michigan where Clinton garnered so many votes as the only Democrat candidate on the ballot. The delegates from Michigan and Florida have been refused seating by the DNC but it is doubtful that will remain in force. The Edwards endorsement would take advantage of that situation and help in bringing back the labor vote (working class Democrats) to Obama after his offensive choice of words describing them in Pennsylvania.

Edwards and Obama together, as noted in the Nation , looked good together: "They looked like a ticket." But I'm not sure plugging Edwards into the VP slot would be a smart thing for Obama to do. Edwards went nowhere in his 2004 presidential bid and he obviously didn't do much to enhance John Kerry's campaign as his running mate. Add to that his unremarkable try for the Democrat nomination this year and I believe his endorsement of Obama will be more of a hindrance than a help. When Edwards was being courted back in March, I wrote that I thought he might be trolling for the Attorney General spot or even a cherished cabinet post if either Clinton or Obama was elected - and I still think that is a plausible scenario.

To make things even more interesting, in an audio clip of Clinton after the West Virginia contest, she was praising Obama's positions in specific areas and seemed to be subtly indicating she may be open to the VP position if offered. I'm beginning to waver on my statement that she would never accept a VP slot should she not get the nomination. Reality may have finally set in and she may accept it if offered BUT still only as an intro to the 2012 or 2016 election.

Who might John McCain tap as his running mate? This Human Events article touts Mitch Daniels as a possible pick, pointing out his abilities in budgeting and economics that McCain sorely needs. Not only does Daniels have White House budget experience (and was political director for Reagan for two years), but since being governor of Indiana he has trimmed expenses, cut taxes and modified tax laws to both benefit small business and lure industry to the state. Daniels sounds like a good choice for McCain's short list for sure.

Human Events also ran and article on Michael Steele as a possible McCain pick for VP. This choice has always intrigued me as Steele is an African-American and the former lieutenant governor of Maryland who lost his bid for the U.S. Senate in 2006. He is one of the best known African-American Republicans in the country. He has experience, he can help draw the black vote, and while his politics are not as conservative as many on the far Right would like, he could add balance to the McCain ticket with his pro-life beliefs, his support of tax cuts and the fact he is a strong Catholic. Other blacks that might be considered by McCain would be J.C. Watts, Lynn Swann and Ken Blackwell.

Other possible choices for McCain include Tim Pawlenty, Duncan Hunter and Mark Sanford who, in addition to Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin, Rob Portman and Rep. Paul Ryan, are also briefly noted by Human Events. There has been no definitive information on who may be chosen or even for that matter as to who is on the short list that McCain is no doubt agonizing over. Many people have opined that McCain winning or losing the election could lie in his choice for Vice President! McCain needs someone to pull in the conservatives who doubt him and also have a background in areas where he is short on knowledge. The final choice will be interesting.

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