Thursday, February 7, 2008

Super Tuesday Results

This week’s Super Tuesday primary vote in 24 American states did not produce a US presidential nominee in either the Republican or Democratic party. But three clear frontrunners have emerged ahead of others still in the race. On the Republican side, Senator John McCain leads the field after winning nine states on Tuesday and accumulating more than half of the proportional representation in convention delegates needed to secure the nomination by next September. Senator McCain’s Republican challengers, former Governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, trail Senator McCain by several hundred delegates, but both have vowed to stay in the race.

The Democratic party contest is much tighter and more complicated, with two frontrunners so even in state and delegate counts after Tuesday that it’s still too difficult to call. Senator Barack Obama won more state primaries on Super Tuesday than Senator Hillary Clinton, but Senator Clinton continues to hold a slight edge in the number of committed delegates after having posted victories in the populous states of California, New York, and Massachusetts.

Former US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa in President Bill Clinton’s administration, Susan Rice, is an Obama supporter, adviser, and campaigner in this election year. She says Senator Obama’s success on Super Tuesday keeps him very much in the running.

“Senator Obama is on a very positive trajectory. Electorally, he won more delegates than Senator Clinton did on Tuesday. He won more states than Senator Clinton did, and it is quite an extraordinary position for him to be in,” she said.

Ms. Rice, who is a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow on leave from Washington's Brookings Institution, refutes the notion that Senators Clinton and Obama take similar positions on most political issues and says there is a lot of room for discerning voters to make a choice.

“I think their differences are significant, both on policy and in terms of their character and orientation. I was privileged to serve President (Bill) Clinton for eight years in the White House and the State Department, and I have considerable respect and admiration for President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton. But I am for Barack Obama at this point because I think he is precisely the sort of leader that the United States needs at this point. We need somebody who is focused on the future, who can bring our country together, who won’t be sidelined or trapped in the divisive politics of the past,” Rice reasons.

As for upcoming state primaries this month and next, Susan Rice expects the political momentum to keep building for her candidate because his message of hope and idealism appeal and rejuvenate voter enthusiasm, not only among African-Americans and young voters, but also tap into a large number of voters once believed to be behind Senator Clinton.

“What is dramatically clear is that the more the public and the American voters see of Barack Obama, the stronger his performance is at the polls. He has closed an extraordinary 30 point gap in the national polls. When all the votes from Tuesday are counted, you will see that Senator Obama and Senator Clinton got virtually the same number of votes. He is appealing to Americans’ desire to put division and discord behind us,” said Rice.

Named to Obama’s campaign team of national foreign policy experts before the current primary election season, former State Department official Rice notes that one of the great strengths of an Obama presidency would be his ability to win respect and new friends for America around the globe.

“Barack Obama is a man who has roots in many different quarters of the world, as well as obviously here in the United States. He has a judgment and a temperament that enable him to see the danger and the folly of the war in Iraq from the start, enabled him to call timeout when the hawks in Washington were beating the drums for war with Iran. He has a sensitivity and a sensibility about America’s relationship with the rest of the world that I think is very badly needed. He recognizes that America’s security and well-being is inextricably linked to the security and well-being of people in Africa, in Asia, and Latin America and every other part of the world,” says Rice.

Taken from

Monday, February 4, 2008

It could all be over after 'Super Duper Tuesday'

By Bill Schneider

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Tired already of the 2008 presidential campaign? Here's some good news: in one year, it could all be over. February 5, 2008, could end up even bigger than Super Tuesday. It could be .Super Duper Tuesday!

Look at the nominating calendar as it currently stands, nearly a year before the first real votes are cast.

January 14, 2008: The Iowa caucuses open the race.

January 19 (Five days later): Nevada Democrats hold their caucuses.

January 22: The New Hampshire primary.

January 29: South Carolina Democrats vote

February 2: South Carolina Republicans vote

Then February 5 could be Super Duper Tuesday. Right now, eight states are scheduled to hold primaries or caucuses that day (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia).

Another 12 states are considering moving their contests to February 5, including big states like Florida, New Jersey, Michigan -- and the biggest one of all, California (also North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming).

A three-week primary season?
In other words, February 5 -- Super Duper Tuesday -- could become, essentially, a national primary. The campaign could start on January 14 and end just over three weeks later, with two thirds of the Democratic delegates and over 80 percent of the Republican delegates chosen by February 5.

Those states may move up on the calendar because they want a cut of the action. They want less attention paid to small states like Iowa and New Hampshire and more attention paid to big, diverse states like Florida and California. To run in those big states, you need big money and national name recognition. Obscure contenders need not apply.

Even if an unknown candidate pulls off a surprise win in New Hampshire the way Jimmy Carter did in 1976, there may not be enough time to raise the money you need to compete in, say, California. (Watch what could make the New Hampshire primary exciting)

Moreover, California, Florida and several other potential Super Duper Tuesday states allow early voting, weeks before the primary. A lot of voters in those states could be casting ballots even before Iowa and New Hampshire. Long before the campaign ever gets to their states.

Ironically, however, the new calendar may make Iowa and New Hampshire more important. You pull off a surprise win in one of the preliminary states and the news coverage propels you to victory in the big states.

In 1984, Gary Hart won an upset over frontrunner Walter Mondale in New Hampshire and then won the Florida primary a week later on sheer momentum. What President Bush's father once called "The Big Mo.''

So the best way to win a national primary may be to concentrate on Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. And ignore California, Florida and New Jersey. With so many voters spread all over the map, and only a week or two of the campaign all to themselves, big state voters may end up seeing almost no campaigning. And very little attention to their concerns.

What are we left with? A nominating campaign that's starting earlier than ever and that could shut down faster than ever.

Taken from:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Barak Obama Take South Carolina by Storm

Obama take South Carolina by a landslide and may propel him into super duper Tuesday in a little over a week with great momentum. Check out the victory speech by Barak Obama as he won South Carolina last night...

Victory Speech in South Carolina

Don't forget to buy your copy of Meet the Next President to learn about the fine details of all of the presidential candidates.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

McCain Wins South Carolina Primary


CHARLESTON, S.C. — Senator John McCain staved off a spirited challenge by former Gov. Mike Huckabee to win the South Carolina primary on Saturday, exorcising the ghosts of the attack-filled primary here that derailed his presidential hopes eight years ago.

Mr. McCain’s victory here, on top of his win earlier this month in New Hampshire, capped a remarkable comeback for a campaign that was all but written off six months ago. In an unusually fluid Republican field, his campaign said it hoped the victory would give Mr. McCain a head of steam going into the Jan. 29 Florida primary and the nationwide series of nominating contests on Feb. 5.

“It took us a while, but what’s eight years among friends?” Mr. McCain said at a boisterous victory celebration that broke out into shouts of “Mac is back! Mac is back!”

Mr. McCain did best among voters who said experience was the most important quality in a candidate, among those who said the Iraq war and terrorism were their top concerns and among the state’s veterans, who made up a quarter of the vote. He ran about even with Mr. Huckabee, who pressed a populist message here, among the many voters who said their top concern in the election was the economy.

Mr. Huckabee’s loss in a southern state with a strong turnout of religious voters was a setback to his campaign as it heads toward potentially less hospitable states. Nearly 60 percent of the voters in South Carolina identified themselves in exit polls as evangelical Christians, a group that was heavily courted by Mr. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher. And while Mr. Huckabee captured 4 in 10 of their votes, Mr. McCain also made inroads with the group, capturing more than a quarter of their vote.

With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. McCain, of Arizona, led with 33 percent of the vote, just ahead of Mr. Huckabee’s 30 percent.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, who coasted to an easy victory earlier on Saturday in the Nevada caucuses, fell to fourth place behind Fred Thompson, the former senator of Tennessee.

A triumphant Mr. McCain greeted cheering supporters in Charleston, where he thanked South Carolina voters “for bringing us across the finish line first in the first-in-the-south primary.”

Still, Mr. McCain cautioned that his campaign “has a ways to go” and noted that he faces several “tough contests ahead.”

Mr. Huckabee, in his concession speech, also urged his supporters to look ahead to the next stage of the campaign.

“We’re not going to sit around and second guess,” he said, adding that he felt “a sense of just sheer joy that we got as far as we did when nobody thought it was possible for us to be in contention.”

In an apparent dig at Mr. Romney, whose attacks ads he has criticized, Mr. Huckabee said he “would rather be where I am and have done it with honor than have won with the dishonor of getting there by attacking somebody else.”

He ended his speech saying, “The path to the White House is not ending here tonight.”

With the Republican field split among three front-runners, each of whom has won at least one early contest, South Carolina’s primary is being closely watched for signs of how the candidates might fare as the race expands into the South.

Mr. Thompson, who has yet to win a primary or caucus, had hoped that a stronger showing in South Carolina could breathe some life into his flagging campaign.

Some observers had speculated that Mr. Thompson would drop out of the race if he did not place in the top two. But in a prime-time speech to supporters, Mr. Thompson only thanked his campaign staff and reiterated what he described as his “strong consistent conservative beliefs.”

On occasion, however, Mr. Thompson’s words slipped into the past tense. “We will always be bound by a close bond,” he said. “We have traveled a special road together for a very special purpose.”

The results in South Carolina began to arrive hours after Mr. Romney won the Republican caucuses in Nevada by a wide margin. But his victory there was likely to be overshadowed by the South Carolina results, because his rivals largely decided to ignore Nevada. Mr. McCain of Arizona and Mr. Huckabee were looking to score support from military families and evangelical Christian voters, two powerful blocs in South Carolina that represent a core section of the Republicans’ conservative base.

Mr. Romney, speaking in Florida, delivered a stump speech with a celebratory air, despite the prospects of a poor showing in the Palmetto State. He pointed out that Michigan and Nevada, along with Florida, usually play pivotal roles in the general election, and argued that his success in those states would bode well for Republican prospects in November.

“Those are two big battleground states,” Mr. Romney said. “Winning them is a big indication of a very successful presidential campaign. That’s one reason we fought so hard in those states.”

While open to all voters, the primary was dominated by Republicans and conservatives. Eight in 10 voters described themselves as Republicans (up from six in 10 in the 2000 primary), and more than half were white evangelical Christians.

About 45 percent of Mr. Huckabee’s supporters described themselves as very conservative, while about the same number of Mr. McCain’s supporters said they were moderate or liberal, according to a poll conducted as people left polling places around the state.

Most of Mr. Huckabee’s supporters described themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians, and most said they attended religious services at least once a week. Six in 10 Huckabee supporters said it mattered a great deal that a presidential candidate shared their religious beliefs.

On the matter of electability, more voters said Mr. McCain had the best chance of winning the general election in November than any of the other candidates. But voters were divided between Mr. McCain and Mr. Huckabee over who was most likely to bring change to the country.

Voters said they were more concerned about the nation’s economy than they were about illegal immigration, the war in Iraq or terrorism.

They said it is more important that the eventual nominee shares their values than that he has the right experience or is forthright or is likely to beat a Democrat in the fall, according to a poll conducted as people left polling places around the state.

Two-thirds of the voters say their own family’s finances are holding steady, while about one in ten say they are falling behind. More than a third of those who participated in the poll taken as voters left polling places said it matters a great deal to their vote that a candidate share their religious beliefs. More than 4 in 10 say abortion should be illegal in most cases and another 3 in 10 say it should be illegal in all cases.

The exit poll was conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool.

Poor weather conditions, including rainstorms and reports of snow, were expected to play a role in Saturday’s outcome. Aides to Mr. McCain debated whether it would help or hurt his chances, with some seeing an advantage for Mr. Huckabee, because the evangelical Christian voters he is counting on are often highly motivated.

Others thought the conditions could help Mr. McCain, since the worst weather was forecast for parts of the state where Mr. Huckabee is the strongest. Milder weather was expected along the coast, where Mr. McCain is strongest.

The state director of Mr. McCain’s campaign, Buzz Jacobs, said early this afternoon that some McCain supporters had been turned away from polling places in Horry County because electronic voting machines were not functioning properly.

“Some voters say they are being instructed to return at a later time,” Mr. Jacobs said in a statement. “We are disturbed by these reports and hope that this issue is resolved immediately. We encourage any voters who were turned away from the polls to return again to their polling place this afternoon to exercise their constitutional right to vote.”

In Nevada, it appeared that Mr. Romney’s last-minute campaigning in the state paid off. With 98 percent of the electoral precincts reporting, the former Massachusetts governor had 51 percent of the vote, while Senator McCain and Representative Ron Paul each had 13 percent. Mr. Huckabee was running fourth with 8 percent.

Mr. Romney’s rivals overlooked Nevada, largely because state rules do not automatically assign delegates to the winning candidate, unlike South Carolina.

“Today, the people of Nevada voted for change in Washington,” Mr. Romney said in a statement released by his campaign. “For far too long, our leaders have promised to take the action necessary to build a stronger America, and still the people of Nevada and all across this country are waiting. Whether it is reforming health care, making America energy independent or securing the border, the American people have been promised much and are now ready for change.”

In an interview aboard his campaign plane as he flew to Florida, Mr. Romney said he could “not be more pleased” and made the argument once again that it was important to rack up delegates, no matter what the contest.

“Nevada has 34 delegates,” he said. “And I want those delegates.”

In a sign of just how unsurprising the result was, after one question from a reporter about how he felt, he went back to talking about his economic stimulus package.

Mr. Romney’s $250 billion plan is far larger than President Bush’s proposed $150 billion plan and contains. Besides tax cuts for individuals and corporations, the plan has several provisions targeting homeowners, raising loan limits from the Federal Housing Administration and lowering down payment requirements to help more people qualify for loans.

When asked later whether his victory had any diminished significance given how his rivals had mostly chosen not to campaign in Nevada, Mr. Romney again said it was the delegate count that mattered.

“I’m not looking just to get a couple of high profile victories,” he said. “I want go get delegates and I want to win this nomination.” Before leaving the Nevada, Mr. Romney handed out doughnuts to supporters and caucus goers at a 7:30 a.m. stop at a Las Vegas high school. Many of the several dozen in the enthusiastic crowd, however, appeared to be supporters who had driven in from California, as caucus goers did not need to show up until 9 a.m.

In a sign of just how much better organized Mr. Romney was in the state than his rivals, all but one of the signs lining the entrance to the high school were his, with a lone sign for Mr. McCain interrupting the pattern.

Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, got on the back of a pickup truck to address the crowd of well-wishers in the early morning cold.

“You guys have been turning folks out, and by virtue of that I think we’re going to have a great, successful day today,” Mr. Romney said.

“Across the country in South Carolina, people are voting there also and I’m hoping to do real well there,” he continued. “I’m hoping to win, but I don’t know what the outcome will be. But with two golds and two silvers, we’re feeling pretty good.”

Mr. Romney also focused on Nevada because the state has a sizable Mormon population.

Still, his Nevada victory is certain to be overshadowed by the outcome in South Carolina.

Mr. Cooper reported from Charleston, S.C.; Mr. Grynbaum reported from New York.

Taken from:

Friday, January 18, 2008

South Carolina, Nevada Primary

On Saturday, the voters of South Carolina will head to the polls with many hopeful candidates looking for a much needed victory. South Carolina will mark the first primary in the south during this 2008 campaigns which could prove to be an important victory leading in to super Tuesday in a couple of weeks.

The latest polls have showed John McCain leading the pact for the Republicans after posting his New Hampshire victory. But Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and Mike Huckabee are right on his coat tails.

Nevada will also hold there closed caucus system on Saturday, but the only candidate actively campaigning there is Romney. The candidates have been extremely focused on South Carolina though being that history has shown that the winner of this state usually rides the movement directly to the nomination.

Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running for South Carolina. The states are very high for Thompson who needs a strong showing in order to continue his bid for the White House.

Do you want to meet the next president? You won't believe the exclusive details you will find out about all of the candidates currently running in the election primaries striving to be our 44th president. Be sure to check out "Meet the Next President" by Bill Sammon. Meet the Next President.

Don't forget to check back through out the primary season as we will be following all the primaries and details that you need to know.