First Results, Including Exit Polls, Looking Good For Obama

It is too early for this to really mean anything, but the initial news is looking good for Obama.

Obama is projected to beat Clinton overwhelmingly in Georgia. ABC News is saying his lead is 88% to 11% among blacks per exit poll results. Obama was expected to win big there, so this cannot be taken as any kind of sign of how the night will go. Still, Obama was also expected to win in New Hampshire, so simply seeing him do as expected is a good sign.

I’m reluctant to even mention the exit polls elsewhere, still remembering how disappointing it was back when Kerry lost after we went through the afternoon and evening expecting a victory based upon the exit polls. As the exit polls are out there at many sites I may as well provide a link for those who cannot resist. Josh Marshall has a set posted here. They look very good for Obama, assuming they are a reliable predictor of the final results. Obama is leading everywhere expected, plus some states which could go either way. This includes leads for Obama in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Missouri. If, and that’s a real if, these numbers hold up, Hillary Clinton will be in serious trouble.

The exit polls on the Republican side show McCain winning but not by as much as many expected. He’d still take a big lead in delegates due to the winner take all rules.

We should know a lot more as the next few hours go by.

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  1. 1
    The Charters Of Dreams says:

    McCain is on a roll . . . and that should scare you.
    Larry Kudlow, on last night’s CNBC show, expressed support for McCain because of his “Reaganesque” beliefs in lower taxes, lower federal spending and lower capital gains put him in the best position to lead the economy. However, economist Alan Reynolds compared John McCain to President Eisenhower. One guest, Jerry Bower, realized this was not necessarily a compliment:
    He noted that Eisenhower Republicans kept tax rates extremely high on both
    individuals and business, viewing that as the “fiscally responsible” way to finance a big defense budget. The economy was in recession almost as often as not in those days – in 1953-54, 1957-58 and 1960. John F. Kennedy, Bower rightly noted, campaigned on slashing [Republican] tax rates to get the economy moving again. When tax rates were finally cut in 1964, it worked (as always).
    Reynolds had this to say to Kudlow (via email):
    Recall Ike’s excess profits tax and 90% tax rates to bankroll the Korean “police action.” McCain is a reincarnation of Ike. He sees great national honor in (taxpayer) sacrifice, compulsory national service, etc. You may recall a WSJ column I wrote calling the Rubin crowd “Eisenhower Democrats” in contrast with Kemp and the “J.F. Kennedy Republicans.” It caused Bill to yell at his staff, but they still didn’t get it.
    All that matters to McCain is a big military/VA budget. He does hope to be frugal on domestic discretionary spending, but can’t accomplish nearly enough with a Democratic congress to offset even 10% of military spending at the Bush pace (which he sees as inadequate).
    Besides, he feels, big corporations and greedy investors need to sacrifice for the common good. He always said so., and he hasn’t changed. The only reduction in tax rates he supported in recent years was cutting payroll taxes for the poor (nearly all of whom don’t work, so that’s a cheap gesture).

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    It would really be tough deciding if it came down to Clinton vs. McCain. Both have such tremendous negatives and few positives. At least the conflict between McCain and the religious right is hopeful. The question is whether McCain would respond by trying to pander more to them to get their votes versus deciding he has no use for them (after the Republican primaries are over) and takes a more socially moderate approach. Clinton certainly hasn’t been a consistent supporter of social liberalism/civil liberties with her support of measures ranging from banning flag burning to her crusdade to censor video games.

    With regards to taxes, we are in a different era than during the Eisenhower years and it would be harder for McCain to raise taxes much. Both Democratic and Republican voters are accustomed to the relatively lower rates and would balk at the rates of past years. Therea are also many Republicans who see this in ideological terms and are willing to ignore reality as you do and accept the claim that lower taxes always brings in more revenue.

  3. 3
    The Charters Of Dreams says:

    Ron — I don’t get it: when have I ever said “lower taxes always brings in more revenue”? Hint: never.

    Look, I know you’re busy keeping up with the Obama/Clinton delegate race, but when you get a chance, check out this short video:

    The Laffer Curve, Part I: Understanding the Theory .

    The theory is Soooooo straightforward — the Laffer Curve simply, SIMPLY, charts a relationship between tax rates and tax revenue. While the theory behind the Laffer Curve is widely accepted (really, it is, honestly), the concept has become very controversial because politicians on both sides of the debate exaggerate (e.g, saying things like “ignore reality as you do and accept the claim that lower taxes always brings in more revenue”). This video shows the middle ground between those who claim “all tax cuts pay for themselves” and those who claim tax policy has no impact on economic performance.

    Theories do not equal reality. Theories are working models of reality. That’s what the Laffer is. That’s all it is. Nobody who spends even 10 minutes trying to understand the L. curve would come to the conclusion that “lower taxes always brings in more revenue.”

    I don’t think that. You think I must believe that because I believe (along with 99% of the guys currently with Ph.Ds in economics) that the L. curve is a useful model of human action. Why? Maybe because you don’t quite understand the L. curve? Just a suggestion . . .

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    “I don’t get it: when have I ever said “lower taxes always brings in more revenue”? Hint: never.”

    Actually this is what you are suggesting when you say it always works.

    “along the with 99% of guys currently with Ph.Ds in economics”

    That might be 99% at Cato, but not of most economists. That might be true if you resort to a watered down version that it is a factor. I doubt anybody takes what you falsely set up as the opposing view that “tax policy has no impact on economic performance.” If we go by your straw man argument, yes 99% believe. If we go by how Republican politicians use the Laffer curve, very few agree. If we go back to your claim that it always works, very few economists would agree with you.

    “Maybe because you don’t quite understand the L. curve? Just a suggestion . . .”

    You confuse understanding, as I do, with the ability to repeat right wing talking points as you do.

  5. 5
    The Charters Of Dreams says:

    “Actually this is what you are suggesting when you say it always works.”


    (Cue jaw dropping and hitting the table). The sad state of science education in this country — I blame: public education!

    When have I ever suggested “it always works?” Hint: again, never.”

    First, it’s the most bizarre and confusing way the describe what a theory does. I don’t even know that might mean, really, i.e., “say, does this theory ‘work’?” . . . ?! What the hell are you talking about?

    Models of the external world are not, like, refrigerators, which either “work” or “don’t work.”

    I’ll take a stab at clarification an assume you meant to say that the L. Curve doesn’t not alway predict the tax rates and tax revenue. You think I’m “suggesting” that it is a “perfect” model, i.e., all it’s predictions are correct.

    Where did you get that? Beat’s me.

    The L. curve, the theory behind, is not perfect. That’s exactly why it IS useful — like 99.999999% of the theories out there, they sometimes fail which leads to ask futher questions. This is why there’s so many papers investigating the L. curve.

    However, because they sometimes fail doesn’t mean they’re “broken” or that they “don’t work, all the time, the way they should,” and therefore, they’re totally useless.

    “I doubt anybody takes what you falsely set up as the opposing view that “tax policy has no impact on economic performance.”

    Doubt no longer: The Joint Committee on Taxation on the Hill and the Office of Tax Analysis at Treasury. The JCT & OTA concluded that if the entire tax code was scrapped and replaced by a low-rate flat tax there would be no effect on macroeconomic aggregates (a stunning claim). Futher, if tax rates were assumed to double, the JCT and OTA’s models would plug new numbers estimate that tax revenues would double ?!

    Wtih these types of claims and models used by the JCT and OTA, you can bet your bottom tax dollar that people are using the L. Curve, the theory and reasoning behind it, to actually test the JCT and OTA’s models.

    The L. Curve is useful model — it drives questions, it provides answers. In short, it does “work,” and people are using it, all the time.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    “When have I ever suggested “it always works?” Hint: again, never.””

    You keep forgetting that what you have written is still here so you are not convincing when you deny what you have already written.

    Nor are you convincing when you pretend to have an understanding of science which you clearly do not possess. Blame public education? My degrees in science are from well beyond the public school level so your attempts at pseudo-science continue to leave me unimpressed.

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