Super Bowl and Super Tuesday Scoring Update

Super Bowl Sunday didn’t go as I had hoped, but conditions are looking even better going into Super Tuesday. After Obama pulled within the margin of error in the Gallup Poll and their three day Gallup Poll, we now have a poll where it’s all tied up. Obama and Clinton are tied at 41% each in the CBS News/New York Times Poll after Clinton held a fifteen point lead in early January. Now that Obama has scored two touchdowns and a two point conversion to tie, any further scores will win it for him on Super Tuesday. It also helps Obama that even if he should lose by the equivalent of a field goal, the remaining schedule still favors him to win the nomination.

In other scores, John McCain has a two to one lead over Mitt Romney, leading 46 to 23. New York upset New England 17-14. Alas, former University of Michigan Quarterback Tom Brady turned out to just miss perfection but how many can achieve that? Maybe next year he can go all the way and can celebrate a Super Bowl victory shortly after Barack Obama is sworn in as president.

To further combine Super Bowl and Super Tuesday, Obama had an ad on local television in twenty-four states during the Super Bowl. The ad can be viewed here.

John Kerry Campaigning For Obama in San Francisco




Clinton Caught Push-Polling in California

It looks like Hillary Clinton just cannot mange to keep the fight clean. After using a number of dishonest tactics in the early primaries, from mailers which distort the positions of her opponents to negative robocalls, Clinton has been caught push-polling in California.

The Los Angeles Times reports on the experience of a California voter who agreed to answer the questions from someone identifying himself as a pollster. He soon noticed that all the questions about Clinton were positive while those about the other candidates were negative and utilized some of the dishonest attacks Clinton has used in the past:

“That’s when I caught on,” said Coghlan. He realized then that he was being push-polled. That malicious political virus that is designed not to elicit answers but to spread positive information about one candidate and negative information about all others under the guise of an honest poll had arrived in Southern California within days of the important election.

It could become an issue in the closing hours of the campaign.

Someone who obviously favors Hillary Clinton is paying an unidentified company to spread this material phone call by phone call among independent voters, who can, according to California party rules, opt to vote in the Democratic but not the Republican primary on Feb. 5, when nearly two dozen states will choose a large chunk of the delegates to the parties’ national conventions next summer.

Coghlan said he was offended by such underhanded tactics and knew he was going to get out a warning about this dirty trick, but he said he played along for the full 20-minute “poll.”

“The guy was very slick, very personable,” Coghlan told the Ticket. “He never fell out of character as a pollster the entire time. He seemed interested in my answers and just kept going through his list of questions as if he was noting my answers. He was very good, very smooth.”

For instance, the caller inquired, had Ed watched a recent Democratic debate? Ed said yes. And who did Ed think had won the debate? the pollster inquired.

Coghlan replied, honestly, that he thought Edwards had won because he was calmer and more reasoned didn’t get involved in all the petty arguing and finger-pointing like the other two. Now, the pollster said, if Ed knew that most people believed John Edwards could not get elected in a general election, would Ed be more or less likely to vote for him?

The Los Angeles Times tried to verify whether the Clinton campaign was behind this:

Phil Singer, the spokesman for the Clinton campaign. was contacted by e-mail last night. He answered that he was there. He was asked if the Clinton campaign was behind the push-poll, knew who was behind it or had any other information on it. That was at 5:27 p.m. Pacific time Saturday. As of this item’s posting time, exactly eight hours later, no reply had been received.

Yes, I’ve also noticed that some of my email to the campaign’s blog liaison is returned and some questions are never answered. It’s not hard to guess why.

Update: Mark Blumenthal believes this was not push polling, but he doesn’t convince me otherwise. His major argument is that the “pollster” spent twenty minutes on the call, arguing that if the goal was to influence voters they wouldn’t spend so much time with each one. Perhaps if they might if this is all it takes to make people less suspicious. Blumenthal makes an error in saying that the only specific negative message is about Obama’s “present” votes. However the report also specifically mentions a negative message about Edwards and mentions these as only a couple examples of negative questions on other candidates compared to positive questions on Clinton. It also remains suspicious that the Clinton campaign did not deny the accusation when asked. If they were innocent one would think they would have denied this.

In the event Clinton should turn out to be innocent on this one, it also demonstrates the problems in getting caught in a number of other lies during the campaign. Once you destroy your credibility in this manner, people are not likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when other questionable matters arise such as this. Several other bloggers have reported on this incident, with some available through Memeorandum, and virtually all are assuming Clinton is guilty here.

Update II: An even weaker defense comes from Pamela at The Democratic Daily. Pamela also quotes Blumenthal’s flawed explanation and then states, “I got to say, as a registered Democrat who lives in the Sen Fernando Valley, I must have missed the ‘push polling’ calls.” She apparently missed the fact that the report specifically states the calls were being made to registered independents, and not registered Democrats. We also would not expect everyone living in a state, especially one the size of California, to receive calls so the fact that any individual was not called is a meaningless defense. Pamela has also been repeating the Clinton talking points for quite a while and has defended Clinton in several of the cases where dishonest tactics were verified.

I see no reason to “correct the record” as Pamela suggests but, in the interest of presenting both sides of the story, I had already added an update upon discovering Blumenthal’s post. It remains curious that while there are rare bloggers defending Clinton, the Clinton campaign itself has not denied the accusations.

Update III: When my reaction to the comments at The Democratic Daily were first posted, an automatic track back got placed on the linked post. I now note that it has been removed. This looks like the response of someone who realizes she is playing with a very weak hand and has no interest in really correcting the record.

I have also checked the rather Orwellian named Clinton Fact Hub. This is a campaign site which is packed with false information to defend Clinton and attack her opponents. In terms of accuracy and honesty it is comparable to Fox News or Pravda. The site regularly issues protests when opposing candidates, newspapers, and even blogs post material which contradicts their claims. Just Friday they denied a different claim posted on a blog. There are several entries on a variety of topics today. Yet they have not denied a charge such as this posted by The Los Angeles Times. None of this is proof of guilt, but when accompanied by the several cases where dishonest tactics have already been verified I remain highly suspicious.

Obama Surges in Gallup Poll


Today’s Gallup Tracking Poll confirms my suspicions that yesterday’s results were an exception from the trend. Obama has moved the closest yet to Clinton as he is only down two points and back within the margin or error after trailing by seven points yesterday. There is not enough data to explain the results, leaving me free to continue speculating without fear of being proven wrong. These results remain consistent with my predictions that Clinton would receive a bump after Edwards left the race from downscale Democratic voters. Subsequent factors including Obama’s overall momentum, the tendency of voters to move towards Obama and away from Clinton the more they see of each, and the recent union endorsements have minimized Clinton’s gains from Edwards supporters.

The closeness of the national poll is consistent with various state polls which show the race tightening in states such as California and New Jersey where Clinton previously had large leads. Obama even leads Clinton in California in the latest Zogby poll.

All the caveats I’ve previously discussed remain in trying to predict the outcome on Super Tuesday based upon these polls. What is notable is that Clinton no longer has a huge lead either nationally or in most of the Super Tuesday states suggesting that at worst the race will move on, with the February schedule favoring Obama. Clinton previously expected to clinch the nomination on Super Tuesday, but it no longer appears that she will be able to receive a significant lead in delegates. If Clinton picks up less than two hundred more delegates than Obama the remaining schedule will still favor an eventual victory for Obama. Should Obama take the lead on Super Tuesday he will likely cruise to the nomination.

John McCain remains well ahead of Mitt Romney with a 43% to 24% lead. Huckabee isn’t far behind Romney at 18% and might further prevent Romney from picking up any momentum by taking some of the southern states. Ron Paul remains out of the race despite all the money his supporters have contributed, only receiving the support of 4%. The winner take all nature of many of the Republican primaries can give McCain an overwhelming lead if he performs as the polls suggest, but Romney does have a slight lead in some California polls, which might keep him in the race a little longer.

Update: Double good news for Obama from Gallup today. Besides the three day tracking polls, there’s also the regular USA Today/Gallup Poll which was released. In this poll Clinton leads Obama by only 45% to 44%, well within the three percent margin of error. This represents a gain of eleven points in the past two weeks for Obama. McCain leads Romney 42% to 24% in the Republican Poll, which has a four percent margin of error.

Obama Showing Momentum In Several States, Leads in California Zogby Poll and Erasing Gender Gap

I’ve had a series of posts following Gallup’s national three day tracking polls since Super Tuesday comes closest to being a national event. These polls have shown that the results of Super Tuesday are too close to call as Obama has erased Clinton’s previous huge lead in the national polls. Looking at the state polls also shows momentum for Obama with the two candidates now being very close.

California was once considered a safe state for Clinton, but the latest Zogby poll now shows Obama moving into the lead. Nobody expects Clinton to lose New York, but she can no longer count on support from neighboring states with the two tied in New Jersey. Obama leads in many southern states, and they are tied in Missouri. A Field Poll out of California shows Clinton and Obama virtually tied in California.

With the polls this close it is also difficult to predict who will pick up the most delegates as in many states they are awarded based upon winning Congressional districts. Regardless of who picks up the most, it certainly doesn’t look like either candidate will be able to pick up enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Those states which have resisted the temptation to move up their primaries might wind up becoming the more important battle ground states for the nomination.

One reason that the races are getting tighter might be that Clinton’s gender gap is no longer as great as it was. Gallup found:

Comparing the three-day average of polls conducted Jan. 18-20 to the three-day average of polls conducted Jan. 28-30 shows that while Clinton’s level of support among men has essentially stayed the same, she has lost 8 points among women. At the same time, Obama has gained 6 points among men, but has gained even more — 13 points — among women…

Whereas there was a 13-point difference between female and male support for Clinton in the Jan. 18-20 interviewing, there is now just a 6-point gap. And whereas Obama was operating with a 10-point deficit among women compared to his support among men roughly 10 days ago, that gender gap in support for Obama is now just 3 points. In general, the patterns of support for the two candidates by gender are much closer to one another than they were just 10 days ago. Gender now appears to make less of a difference.

The compressed campaign was once believed to work to Clinton’s advantage, and the Clinton campaign believed they could clinch the nomination on Super Tuesday. They have backed off from that belief, and the calendar now favors Obama if he can remain close on Super Tuesday. With only a narrow difference in the polls, and with a proportional division of the delegates, Obama has an excellent chance of remaining close behind Clinton even should Clinton still manage to win the majority of the states on Super Tuesday.

Obama does best when voters in a state can actually see him and hear his views. After Super Tuesday there are less states at play each week, allowing Obama a chance to return to retail politics in many states. Many of the upcoming states are also ones which are expected to be more likely to vote for Obama than Clinton. There are more caucus states ahead, where Obama has a better ground game than Clinton. If Obama stays close on Super Tuesday he has an excellent chance to ultimately win. If his momentum is strong enough to actually pull ahead in the next few days he has the opportunity to take control of the race and place Clinton in a difficult position to recover from.

Obama Videos From “Obama Girl” to “Yes, We Can”

YouTube has been a major part of the political races this year. This includes documenting what the candidates have said, hosting debates, and a variety of videos prepared by supporters of each candidate. For Obama, we had Obama Girl and back in July I posted a video of I Got a Crush on Obama along with the opposing video, Hot4Hill. Amber Lee Ettinger, better known as the Obama Girl, briefly flirted with Hillary. Amber has returned to help out Obama just in time for Super Tuesday as Super Obama Girl:


There’s also a higher quality video being circulated for Obama, Yes, We Can:


CNN gives the story behind this latest video:

With just a few days to go before the critical Super Tuesday primaries, Black Eyed Peas’ frontman and director Jesse Dylan, son of legendary musician Bob Dylan, have released a new song featuring a host of celebrities and one very unlikely music video star: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“Yes We Can,” released Friday, is centered around footage of the speech the Illinois senator gave after the New Hampshire primary last month.

The music video includes excerpts from that Obama speech and appearances from celebrities including jazz artist Herbie Hancock, former LA Lakers captain Kareem Abdul Jabbar, singer John Legend, model Amber Valletta, actresses Kate Walsh and Scarlett Johansson, and others.

Blogroll Amnesty Day

Many blogs are celebrating Blogroll Amnesty Day in reverse of how it turned out last year. Last year Atrios began Blogroll Amnesty Day as explained by Jon Swift:

The idea that links are the capital of the blogosphere seems so obvious that you would think an economist like Atrios of Eschaton would have realized it long ago. And as he is a progressive who has accumulated quite a bit of link wealth, you might also think he would be in favor of redistributing some of that wealth instead of just letting it trickle down. So when he announced last year that he was declaring February 3 Blogroll Amnesty Day, and other bloggers followed suit, I assumed he meant that he was opening his blogroll up to the masses. I sent him a polite email pointing out that his blog was on my blogroll and I would really appreciate it if he would add my blog to his. I never heard back from him.

When February 3 rolled around, many bloggers discovered to their horror that instead of adding new blogs to his blogroll he was throwing many off, including some bloggers who were his longtime friends. Blogroll Amnesty Day, it turned out, was a very Orwellian concept. Instead of granting amnesty to others he was granting amnesty to himself not to feel bad for hurting others feelings. Though Atrios has stubbornly refused to acknowledge that he made a mistake, some bloggers who initially joined him, backtracked. Markos of the Daily Kos instituted a second blogroll that consisted of random links from diarists. PZ Myers of Pharyngula now has real Blogroll Amnesty Days where he invites anyone who has blogrolled him to join his blogroll. And in the wake of the bloodletting quite a number of smaller blogs, like my friend skippy the bush kangaroo, changed their own blogroll policies and now link more freely to others.

Jon has more to say on the topic, as does Skippy. This year Blogroll Amnesty Day is being used the opposite of last year as a means for blogs to expand their links to other blogs.

The blogroll at Liberal Values has grown over the past year. Most of the additions have come from either people who emailed me about exchanging links, or blogs which I found had linked here. (That should definitely be taken as a hint if you would like to exchange links.) As the number of reciprocal links has increased, I’ve limited my blogroll to a handful of additional blogs I read regularly, and a variety of other blogs which I randomly change.

I think the best way to celebrate is to take a stroll through the blogroll and give some random examples of what I’ve stumbled upon:

An Insatiable Yucca has a dream ticket: Both Clinton and Obama.

Argville is rewatching The West Wing on DVD and feels it now is looking more like reality due to the prospects of having a Democrat in the White House. Unfortunately an Arnold Vinick running as the Republican candidate remains a fantasy.

Susan Eisenhower’s endorsement of Barack Obama brings back old memories for Robert Stein at Connecting The Dots.

Easter Lemming Liberal News looks at what’s wrong with newspapers.

From the Left notes Paul Volker’s endorsement of Obama.

KerryVision finds that John McCain is a flip-flopper.

Liberal College Kid believes endorsements have gone amuck.

Middle Earth Journal believes conservative has replaced liberal as a toxic tag.

Publius Endures considers international perspectives of Obama.

The Liberal Journal answers some concerns about Obama.

Update: More on Blogroll Amnesty Day from Blue Gal, as well as links to her post via Memeorandum.