Friday, October 31, 2008

Join Obama in Chicago

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

From the Obama campaign:

I want you to be there with me on Election Night when the results come in.

We're planning a big event that will include tens of thousands of supporters in Grant Park in downtown Chicago.
Version 1:
We're saving some of the best seats in the house for 5 people who have given to the campaign before -- and who decide to make a donation one last time before Sunday at midnight.
Version 2:
We're saving some of the best seats in the house for 5 people who make their first donation to the campaign before Sunday at midnight.
If you're selected, you can bring a guest, and we'll fly you in and put you up in a hotel for the night. You'll go backstage at the big event and -- no matter what happens -- you'll have a front row seat to history as we celebrate the supporters who got us over the finish line.
Version 1
Any donation counts -- whatever you can afford. Show your support at this crucial time with a donation of $100 or more, and you could join me on Election Night:
Version 2
Any donation counts -- whatever you can afford. Show your support at this crucial time with a donation of $5 or more, and you could join me on Election Night:

This movement for change has been a testament to the power of ordinary Americans coming together to achieve extraordinary things.

I look forward to having you there on Election Night.

Thank you,


Republicans for Obama

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The list is getting longer and longer: Colin Powell, Lincoln Chafee, William Weld, and many others. Update: And Ron Reagan.

There's a good list, with quotes from the endorsements, here.

And you can go the Obama site to join the official Republicans for Obama group.

Comparing Volunteer Efforts

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

FiveThirtyEight has a great look at the volunteer efforts in the two campaigns...

When the offices are open, they have reduced hours. We can confidently plan to get evening good-light photographs of a town after we visit the local McCain office, because we know it will be closing by 5 pm, as the office in Wilmington, North Carolina was this past Sunday. The plan is, get to inevitably closed/closing McCain office, get an hour of photos near sunset, then visit the bustling local Obama office.
Read the full post here.

The Governors' Mansions

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

There are 11 gubernatorial races this year. Here is a list of 8 of them, and I think you'll see why there's not much to say. Polling numbers from Pollster, rounded:

Markell 62%
Lee 28%
Protack 4%

Daniels 53%
Long Thompson 37%

Nixon (yes, the Democrat) 55%
Hulshof 38%

Schweitzer 58%
Brown 35%
Jones 4%

New Hampshire:
Lynch 68%
Kenney 16%

North Dakota:
Hoeven 69%
Matem 20%

Huntsman 74%
Springmeyer 14%

West Virginia:
Manchin 71%
Weeks 21%

And not a worthwhile scandal between the lot of them.

And then there are 3 other races. Two are legitimate toss-ups, and one is completely under the radar.

The two close races are in Washington and North Carolina.

Washington is a rematch between Christine Gregoire(incumbent) 49.3%, and Dino Rossi 42.7%. She won by 129 votes in 2004. They both have energized bases, money, and it's a dogfight, as they say. Governor Gregoire has on her side that Washington has had a Democrat in the Governor's Mansion since 1985.

North Carolina is an open race because Mike Easley is term limited. (As an aside, if you missed him on TV a few weeks ago, he was asked if he thought there would be a Bradley effect in NC. He responded that he had it on good authority that there would be a REVERSE Bradley effect. His "good authority" was his barber. Governor Easley said that, in case you didn't know, his barber is licensed by the State of North Carolina to hold a straight razor to people's necks. Therefore, he assumed that the information his barber collected was honest. But I digress.)

The race is between Bev Perdue, currently Lt. Governor, and Pat McCrory, currently mayor of Charlotte. (His was an ugly primary.) The numbers are Perdue 45.7%, McCrory 44.4%. There is a third party candidate pulling about 3% of the vote, but that hasn't affected the trend line. OK, let me be a little more honest - I've read his positions, and I can't tell which candidate he's pulling from. More to the point, the race will likely be decided by turnout.

Which brings us to Vermont. Here are the numbers:

Jim Douglas, popular incumbent, Republican, 45%
Gaye Symington, Democrat, current Vt House Speaker, 24%
Tony Pollina, variable party affiliation, 19%

And if you think you know who's going to win, you don't know Vermont. My money is on Gaye Symington, unless people find out about the tax return thing. Remember, Vermont is predominantly a blue state, although they don't always elect Democrats. For example, Bernie Sanders is an Independent. Not a TLB "independent", but a really left wing guy.

So here's the thing. To win, you need over 50% of the vote, and if not, the race is decided in the State legislature. The vote is by secret ballot, from all the state reps and senators. Want to guess to which party the majority of them belong? And by the way, they're not back in session until January.

HOWEVER, there may be a Symington problem. She released records earlier this year making it look like she and her husband filed their taxes separately, when they really had filed jointly. She doesn't want to release those. I'm not clear on what precisely what is IN those returns, but tax return problems didn't work out so well for Geri Ferraro, amoung others.

Pollina started out as a member of the Vermont Progressive Party, which was formed by Sanders supporters after he became mayor of Burlington years ago. But then, he decided over the summer to run as an independent. He's a long term PIRG guy, which isn't necessarily playing well this year since the local issue (besides the economy) relates to a child rape case. While Douglas has the law and order/more incarceration platform, Symington is law and order plus more and better policing. Pollina is taking the "societal problem" using terms like "objectification of women" and "glorification of violence". It will be hard to win with that.

So there you have it. Races in a nutshell. HOWEVER - the races for 2010 start next week. There are 36 races, and there are a number that ALREADY fascinate me, so you'll be hearing about them in the coming months.

Video Your Vote

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

YouTube and PBS have teamed up for Video Your Vote.

Click here to see a map of all the videos that have been submitted.

Another cool thing they're doing is the Twitter Vote Report where you can report on your voting experience.
There's even an IPhone App for it.

Question of the Day

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

With the election only days away, we're filling out our sample ballots now (ah heck, we knew who we were votin' for months ago). Though there is one race in which non-Democrats out west may seek some advice.

Who to vote for in the Alaska U.S. Senate race?

Change-oriented voters (which there seem to be a lot of these days) are gravitating towards Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, while there is dwindling support for Republican and (recently convicted) U.S. Senator Republican Ted Stevens.

So, Governor Palin - who ya votin' for?

Polling Update - October 31st - 96 more hours

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

"For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire," - Barack Obama
Rasmussen Tracking Poll: Obama 51, McCain 47 (Obama 51, McCain 46).
Hotline: Obama 48, McCain 41 (Obama 48, McCain 42).
Daily Kos: Obama 51, McCain 45 (Obama 50, McCain 45).
Gallup: Obama 52, McCain 43 (Obama 50, McCain 45).

Four poll average: Obama 50.5, McCain 44 (Obama 49.75, McCain 44.5).

Here's the overall national trend from

Gallup's expanded model is at 52-43. It was at 51-44 yesterday.

From Now Until Wednesday...

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

You won’t be hearing much from me in the following 4 days. I have pre-scheduled posts on the gubernatorial races, plus what it’s like to be inside the polls on Election Day, and a couple other little tidbits. HOWEVER, as of 2 pm this afternoon, when I oversee the installation of 13 new phone lines, it is all GOTV, all the time.

So, while I usually try to respond to comments as quickly as possible, it won’t happen until after the election. Also, no polls. (Sorry) They will return next Wednesday.
I’m going to give you a little update about where I’m going to be, and how you can follow me.

Lucky for all of us...

Matt, Oreo and Ed will be posting, so you won’t miss anything of import.

I, however, will miss them, and you!


Welcome To My World

Here in my little world of 5 townships, we have a canvass location, and a separate phone bank location. They are about a mile apart. We'll be launching 4 canvass shifts a day each day. There will be lit drops and door knocks to houses we've already identified as Obama-voters to make sure everyone knows what times the polls are open, where the polls are, and answering questions anyone might have about the ballot. At the phone banks, we'll be making final persuasion calls to pre-identified undecided voters (don't get me started, yes, I know who they are), and GOTV calls to answer questions. The phone bank also serves as the place where we handle any fires that may need to be put out.

On Tuesday, we'll be launching cars for people who need rides, and collecting data from our people at the polls. We have emergency lawyers in place. So, if someone is canvassing, and they come across a voter who says "I'd like to vote, but my car won't start", our canvasser calls us, and we send a car. When we did voter registration, we told all the registrants that if they had a problem at the polls, to find someone draped in Obama gear. If there is a poll problem, the volunteer calls us, and we contact the County Legal Team, and a lawyer is dispatched to that polling place to mediate the dispute. The legal team itself will be driving from poll to poll to check out how things are going. Within the county, there are a few areas which we predict have the highest possibility of problems, and for those, there will be a lawyer on site all day.

Personally, I've been assigned to coordinate the phone bank Saturday through Monday. On Tuesday, I'll be at my local polls from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. While the polls don't open until 7, I'll be handing out coffee and donuts to the early line. Then, I vote. After, off to the phone bank, and then back to the polls to work the 2:30 – whenever shift checking people in, handing out ballots, and then counting the votes. (Posts on this scheduled already for Tuesday)

Starting later today, you can follow me on twitter. You can also follow Oreo on twitter, and if you follow HIM, you’ll get notified of all the DCW posts.

Twitter Information
: go to twitter and set up an account. Then, click on "Find People" in the upper right of the screen, and then use the "Search" tab. Use OreoDemConWatch for Oreo's feed and DocJessDCW for my feed. Then, if you're at your computer, you can leave your twitter feed open, and you'll read in real time what we're doing, when we do it. You can also access twitter from your Blackberry or iPhone. Oreo's favourite Blackberry application is tinytwitter, my favourite IPhone app is twitterforiphone. These are not text messages, so you don't pay to receive them, they're part of your internet phone package.

And before I go…remember to vote!
Call, email or text everyone you know who is a new voter, or a sometimes voter to remind them.
Call your local Obama office if you know someone who needs a ride, or other assistance, and they’ll handle it.

Stay with DemConWatch after the election for the best Transition and Inauguration coverage.

Barack Obama's speech in Des Moines, Iowa

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama (as prepared for delivery)
Friday, October 31st, 2008
Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa, I have just two words for you: four days.

After decades of broken politics in Washington, eight years of failed policies from George Bush, and twenty-one months of a campaign that has taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are four days away from change in America.

In four days, you can turn the page on policies that have put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street.

In four days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle-class, create new jobs, and grow this economy so that everyone has a chance to succeed; from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor; from the factory owner to the men and women who work on its floor.

In four days, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope.

In four days, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country the change we need.

We began this journey in the depths of winter nearly two years ago, on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Back then, we didn’t have much money or many endorsements. We weren’t given much of a chance by the polls or the pundits, and we knew how steep our climb would be.

But I also knew this. I knew that the size of our challenges had outgrown the smallness of our politics. I believed that Democrats and Republicans and Americans of every political stripe were hungry for new ideas, new leadership, and a new kind of politics – one that favors common sense over ideology; one that focuses on those values and ideals we hold in common as Americans.

Most of all, I knew the American people were a decent, generous people willing to work hard and sacrifice for future generations. I was convinced that when we come together, our voices are more powerful than the most entrenched lobbyists, or the most vicious political attacks, or the full force of a status quo in Washington that wants to keep things just the way they are.

Twenty-one months later, my faith in the American people has been vindicated. That’s how we’ve come so far and so close – because of you. That’s how we’ll change this country – with your help. And that’s why we can’t afford to slow down, sit back, or let up for one day, one minute, or one second in this last week. Not now. Not when so much is at stake.

We are in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 760,000 workers have lost their jobs this year. Businesses and families can’t get credit. Home values are falling. Pensions are disappearing. It’s gotten harder and harder to make the mortgage, or fill up your gas tank, or even keep the electricity on at the end of the month.

At a moment like this, the last thing we can afford is four more years of the tired, old theory that says we should give more to billionaires and big corporations and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. The last thing we can afford is four more years where no one in Washington is watching anyone on Wall Street because politicians and lobbyists killed common-sense regulations. Those are the theories that got us into this mess. They haven’t worked, and it’s time for change. That’s why I’m running for President of the United States.

Now, Senator McCain has served this country honorably. And he can point to a few moments over the past eight years where he has broken from George Bush. Just this morning, the McCain campaign put out an ad that showed me praising him and Senator Lieberman for their work on global warming – as if there’s something wrong with acknowledging when an opponent has said or done something that makes sense. I think we need more of that in Washington. I don’t disagree with Senator McCain on everything, and I respect his occasional displays of independence.

But when it comes to the economy – when it comes to the central issue of this election – the plain truth is that John McCain has stood with this President every step of the way. Voting for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that he once opposed. Voting for the Bush budgets that spent us into debt. Calling for less regulation twenty-one times just this year. Those are the facts.

And now, after twenty-one months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he’d do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy. Senator McCain says that we can’t spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change, but you understand that the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have failed us for the last eight years.

It’s not change when John McCain wants to give a $700,000 tax cut to the average Fortune 500 CEO. It’s not change when he wants to give $200 billion to the biggest corporations or $4 billion to the oil companies or $300 billion to the same Wall Street banks that got us into this mess. It’s not change when he comes up with a tax plan that doesn’t give a penny of relief to more than 100 million middle-class Americans.

We’ve tried it John McCain’s way. We’ve tried it George Bush’s way. Deep down, Senator McCain knows that, which is why his campaign said that “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” That’s why he’s spending these last weeks calling me every name in the book. Because that’s how you play the game in Washington. When you can’t win on the strength of your ideas, you make a big election about small things.

So I expect we’re going to see a lot more of that over the next four days. More of the slash and burn, say-anything, do-anything politics that’s calculated to divide and distract; to tear us apart instead of bringing us together.

A couple of elections ago, there was a presidential candidate who decried this kind of politics and condemned these kinds of tactics. And I admired him for it – we all did. He said, “I will not take the low road to the highest office in this land.” Those words were spoken eight years ago by my opponent, John McCain. But the high road didn’t lead him to the White House then, so this time, he decided to take a different route.

Now, I know campaigns are tough. Because we’ve got real differences about big issues and we care passionately about this country’s future. And make no mistake, we will respond swiftly and forcefully with the truth to whatever falsehoods they throw our way. The stakes are too high to do anything less.

But Iowa, at this moment, in this election, we have the chance to do more than just beat back this kind of politics – we have the chance to end it once and for all.

We have the chance to prove that the one thing more powerful than the politics of anything-goes – the one thing the cynics didn’t count on – is the will of the American people.

We have the chance to prove that we are more than a collection of Red States and Blue States – we are the United States of America.

That’s how we’ll steer ourselves out of this crisis – with a new politics for a new time. That’s how we’ll build the future we know is possible – as one people, as one nation. And that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.

Iowa, I know these are difficult times. But I also know that we have faced difficult times before. The American story has never been about things coming easy – it’s been about rising to the moment when the moment was hard. It’s about rejecting fear and division for unity of purpose. That’s how we’ve overcome war and depression. That’s how we’ve won great struggles for civil rights and women’s rights and workers’ rights. And that’s how we’ll write the next great chapter in the American story. We just need a new direction.

Understand, if we want get through this crisis, we need to get beyond the old ideological debates and divides between left and right. We don’t need bigger government or smaller government. We need a better government – a more competent government – a government that upholds the values we hold in common as Americans.

We don’t have to choose between letting our financial system run wild, and stifling growth and innovation. As President, I will ensure that the financial rescue plan Congress passed helps stop foreclosures and protects your money instead of enriching CEOs. And I will put in place the common-sense regulations I’ve been calling for throughout this campaign so that Wall Street can never cause a crisis like this again. That’s the change we need.

The choice in this election isn’t between tax cuts and no tax cuts. It’s about whether you believe we should only reward wealth, or whether we should also reward the work and workers who create it. I will give a tax break to 95% of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paychecks every week. I’ll eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000 and give homeowners and working parents more of a break. And I’ll help pay for this by asking the folks who are making more than $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rate they were paying in the 1990s. No matter what Senator McCain may claim, here are the facts – if you make under $250,000, you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime – not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes. Nothing. Because the last thing we should do in this economy is raise taxes on the middle-class.

When it comes to jobs, the choice in this election is not between putting up a wall around America or standing by and doing nothing. The truth is, we won’t be able to bring back every job that we’ve lost, but that doesn’t mean we should follow John McCain’s plan to keep giving tax breaks to corporations that send American jobs overseas and promoting unfair trade agreements. I will end those breaks as President, and I will give American businesses a $3,000 tax credit for every job they create right here in the United States of America. I’ll eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-up companies that are the engine of job creation in this country. We’ll create two million new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, and bridges, and schools, and by laying broadband lines to reach every corner of the country. And I will invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade – jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced; jobs building solar panels and wind turbines and a new electricity grid; jobs that will help us eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in ten years and help save the planet in the bargain. That’s how America can lead again.

When it comes to health care, we don’t have to choose between a government-run health care system and the unaffordable one we have now. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change under my plan is that we will lower premiums. If you don’t have health insurance you’ll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that Members of Congress get for themselves. And as someone who watched his own mother spend the final months of her life arguing with insurance companies because they claimed her cancer was a pre-existing condition and didn’t want to pay for treatment, I will stop insurance companies from discriminating against those who are sick and need care most.

When it comes to giving every child a world-class education, the choice is not between more money and more reform – because our schools need both. As President, I will invest in early childhood education, recruit an army of new teachers, pay them more, and give them more support. But I will also demand higher standards and more accountability from our teachers and our schools. And I will make a deal with every American who has the drive and the will but not the money to go to college: if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford your tuition.

And when it comes to keeping this country safe, we don’t have to choose between retreating from the world and fighting a war without end in Iraq. It’s time to stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while the Iraqi government sits on a huge surplus. As President, I will end this war by asking the Iraqi government to step up, and I will finally finish the fight against bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. I will never hesitate to defend this nation. From day one of this campaign, I have made clear that we will increase our ground troops and our investments in the finest fighting force the world has ever known. Watching our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines fight in Iraq and Afghanistan has only deepened my commitment to invest in 21st century technologies so that our men and women have the best training and equipment when they deploy into combat and the care and benefits they have earned when they come home.

I won’t stand here and pretend that any of this will be easy – especially now. The cost of this economic crisis, and the cost of the war in Iraq, means that Washington will have to tighten its belt and put off spending on things we don’t need. As President, I will go through the federal budget, line-by-line, ending programs that we don’t need and making the ones we do need work better and cost less.

But as I’ve said from the day we began this journey all those months ago, the change we need isn’t just about new programs and policies. It’s about a new politics – a politics that calls on our better angels instead of encouraging our worst instincts.

What we have lost in these last eight years cannot be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits alone. What has also been lost is the idea that in this American story, each of us has a role to play. Each of us has a responsibility to work hard and look after ourselves and our families, and each of us has a responsibility to our fellow citizens. And that’s what we need to restore right now – our sense of common purpose; of higher purpose.

Yes, government must lead the way on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and our businesses more efficient. Yes, we must put more money into our schools, but government can’t be that parent who turns off the TV and makes a child do their homework. Yes, we can argue and debate our positions passionately, but all of us must summon the strength and grace to bridge our differences and unite in common effort – black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American; Democrat and Republican, young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight, disabled or not.

In this election, we cannot afford the same political games and tactics that are being used to pit us against one another and make us afraid of one another.

Despite what our opponents may claim, there are no real or fake parts of this country. There is no city or town that is more pro-America than anywhere else – we are one nation, all of us proud, all of us patriots. The men and women who serve on our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the United States of America.

It won’t be easy, Iowa. It won’t be quick. But you and I know that it is time to come together and change this country. Some of you may be cynical and fed up with politics. You have every right to be. But despite all of this, I ask of you what has been asked of Americans throughout our history.

I ask you to believe – not just in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.

I know this change is possible. Because I have seen it over the last twenty-one months. Because in this campaign, I have had the privilege to witness what is best in America.

I’ve seen it in lines of voters that stretched around schools and churches; in the young people who cast their ballot for the first time, and those not so young folks who got involved again after a very long time. I’ve seen it in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see their friends lose their jobs; in the neighbors who take a stranger in when the floodwaters rise; in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb. I’ve seen it in the faces of the men and women I’ve met at countless rallies and town halls across the country, men and women who speak of their struggles but also of their hopes and dreams.

I still remember the email that a woman named Robyn sent me after I met her in Ft. Lauderdale. Sometime after our event, her son nearly went into cardiac arrest, and was diagnosed with a heart condition that could only be treated with a procedure that cost tens of thousands of dollars. Her insurance company refused to pay, and their family just didn’t have that kind of money.

In her email, Robyn wrote, “I ask only this of you – on the days where you feel so tired you can’t think of uttering another word to the people, think of us. When those who oppose you have you down, reach deep and fight back harder.”

Iowa, that’s what hope is – that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that there are better days ahead. If we’re willing to work for it. If we’re willing to shed our fears. If we’re willing to reach deep down inside ourselves when we’re tired and come back fighting harder.

That’s what kept some of our parents and grandparents going when times were tough. What led them to say, “Maybe I can’t go to college, but if I save a little bit each week my child can; maybe I can’t have my own business but if I work really hard my child can open one of her own.” It’s what led immigrants from distant lands to come to these shores against great odds; what led those who couldn’t vote to march and organize and stand for freedom; that led them to cry out, “It may look dark tonight, but if I hold on to hope, tomorrow will be brighter.”

That’s what this election is about. That is the choice we face right now.

Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that power concedes. We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it does.

I know this, Iowa – the time for change has come.

And if in this last week, you will knock on some doors for me, and make some calls for me, and go to and find out where to vote – and remember, you can vote early here in Iowa. If you will stand with me, and fight by my side, and cast your ballot for me, then I promise you this – we will not just win Iowa, we will not just win this election, but together, we will change this country and we will change the world. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.

That Same Devastating Endorsement

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Yesterday, we posted the Wasilla newspaper endorsement of John McCain. I finally had a chance to read it in full, and this caught my eye:

As many have turned a tabloid eye to McCain’s running mate in the weeks leading up to the election, we urge voters to remember that McCain, not Palin, is the Republican candidate for president, and it’s because of McCain’s proven leadership and integrity we urge Alaska and the Mat-Su to vote McCain. (Emphasis mine.)
It appears that even the home town news can't endorse Spunky with a straight face.

You May Have Missed

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Yesterday morning McShame called out for Joe the Plumber at the rally, and he wasn't there. John said "You're ALL Joe the Plumber."

What you may not have known is that less than one week out from the election, in OHIO, the audience numbered about 6,000 supporters. But MSNBC had it:
A local school district official confirmed after the event that of the 6,000 people estimated by the fire marshal to be in attendance this morning, more than 4,000 were bused in from schools in the area. The entire 2,500-student Defiance School District was in attendance, the official said, in addition to at least three other schools from neighboring districts, one of which sent 14 buses.

Obama will name first cabinet members "within days" if he wins

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

In times like these a new administration needs to start working on November 5th. Barack Obama's Campaign is moving ahead with transition plans. McCain's people are also planning on their transition... just not as vigorously.

Expect a turbocharged transition if Barack Obama wins, with a Treasury secretary and White House chief of staff named days after his election, Democratic sources told the Daily News Thursday.

"They would like to make Treasury the first appointment as a symbol and have the other big ones done in the first week," said one source close to the Obama transition team.

Confronting the economic crisis is the prime reason for the urgency.

"People will have a good idea where we're going with this very early," added an Obama adviser.

The list of candidates for Treasury secretary includes former Clinton administration Treasury chief Larry Summers; Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and ex-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, among others, said sources familiar with candidates who have been recommended to Obama.

Obama is also well along in deciding on his picks for State, Defense and Justice, sources said.

As another indicator of the importance Obama attaches to getting his economic brain trust in place, his transition team already has scores of prospective appointees undergoing FBI background checks for top administration slots. - NY Daily News
The story goes on to say this about McCain's transition plans
William Timmons, a Washington lobbyist who worked in the Ford and Reagan administrations, is heading McCain's transition team. Several sources said that effort is not as ambitious or as far along as Obama's.
Another interesting note in the article is this...
Of the nearly 8,000 administration jobs filled by presidential appointees, 1,177 of them require Senate confirmation.

Obama's last campaign stops

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

  • Today: Iowa, Indiana, Illinois (trick-or-treat)
  • Saturday: Nevada, Colorado, Missouri
  • Sunday: Ohio
  • Monday: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia

From the David Plouffe/Bill Burton Conference Call

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Conference call is going on now.

First, ads are going up in Georgia, North Dakota and Arizona. Also, organization on the ground.

Second, some early voting numbers as of last night:

Florida in 2004: GOP won the absentee and early vote by 40,000.
Florida in 2008: We have a 200,000 vote edge in terms of the ballots submitted by party, so far.

North Carolina: 19% of the early Democratic vote are BRAND NEW VOTERS, that is, have NEVER voted before.

Nevada: 43% of the early Democratic voters are either BRAND NEW or sporadic voters.

"It will be a ferocious 4 days," Mr. Plouffe said. He went on to say that we think it will be very close, but that we are committed to getting our voters out.

UPDATE: Mr. Plouffe said that the campaign is laser-focused on getting to 270, and that's the goal.

Happy Halloween!

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

You can see more pictures at Yes We Carve

Political Action You Should Take TODAY

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

I got up, turned on the news, and heard this: The White House is planning on enacting 85 Orders before they leave office to remove restrictions on things like air quality, water quality, and other things that will make the country worse.

They are poised to put time limits in them, which will make it difficult for the next administration to rescind the Orders, and for Congress to legislate them away.

Please call the White House today and say something to the effect of: "Quit killing us"

Their switchboard number is 202-456-1414. They have a comments number, but I'm not convinced that THIS White House ever listens to it: 202-456-1111.

You can also take the additional step of calling your local TV station, writing your local paper, and telling everyone you know to call/write. The more publicity, the more blow-back, the less they can get away with. They can still do it, but it's easier to get away with bad, bad things in a dark dungeon .

Senator Obama has mobilized grass-roots in a way no one has before. And here is the power: imagine if everyone Obama has mobilized had called their Senators, Reps and the White House a number of years ago and said "I vote, and I won't vote for you again if you vote for the Iraq invasion."

Use the power.

What Are You Doing Election Night?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

I don't know if you read the posts and the comments, but if you skip the comments, consider checking them out. There are really interesting things in there.

As you may know, we're running a contest about the outcome of the election.

Reader 26376 has kindly taken the information and pulled it into a spreadsheet. And he/she had this to say in answer to the When? post:

The current consensus in the DCW Prediction Contest has Obama winning 364 EV. The states whose polls close by 21:00 ET are responsible for 276 of that total. So based on the consensus guess, an early call is a bit more possible than I had thought, though it would depend on Missouri being called quickly for Obama. On the other hand, Indiana and Georgia are consensus McCain in the contest; as others have said, should either of those go Obama early, it may be a short night.
Which makes me want to know what you'll be doing election night. And since I only have 10 lines and cannot poll as many permutations as would be required: besides the Presidential race, what else will you be staying up for? A specific Senate race, House race, Governor's race, ballot initiative, local race? And if you're in Europe/Asia/Africa/South America or Australia, please let us know in the comments if the returns are carried on TV there. I assume they never were, live, in previous elections, but is this year different?

And for your viewing pleasure, I heard a rumour that CNN will be using holograms on Election Night for campaign reps from Chicago and somewhere in Arizona. It will appear that the person is in the studio standing with Wolf Blitzer. Like R2D2's abilities in Star Wars, but with better production values, and real-sized people.

Late Night Polling Update

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

PPP is releasing polls overnight as I write this. But don't bother going to, RCP or TPM Election Central to find them, though - those sites have gone to sleep.

DCW's elite team of scientists in each time zone can serve your round-the-clock political needs - and we've got the numbers here:

Michigan: Obama 55, McCain 42

New Mexico: Obama 58, McCain 41

New Mexico is a candidate to be the state with the largest turnaround in its voting pattern relative to 2004. Barack Obama is blowing out John McCain in this place that went red just four years ago.

Obama is doing very well with two key groups of the state's voters. Among independents he has a 66-28 lead, and with Hispanics he's up 62-37.

This may begin to sound like a broken record, but he's also banked a huge lead with those who have already filled out their ballots. 56% of poll respondents reported having done that, and within that group Obama is leading 64-36. He is up by a much more modest 50-47 tally with those who have yet to vote.

Oregon: Obama 57, McCain 42
Look at it this way: we polled 1,424 people in Oregon. 839 of them had already voted, and 539 of those people voted for Obama. That basically means that out of the 585 people in our sample who had yet to fill out their ballot Obama would need 174, or a little under 30% to get to 50% +1. It's safe to say he'll win Oregon in a blowout.
West Virginia: McCain 55, Obama 42
Minnesota: Obama 57, McCain 41
Colorado: Obama 54, McCain 44
65% of the folks we surveyed said they had already voted, and among those respondents Obama is winning 58-41. Folks planning to vote on election day support John McCain 50-47, bringing Obama's overall lead down to ten points.
If this was an exit poll, the networks would have called the state by now. And remember, if Obama wins Colorado, this thing is over. OK, fine, if he wins Colorado and Pennsylvania, this thing is over.

Senate races:

Oregon: Merkley 51, Smith 43, Brownlow 4
Minnesota: Franken 45, Coleman 40, Barkley 14
Colorado: M. Udall 56, Schaffer 41
New Mexico: T. Udall 58, Pearce 39

Could an Obama inauguration be the biggest ever?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Here's a trivia question: What President had the largest inauguration?

Answer: Lyndon Johnson, 1964, estimated 1.2 Million

But that record might be on its last legs:

If Barack Obama is elected president Tuesday, his campaign staff will wake up the next morning with one very odd — but very important — job on their hands: ordering port-a-potties for 500,000 people.
Already, inaugural organizers are bracing for a record-setting crowd if Obama is elected, and it would fall to his campaign to organize the official Presidential Inaugural Committee, which would do everything from raising private money to finance the ceremony and surrounding balls and events, to deciding which military units would march down Pennsylvania Avenue, and, yes, finding all those portable toilets.

While none of the officials involved, including those on Capitol Hill, at the Pentagon, in the National Park Service and at the Secret Service, would speculate on raw numbers publicly before the votes are even counted, several said privately they were expecting an “enormous” turnout, in the range of 500,000 to 1 million, should Obama win.

According to the White House, President Bush drew crowds of 300,000 at his 2001 and 2005 inaugurations. But current projections put an Obama inaugural within striking distance of becoming the largest event ever held on the National Mall. To do that, his team would have to top the 1.2 million estimated at Lyndon Johnson’s inaugural in January 1965; the estimated 1 million for the bicentennial fireworks display in July 1976; and the estimated 800,000 who came to the Desert Storm victory parade in 1991.
Stay with DemConWatch after the election for the best Transition and Inauguration coverage.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Presidential Forecast - 10/30 - 5 days to go

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Obama leads 341-197, up 3 EV from the last projection. Nevada becomes the 4th state, with Colorado, Virginia and Ohio, that is now Obama-Lean, that McCain must win to reach 270.

The state-by-state map consensus is Obama 311 (+5) (Strong-255, Lean-56(+5)), McCain 163 (Strong-127, Lean-36), Tossup: 64 (-5).

Map changes: Towards Obama: NV: T->OL.

Be sure to join us on election night for great coverage of what looks to be an historic night!

Please also check out our Senate Forecast and House Forecast.

The sources are sorted by each projection's estimate of Obama's Electoral Votes (Algorithm at bottom). The states are sorted from Obama-Strong to McCain -Strong. The right column shows a running total of Obama's EVs. States in 3 or more categories: AZ, GA, IN, MT, NV, ND, OH

DCW Presidential Forecast
EVsOpen LeftEV.

Obama-Strong (O)

Obama-Lean (OL)

Tossup (T)

McCain-Lean (ML)

McCain-Strong (M)

Obama Total

McCain Total

Obama Est.


New York
Rhode Island
New Jersey
New Mexico
N. Carolina
N. Dakota
W. Virginia
S. Dakota
S. Carolina

Open LeftEV.

538 - FiveThirtyEight - Safe and Likely mapped to Strong (O or M), Lean to Lean (OL or ML), Tossup to Tossup (T)
CNN - Safe mapped to Strong, Leaning to Lean, Tossup to Tossup
Elect. Proj. - Election Projection - Solid and Strong mapped to Strong, Moderate to Lean, Weak to Tossup - - Strong mapped to Strong, Weak to Lean, Barely and Tossup to Tossup
FrontLoading HQ - Solid mapped to Strong, Lean to Lean, Tossup (Dem and Rep) to Tossup
NBC - Base mapped to strong,
Lean to Lean, Tossup to Tossup
OpenLeft - Solid mapped to Strong, Lean to Lean, Tossup to Tossup
RM - Rasmussen - Safe and Likely mapped to Strong, Lean to Lean, Tossup to Tossup
RCP - RealClearPolitics - Solid mapped to Strong, Lean to Lean, Tossup to Tossup

The overall projection is just a straight average of each projections' estimate of Electoral Votes (EVs) for each candidate. For each projection other than FiveThirtyEight, we give Obama 100% of the EVs in a state that is solid for him, 80% of the EVs for a leaner, 50% of the EVs for a Tossup, 20% of the EVs for state that is McCain-Lean, and 0% of the Solid McCain states. Exact opposite for McCain. For FiveThirtyEight, we use their overall estimate of Obama's EVs, not the state-by-state categories.

Any state which is majority Strong, and has no Tossups, is considered to be Strong for all projections. The categories in the chart are original, but the final number for each projection is adjusted. For this forecast, the following states were affected by this change: IA, ME, MI, MN, NJ, PA, WI (Obama), AR, LA, MS, SD (McCain). This change has added 4 EVs to Obama's total.