Mitt Romney will win the Michigan Republican primary, CNN projects.
The polls aren’t closed yet in Michigan’s westernmost counties, but early results are trickling in from the rest of the state. On the GOP side, it’s Romney 37%, McCain 31%, Huckabee 16%, Paul 6%, Thompson 4%, Giuliani 3%, Uncommitted 3%, with 5 percent of the precincts reporting. The Mitt-McCain-Huck split is pretty consistent with the leaked exit poll numbers.
Meanwhile, on the Dem side, it’s Clinton 62%, Uncommitted 33%, Kucinich 4%, with 6 percent reporting. Will Hillary beat Uncommitted 2-to-1? So far, she’s not!
UPDATE: CNN calls it for Romney.
Other networks, too.
Mitt takes home the gold!
P.S. You know what this means? Chaos!
UPDATE 2: On the Dem side, exit polls show that among African-Americans, it’s Uncommitted 69%, Clinton 25%! This does not bode well for Hillary’s chances in South Carolina.
UPDATE, 10:13 PM: Uncommitted is closing the gap!! With 59 percent of the precincts reporting, it’s now Clinton 58%, Uncommitted 37%. Hillary’s already under her embarassment threshold, and I’m guessing there are some urban precincts still to report, as they tend to come in late. With Hillary’s horrendous showing among African-American voters, could this end up something like 55% to 40%? That would be humiliating on the order of Bush-Buchanan New Hampshire ‘92, no?
In any event, it certainly looks like a moral victory for Uncommitted!
P.S. Welcome, InstaPundit readers!
UPDATE, 6:51 AM: Did I call it or what? With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, it’s Hillary 55%, Uncommitted 40%, just like I predicted above. Kucinich got 4%, Dodd 1% (his first breakthrough into single digits!), Gravel 0%.
But wait — here comes the spin! Clinton’s campaign manager says, “Tonight Michigan Democrats spoke loudly for a new beginning.” And so they did: they gave nobody in particular almost as many votes as the “inevitable” Mrs. Clinton!
Breaking news from the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “The Nevada Supreme Court says MSNBC does not have to allow Dennis Kucinich on stage tonight for the Democratic debate.”
Good. A terrible precedent is reversed.
P.S. Added bonus: the Kucinich Krazies’ blubberingly angry reactions will be amusing to watch.
As for the substance of the debate, Halperin reports that each candidate will get to ask each other candidate two questions. Also, Tim Russert has suggested that there will be questions about the recent racial controversy.
In other Nevada-related news, the Review-Journal will reportedly endorse Obama tomorrow.
UPDATE 2: You can watch the debate live here.
Via NRO: “I’m hearing the first round of exit polls have Romney 35, McCain 29, Huckabee 15, Ron Paul 10, Giuliani 4. [What about Fred? -ed.] This doesn’t count absentee ballots. … Of course, all the standard disclaimers apply, and the later voters may differ from the early rounds, and the polls are still open, so if you’re a Michigander, go out and vote for your favorite.”
Derek has more in comments on my previous post.
UPDATE: Drudge says, “FINAL EXIT POLLS SHOW: Romney 34, McCain 28, Huckabee 17.”
More here on the exit polls.
Real numbers will soon begin to trickle in here.
UPDATE 2: In comments, Brian Foster suggests that Wolf Blitzer just accidentally tipped his hand on air:
Wolf just slipped up: “once the polls are closed we’ll be able to make some — we’ll possibly be able to make some projections . . . ”
CNN calls it for Romney at 9:01.
We’ll see soon enough.
Appalachian State Michigan primary is today, and various anecdotal reports suggest that turnout is low. The conventional wisdom is that low turnout helps Mitt Romney, who gets more support from the more committed, rock-ribbed Republicans (whereas McCain is counting on some crossover votes from independents and Democrats). Then again, the conventional wisdom was that high turnout in New Hampshire favored Obama, and we all know how that turned out. (Besides, the Daily Kos "Democrats for Mitt" campaign may screw up this calculus.)
Anyway, I’m thinking that the reports of low turnout, and the CW that Mitt would benefit from same, probably account for Romney’s InTrade surge this afternoon. Or maybe the bettors know something we don’t — but I wouldn’t, er, bet on that. InTrade doesn’t have a great track record this election season so far: "The price movement tends to respond to conventional wisdom and polling data; it doesn’t lead them."
Meanwhile, as Romney and McCain battle it out for the Republican/netroots vote, the question on the Democratic side — with the Boyz 4 Change off the ballot, and zero delegates at stake — is what percentage of the vote Hillary Clinton must get to avoid embarrassment. Her chief opponent, "Uncommitted," has been polling above 30 percent. (Kucinich, Gravel and Dodd are also on the ballot, along with a space for write-ins.)
Anyway… predictions? On the theory that "conventional wisdom is always wrong," I’m saying it’ll be McCain 31%, Romney 28%, Huckabee 20%, Fredmentum 10%, Giuliani 6%, Paul 4%, others 1%… and, on the Dem side, Clinton 59%, Uncommitted 27%, Write-Ins 7%, Kucinich 6.3%, Dodd 0.5%, Gravel 0.2%. (Write-in votes for Edwards and Obama don’t actually count — those supporters would be better off voting "Uncommitted" — but a lot of voters won’t know that.)
Clearly, the Titans hate Asian people. ;)
Not sure why Brendan didn’t mention it, but Macworld Expo 2008 has kicked off with Steve Jobs annual keynote address about 45 minutes ago. The event is not being streamed live but a number of sites including Macworld, Engadget, Gizmodo and MacRumorsLive are live blogging the event.
So far Steve has introduced software upgrades for the iPhone/iPod Touch and an Airport base station that includes a harddrive for wireless use with Leopards Time Machine backup feature.
Now up? The anticipated iTunes movie rentals and an update to the iTV that allows you to purchase songs and movies directly. More to come later, check out the links above for live coverage.
UPDATE: The rumors were true, Apple is releasing a sub-notebook, the 13.3" MacBook Air and DANG that thing is thin. To give you an idea, it easily fits in manila buisness envelope (the type you might use for interoffice mail). At its thickest its .74".
UPDATE 2: How thin is it? See for yourself! Apple has updated their site with the new info from today’s keynote.
What does everyone think of the new & improved (?) politics blogroll in the sidebar at right?
I added a bunch of the sites y’all suggested, as well as some others, and did my best to break the links up into three (admittedly somewhat fuzzy) categories — while avoiding those arbitrary "left" and "right" labels.
Did I miss anything important? Is anything miscategorized? Did I add too much, make it too long/cluttered? If so, what should I take out?
Both Clinton and Obama have eagerly donned the mantle of identity
politics. A Clinton victory wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just be a victory for one woman,
it would be a victory for little girls everywhere. An Obama victory
would be about completing the dream, keeping the dream alive, and so on.
Fair enough. The problem is that both the feminist movement Clinton
rides and the civil rights rhetoric Obama uses were constructed at a
time when the enemy was the reactionary white male establishment.
Today, they are not facing the white male establishment. They are
facing each other.
All the rhetorical devices that have been a staple of identity politics
are now being exploited by the Clinton and Obama campaigns against each
other. They are competing to play the victim. They are both accusing
each other of insensitivity. They are both deliberately misinterpreting
each otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comments in order to somehow imply that the other is
All the habits of verbal thuggery that have long been used against
critics of affirmative action, like Ward Churchill [Connerly? -ed.] and Thomas Sowell,
and critics of the radical feminism, like Christina Hoff Summers, are
now being turned inward by the Democratic front-runners. …
[T]his whole show seems stale and deranged to the younger set, as Obama
and Clinton seemed to recognize when they damped down the feud
yesterday afternoon. The interesting split is not between the feminist
and civil rights Old Bulls, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s between the establishments of both
movements, who emphasize top-down change, and the younger dissenters,
(Hat tip: InstaPundit.)
Brooks also mentions that, presumably before yesterday’s detente, "Obama’s campaign drew up a memo delineating all of the ClintonsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ supposed racial outrages." That’s the first I’ve heard of that. Does anyone know anything else about this supposed memo? Is it online somewhere? Was it actually released, or just "drawn up" and then discarded when Obama decided to declare a truce?
Finally, a post-debate poll is out in South Carolina, and it shows Fred Thompson surging into a virtual tie for second place with Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. According to Rasmussen, John McCain leads with 28%, followed by Huck (19%), Mitt (17%) and Fred (16%).
The previous Rasmussen poll, four days ago, had McCain at 27%, Huck at 24%, Mitt at 16% and Fred at 12%. So it looks like Thompson’s frontal assault on Huckabee’s conservative credentials is working: Huck’s down 5 points and Fred’s up 4. Fred-mentum!
Says Fred File: "We are not surprised. South Carolinians know a consistent
conservative when they see one. … Fred has the conservative message Republicans
crave; he has the ideas to keep America secure and strong; and he has
the leadership ability to keep the Reagan coalition together."
Now Thompson needs McCain to bury Romney tonight in Michigan, thus hopefully turning the Palmetto State into, effectively, a three-man race. You’d have to think a lot of Romney’s support among National Review-ish conservatives would go to Thompson if the king of silver medals drops out (or, more likely, stays in the race but looks like a lost cause). The question then becomes whether a strong second-place finish in South Carolina (behind McCain, well ahead of Huck) would be enough to keep Fred’s campaign going, or whether he needs to go on the attack against McCain, in a "win at all costs" gambit.
[UPDATE, 2:02 PM: I guess that answers that!]
Methinks a strong second might be good enough. If Romney fades, the stars may be aligning for Fred to become the anointed "real conservative" alternative to McCain, Huckabee and Giuliani heading into Super Tuesday. But he needs South Carolina to, at the very least, make him look like a credible contender. (And, not unrelatedly, he needs money.)
P.S. Can Thompson make a play for (at least second place in) Florida? He’s polling in fifth now, but that could change, no? He was a distant fourth (fifth, by some measures) in South Carolina a few days ago, and now he’s in the thick of it. Thompson is sort of like the anti-Hillary: the more people pay attention to him, the more they like him. Maybe he just needs to jump and down and say, "Look at me!!"
On the other hand, Florida’s early voting is an obstacle.
P.P.S. What about Maine?? Its caucuses are right between Florida and Super Tuesday, so everyone else will be ignoring it.* Maybe Fred can bomb the state with some last-minute ads, and/or a brief campaign visit, and pull off a stunning upset — which he could then parlay into further Fred-mentum and, more importantly, pre-Super Tuesday campaign contributions.
Only one problem: are there any actual conservatives up in Maine? :)
P.P.P.S. Can Fred win the Perot vote?
*…unless a desperate Romney goes there in search of another "gold" before February 5. Mitt Romney, President of Wyoming and Maine!
UPDATE: "Actually there are lots of conservatives in Maine," writes Jane, in comments. I actually don’t know a lot of Maine’s political makeup, so I will defer to the superior wisdom of anyone who does. My reference to the "Perot vote" wasn’t a joke — you gotta be at least somewhat temperamentally conservative to vote for Perot, no? Not to mention, willing to buck conventional wisdom? Well, ol’ H. Ross finished second in the Pine Tree State. My gut tells me there could actually be an opening for Fred, if the conditions are right (e.g., McCain and Giuliani focusing their efforts elsewhere, Romney doing the same or already out of the race).
This is a terrible precedent:
A Nevada judge said Monday that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich must be included in Tuesday’s candidates’ debate in Nevada.
Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson said if Kucinich is excluded, he’ll issue an injunction stopping the televised debate. …
A lawyer for the network said MSNBC decided to go with the top three candidates after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.
The judge called it a matter of fairness and said Nevada voters will benefit if they hear from more than just Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
He might be right. Maybe it would be better, and "fairer," if Kucinich had been invited. But a judge has no business telling the news media whom to invite to their debates. MSNBC is appealing the state Supreme Court, as they should. If that appeal is denied or not heard in time, they should cancel the debate on principle. They can’t allow their own journalistic decision-making to be hijacked like this.
P.S. Or they could just let Kucinich stand there, but not give him any time to answer questions. Would Judge Thompson issue an emergency injunction in the middle of the debate? Heh.
P.P.S. There were 42 candidates on the New Hampshire ballot, including such illustrious characters as Vermin Supreme, whose platform includes a "mandatory tooth brushing law," and Jack Shepard, who believes the Mossad had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. Why didn’t the judiciary in the Granite State force the media to include them all in the debates? Maybe next time around, they will! Where will it end? You have to draw the line somewhere, and there is no principled legal basis on which a judge can draw that line; it’s an inherently subjective and political decision. It should be left to the debate organizers. Obviously. I can’t decide if this is tragedy or farce.
UPDATE: Apparently Kucinich’s argument is based in part on a breach-of-contract claim, i.e., that MSNBC breached a contract to have him on the debate (as it had previously invited him, and then un-invited him). I don’t know whether that claim is actually meritorious, but if it is, then I have no problem — or far less of a problem, anyway — with the court ruling in Kucinich’s favor, provided it’s on that basis alone. It’s only if the court is forcing MSNBC to include Kucinich on "fairness" or "public policy" grounds that I have a serious problem with it. Enforcing a private contract is another matter. (Although, specific performance is not usually awarded in contract cases; money damages are much more common. But how would you calculate damages in a case like this?)