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CNN: Obama 49%, McCain 48%

r the Democratic convention and McCain’s VP announcement, the race for the White House remains in a dead heat. Obama now leads by one point, compared to the last CNN poll, which showed both Obama and McCain even at 47%.

Palin remains vastly unknown, but those who are familiar with the Alaska Governor give favorable ratings. 38% view her favorably while 21% view her unfavorably. Still a 50% say Palin is unqualified to be President, while 45% say she is ready. Oddly enough, women are now less likely to vote for McCain with Palin on the ticket, while men are more likely. This is likely due to Palin’s conservative background. In fact, Palin’s conservative background has helped McCain with Republicans, dropping Obama’s share of Republicans from 11% to just 5%.

The results at first glance show no convention bounce for Obama. If there was a bounce, it may have been neutralized by the announcement of Palin as McCain’s VP.

Zogby: McCain/Palin Beats Obama/Biden

I absolutely dislike Zogby polling, but it is the first match up with the two tickets, so I might as well post it.

McCain/Palin beats Obama/Biden 47% to 45% according to a new Zogby poll. The poll was conducted August 29 to 30. The ticket match ups boosts McCain a few percentage points, largely fueled by the consolidation of Republicans. In a Obama-McCain match up, Obama gets 86% of Democrats while McCain gets 89% of Republicans. When the Vice Presidential picks are added into the equation, Obama’s share among Democrats remains the same while McCain’s share increases to 92%.

Still, in the Presidential match up, Obama edges McCain by an insignificant one point. This is actually an improvement for Obama, which had him down five points in their last poll.

Barack Obama: 44%
John McCain: 43%
Bob Barr: 5%
Ralph Nader: 2%

Among Independents, Obama leads 39% to 33%. Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr pulls in 11% of Independents, which is likely hurting McCain.

My biggest gripe with this poll is the party identification breakdown. It is clear that this and possibly the last Zogby poll has some weighting issues and under-samples Democrats and over-samples Republicans. If we use the party ID breakdown from CNN 2004 exit polls R 37%, D 37% and I 26%, Obama leads by 1%. If we swing the party ID for Democrats +5 and for Republicans -5, Obama leads by 7%.

Hillary Adds Pennsylvania Superdelegate

Since Pennsyvania Obama has a 8 to 4 advantage in announced superdelegates.

From PennLive:

Hillary Rodham Clinton will pick up the support of another influential superdelegate this morning when Bill George declares his support for the senator from New York.

George, the president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, had been one of six remaining undeclared Pennsylvania superdelegates. […]

With George’s support, Clinton extends her lead over fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama to 16-5 among Pennsylvania superdelegates.

Ron Paul Still Around

In this article, it talks about Ron Paul still gaining votes in primaries and mentions two interesting points: will he support McCain or will he run as an Independent?

Two quotations: “I’ll be very cautious about what I do,” he said, noting his effort to encourage his supporters to get involved with their local Republican committee. “If I just endorse somebody from another party and walk away, that probably wouldn’t go over too well.”

And, “But while keeping to the same mantra — “I have no plan, no intention to do so” — Paul is also not completely slamming the door shut on a third-party run. And, perhaps more worrisome for Republicans should they have a tight race with the eventual Democratic nominee, he’s also not ruling out supporting a third-party candidate.”

Didn’t want to make it seem like the Democrats had the only intriguing campaign.

DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee Membership

Democratic Convention Watch has a list of members on the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee.

With the expected hearing on the FL and MI delegation plans on May 31, here is a look at the makeup of the committee and who supports who.

Co-Chairs – no endorsement
Alexis Herman (co-chair, Washington , D.C. )
James Roosevelt, Jr. (co-chair, Massachusetts )

Members – Clinton supporters (12)
Hartina Flournay (DC)
Donald Fowler (SC)
Harold Ickes, Jr. (DC)
Alice Huffman (CA)
Ben Johnson (DC)
Elaine Kamarck (MA)
Eric Kleinfeld (DC)
Mona Pasquil (CA)
Mame Reiley (VA)
Garry Shay (CA)
Elizabeth Smith (DC)
Michael Steed (MD)

Members – Obama supporters (8)
Martha Fuller Clark (NH)
Carol Khare Fowler (SC)
Janice Griffin (MD)
Thomas Hynes (IL)
Allan Katz (FL)
Sharon Stroschein (SD)
Sarah Swisher (IA)
Everett Ward (NC)

Members – no known endorsement (8)
Donna Brazille (DC)
Mark Brewer (MI)
Ralph Dawson (NY)
Yvonne Gates ( NV)
Alice Germond (DC) – DNC Secretary
Jaime Gonzalez, Jr. (TX)
David McDonald (WA)
Jerome Wiley Segovia (VA)

Matt notes that Allan Katz is on Obama’s Finance Committee and Ralph Dawson is one of the few New York superdelegates who have not endorsed Clinton. However, Dawson introduced the measure to strip FL and MI of their delegates.

There are 30 members, hence, 16 is a majority. If all of Clinton’s supporters vote as a block, they will only need 4 more votes to secure their desired outcome.

David Petraeus Nominated to Head CENTCOM

Today, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the appointment of David Petraeus to head the U.S. Central Command.

In 2007 Petraeus was appointed as Commanding General of the Multinational Force in Iraq, overseeing the “surge.” Through his tenure, military and Iraqi casualties have dramatically fallen, but anti-war sentiments at home remain high.

It is unlikely there will be opposition to his nomination, but it will be interesting to see the reactions of Democrats as a vote for Patraeus can be seen as a vote secondary vote supporting the current course in Iraq. I for one approve of this appointment.

On a political note, Republicans see Patraeus as a possible candidate for President in 2012 if McCain does not win or if he does not seek a second term. It is unclear to me if Patraeus is a Democrat or Republican.

Here are some reactions.

From Senator Harry Reid:

“The next Centcom commander and field commander in Iraq will have to help the next president with a number of critically important challenges: making America more secure, restoring America’s power and influence in the world, fixing our costly strategy in Iraq, and articulating a more effective strategy for winning in Afghanistan and defeating Al Qaeda in Pakistan.”

From Senator Mitch McConnell:

“Gen. Petraeus will now bring the consummate skill and experience he has developed over a lifetime in uniform to the significant task of guarding our national security interest in a challenging and vital region.”

From Senator Joe Lieberman:

“There is no doubt in my mind that Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno are the absolute best men to take on these two critically important assignments.”

From Senator Joe Biden:

“I have great respect for General Petraeus and the job he has done in Iraq. But if confirmed, Gen. Petraeus’ mission will no longer be just Iraq, it will be the entire region, including the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area where those who actually attacked us on 9-11 have regrouped … and where we do not have enough troops because of Iraq.”

From Senator Jon Kyl

“I applaud the defense secretary’s selection of such fine men to lead our forces. Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno implemented the current strategy in Iraq that has given our forces the forward momentum there, and I am certain that Gen. Odierno will continue that progress.”

From Senator James Inhofe:

“This is the right move at the right time. No one understands the situation in Iraq better than these two gentlemen. A great trust and unity of purpose has developed between them, and it is imperative that we leverage their shared expertise to capitalize on our post-surge successes.”

From Congressman Duncan Hunter:

“Dave Petraeus has exhibited superb leadership in turning around the situation in Iraq. … As the former commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, Ray Odierno clearly understands the broad picture.”

Lt. General Ray Odierno was nominated to replace Patraeus.

Al Gore Will Not Endorse

Sources now say that former Vice President Al Gore is not expected to endorse either Clinton or Obama during the primary season, instead opting to be the “neutral elder statesman in the Party.” With the possibility that neither candidate will have the required 2,025 delegates to be nominated, Gore sees himself as the facilitator-in-chief for any possible deal making, should there be any as Kerry, Kennedy and Bill Clinton have all taken sides.

Other top Democrats, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has no plans to endorse any candidate

Odds Against Huckabee

When you crunch the numbers, it makes you wonder why Mike Huckabee is still in this race. According to CNN, 1,242 delegates have been awarded, which means 1,138 delegates remain to be allocated. Huckabee has 217 delegates and need an additional 974 delegates to secure the nomination. Huckabee will have to win 86% of the remaining delegates to be the Republican presidential nominee. Compare that to McCain who has to win 468 delegates or 41% of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination.

So, why is Huckabee is rolling along his campaign? Maybe he is now running for Vice President. Maybe he is running for 2012.

Delegate Count

(You can read more on delegate counts here)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Delegate allocation is still being tabulated.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are two delegate counts on this site. One is on the sidebar, which is from CNN. The other is at the bottom of this post, which does not include states that has NOT allocated National Convention Delegates.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind, Iowa, Wyoming, Nevada, Maine, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota, Minnesota (Republicans), Washington, and Nebraska have not awarded any National Convention delegates and will do so at their respective State Conventions. The delegate counts provided by the media are estimates and may vary in the final result. This is not meant to be biased or unfair to a candidate, but it is in the interest of accuracy and integrity. I will imput the delegate counts of these states once their state convention have elected them.

Superdelegates and Unpledged delegates who have made an official endorsement are included for the Democrats and Republicans respectively.

Here are the delegate counts as of February 9, 2008.

% is the percent NEEDED to be nominated.

Huckabee Now an Impossibility

After last night’s wins by John McCain, it is now mathematically impossible for Mike Huckabee to win the nomination.

Here is what John McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, has to say:

“The results from tonight’s primary elections in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, make it mathematically impossible for Governor Huckabee to secure the Republican nomination for president,” Davis wrote in the document, first obtained by Politico. “He now needs 950 delegates to secure the required 1,191. But in the remaining contests there are only 774 delegates available. He would need to win 123% of remaining delegates.”