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  Politics and Elections - January, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Giuliani to endorse McCain
Reports say that Rudy Giuliani will officially endorse John McCain.  Looks like everything is going his way.  In a close race, this endorsement will be pivotal.  On the other hand, it may not be a close race now.

posted by Scott Elliott at 11:25am 01/30/08 ::
Giuliani's big bust, McCain now true frontrunner
Last night sealed the deal on The Blogging Caesar's second edict and thrust John McCain out in front of a diminishing GOP field.  The Florida primary showed McCain's ability to win a closed GOP primary.  It also brought to an end to the "how-not-to-run-a-campaign" debacle that was Rudy Giuliani's candidacy.

After McCain's convincing winner-take-all triumph last night over Mitt Romney, I'm tempted to issue another edict that the senator will now be the nominee.  However, I have counted Mr. Romney out too many times before to risk my authority of the decree on his demise once again.  His resiliency - and the fact that he is still the only "true conservative" running - precludes any forthcoming edicts on the matter.  (I confer that characteristic on him simply as an echo of what more learned GOP pundits are saying.  Personally, I still doubt that his rhetoric on the campaign trail is consistent with his true self.  Knowing the mind and heart of a used car salesman is a challenge at best.)

Now back to the man of the hour.  As I watched the returns break in McCain's favor last night, an old adage crept into my mind.  "Be careful what you wish for!"  It is true that I want the GOP to win in November real bad (grammatical blunder intended), but I got a sinking feeling when I thought about President McCain.  Not so much about amnesty for illegals or sunsetting tax cuts, but about the Supreme Court.  You see, conservatives are on the verge of establishing a momentous majority on the bench.

With several justices, at least two of a liberal bent, getting way up in years, the next 4 to 8 years will likely present multiple opportunities to move the Court closer to where it was designed to be by the Founding Fathers.  However, I am unaware of McCain's guiding principles on the issue of choosing justices.  And even if he does nominate constructionist candidates, I am doubtful of Mr. Compromise's resolve to face down a Democratic majority Senate in any confirmation battle.

As a side note, it is a great irony to me that, on the judicial front, I am most comfortable with Rudy handling the reins.  He is well-known as a social liberal, but that comes more from a libertarian mindset.  As such, he committed openly to nominating only strict constructionists to serve on the bench.  Of course, he will not get that opportunity.  Florida made sure of that.

It also confirmed the fact that the race for the GOP nomination is now between John McCain and Mitt Romney.  With Giuliani set to pull out and Huckabee floundering in the teens, only those two have any real shot.  Heading into Super-duper-mega-jumbo Tuesday, the storyline will revolve around the impact Huckabee's continued presence will have on the top two.  Most of what I've read seems to indicate the Arkansan will help McCain by siphoning more support away from Romney.  I tend to agree with that assessment.  It is another reason John McCain should feel pretty good about his chances this morning.

A couple of notes on the Democratic side.  Since they were playing with play chips last night, Hillary's victory doesn't mean a whole lot.  However, after what happened in South Carolina on Saturday, a lopsided victory was just what the doctor ordered.  It confirms again that she is still a player and may take a bit of the luster off Obama's rising star, which has shown ever so brightly in recent days.  How does one decide who is the frontrunner in this one?  It could go either way, and probably will before the convention now that John Edwards has dropped out.

posted by Scott Elliott at 11:00am 01/30/08 ::

Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Florida predictions
John McCain and Mitt Romney are locked in a nail-biter down in the Sunshine State.  Because of the winner-take-all format for the GOP in Florida, even the slightest victory translates into a substantial pick up in delegates.  Perhaps more importantly, the winner today will be well-positioned heading into next week's Super-Duper-Mega-Jumbo Tuesday.

So who will be that victor?  Polls are close, very close.  This week's endorsement of McCain by Florida Governor Charlie Crist certainly didn't hurt the senator's chances, but it's hard to tell how many voters the announcement will sway.  It did help convince me to go with the aggregate polling average and predict a slim McCain margin over Romney.

Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani looks like he'll find out his strategy of effectively waiting on the sidelines until this day in Florida was not such a great idea.  No, the Rudy firewall is burning.  With his poll numbers tanking nationwide, it is very difficult to see how he can survive a distant third here today and mount any credible comeback in the future.  And Mike Huckabee's support, as expected after the second-place finish in South Carolina, is waning as well.  This has clearly become a two-man race for the GOP nomination.

On the Democratic side, the candidates are once again fighting for nothing but bragging rights.  Like Michigan, Florida's delegates have been taken away by the DNC for conducting the primary before Feb. 5.  However, that doesn't stop The Blogging Caesar from making predictions on that contest, too.

  • John McCain - 36%
  • Mitt Romney - 35%
  • Rudy Giuliani - 14%
  • Mike Huckabee - 10%
  • Ron Paul - 5%
  • Hillary Clinton - 47%
  • Barack Obama - 38%
  • John Edwards - 15%
  • Mike Gravel - 0%
Other predictions from around the blogosphere:
  • California Yankee  Rudy to withdraw before Super Tuesday?
  • Kingdom of Chaos  El Jefe Maximo says electibility helps McCain.
  • Label Free Zone  Another death knoll strike for Rudy.
  • NB Politico  No nail-biter here.
  • The Political Tipster: GOP, DEM  McCain edges ahead due to late polls.
  • Political Machine  Greg says only early voting keeps Rudy out of fourth.
  • Outside The Beltway  Dr. Joyner joins me but sees larger margins.
  • Coldheartedtruth  C.H. continues a uniform trend.
  • If you have posted predictions, send me an email so I can put you on this list.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 10:00am 01/29/08 ::
    Monday, January 28, 2008
    Poll:  Are we ready for a woman or African-American president?
    The latest edition of Election Projection's Weekly Poll is up.  With the Democrats poised to nominate either a woman or an African-American as their standard bearer, the question of our culture's receptivity to someone other than a white male in the White House has become a topic of debate.  Even after the progress we've seen in civil and gender rights over the last century, some feel deep-seated biases remain when it comes to the nation's top office.

    Regardless of your personal sentiments on the matter, do you believe America, at the present time, can elect a woman or a person of color?  NOTE:  This is not a question of who will win, but whether our culture is ready to overcome past prejudices and choose a woman or an African-American president.  The poll is located in the right sidebar.  Please be sure to cast your vote.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 1:25pm 01/28/08 ::
    Saturday, January 26, 2008
    South Carolina Predictions - Updated
    Today Democrats and other South Carolinians who didn't vote in last weekend's GOP primary will be eligible to vote in the South Carolina Democratic primary.  I'm foreseeing an Obama victory with Hillary trailing by a good margin.  Because of my schedule today, I won't be able to post a prediction roundup.  I will try to post one on Tuesday for the pivotal Florida primary.

    • Barack Obama - 45%
    • Hillary Clinton - 35%
    • John Edwards - 19%
    • Mike Gravel - 1%
    Update:  Obama 55%, Clinton 27%.  Wow, what a shellacking!  I guess we've now seen what happens when Hillary ventures into highly African-American states where Obama is actually on the ballot.  I will be expectantly awaiting how polls in Super-duper-mega-jumbo Tuesday states react to tonight's result.  Will Obama emerge as a true frontrunner?  Or can Hillary weather this full frontal assault?  Either way, it's clear more than ever that we have a real battle for the Democratic nomination on our hands.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 12:50pm 01/26/08 ::
    Thursday, January 24, 2008
    Another one bites the dust
    In a shocking announcement today that is sure to throw the race for the Democratic nomination into turmoil, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is calling it quits.  Heightened speculation surrounds his withdrawal as the Democratic field eagerly awaits his endorsement.  The lucky endorsee stands to gain a substantial boost of a dozen or so votes across the nation.  Stayed tuned; I'll have more on this developing story.  Well, actually, probably not.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 8:25pm 01/24/08 ::
    Tuesday, January 22, 2008
    And then there were five...
    The path to the GOP nomination got a little less crowded today with Fred Thompson's decision to drop out of the race.  Thompson's departure comes just days after a poor showing in the South Carolina primary, a contest which was essentially his last stand.  He now joins Duncan Hunter - who dropped out immediately following South Carolina - as the latest Republicans to call it quits.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 4:00pm 01/22/08 ::
    Monday, January 21, 2008
    Poll:  Will we see brokered conventions this year?
    The latest edition of Election Projection's Weekly Poll is up.  With no clear frontrunner on either side, both the Democratic Party and the GOP may be headed for a brokered convention this summer.  Unless a candidate can pull ahead substantially over the next month of primaries and caucuses, the nominees from one or both parties may not be known until the delegates hash it out at their respective party conventions.  What do you think will happen?  Will we know the Democratic nominee before the last week of August?  How about the GOP nominee; will Republicans settle on their choice before the first week of September?  The poll is located in the right sidebar.  Please be sure to cast your vote.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 2:05pm 01/21/08 ::
    Bad weekend for Election Projection
    I apologize for the obvious problems we had here at Election Projection this weekend.  The issues lay with the hosting service.  I am back up now and will be continuing normal programming later today.

    Update:  The primary table has not been updated to reflect this weekends results.  That will occur later today as well.  Also, if you sent me an email this weekend, I did not receive it.

    Update2:  The primary table has now been updated.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 11:10am 01/21/08 ::
    Friday, January 18, 2008
    Lunchtime report
    Polls are once again offering conflicting data on the GOP primary race in South Carolina.  I posted yesterday that John McCain seemed to be losing ground based on two polls conducted after the Michigan primary.  Today, however, a Reuters/CSpan/Zogby tracking poll indicates McCain's lead is holding steady.  He has stayed at 29% over the last three days, two of which were after Michigan.  In fact, that Zogby poll shows very little movement top to bottom.  This could mean folks are settling on a particular candidate and are becoming less impacted by past results.

    It also means McCain does have a shot at winning in South Carolina.  I still believe he will falter tomorrow, but after everything that's happened so far this primary season, who knows?  I am hoping another poll or two will be released before the voting starts so I can have more data with which to identify trends and make my final South Carolina predictions.

    There is another primary happening on Saturday.  I have been lacking in my discussion of Nevada.  Let me give you a word or two on that race.  On the GOP side, Mitt Romney looks well-positioned to win, and he is busy campaigning there today.  McCain seems poised to take second.  On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is leading in the polls by a half-dozen or so over Barack Obama.  But, will the polls get it right this time?

    I post my final predictions on both races later on.  Stay tuned...

    posted by Scott Elliott at 11:35am 01/18/08 ::
    Thursday, January 17, 2008
    Update on South Carolina
    Polls post-Michigan are starting to trickle in.  In South Carolina, we have two polls taken on the 16th, one day after the Michigan primary.  After what happened to John McCain's numbers following his New Hampshire victory, I expected to see a significant bounce in Mitt Romney's support and a drop in McCain's following Michigan's results.  We do see the latter happening, but not the former.  Indeed, McCain's numbers are faltering, but there really hasn't yet been much in the way of an increase for Romney.

    A great example of McCain's up and down ride is the Rasmussen poll in South Carolina.  Before New Hampshire, with Mike Huckabee riding high on his Iowa victory, McCain polled at 21%, 7 points behind Huckabee.  After McCain won in New Hampshire, he vaulted past Huckabee into the lead 28% to 19%.  And now a poll taken yesterday by Rasmussen shows McCain dropping back into a tie with Huckabee.  Going forward, I don't foresee anything to bolster McCain's numbers.  Instead, I believe we'll see his support continue to erode over the next 48 hours.

    Now back to Romney.  I opined in an update to my previous post that Romney would springboard into a two-man race with Huckabee as a result of his victory in Michigan.  So far, that doesn't appear to be happening.  The reason has to do with Fred Thompson's last stand.  The southern gentleman is making an all out push to score a victory in South Carolina, and his efforts are a threat to Romney's support more than any other GOP contender.  The end result is that neither man is seeing a marked increase in the polls.  Romney's numbers appear to be pretty static - no bounce at all - while Thompson may be seeing just a slight up tick.

    So what are we to conclude about South Carolina two days before the votes are cast?  Huckabee seems to have the upper hand, and I see him continuing to draw support away from McCain.  Romney and Thompson are battling each other - in my mind for second.  It is entirely possible for McCain to fall to fourth before all the votes are counted on Saturday evening.

    I'll post another update on the South Carolina race tomorrow and then my official predictions late tomorrow night or early Saturday morning.  As earlier, there'll be a prediction roundup from around the blogosphere as well.  So, email me those predictions!

    posted by Scott Elliott at 11:55pm 01/17/08 ::
    Wednesday, January 16, 2008
    Fifty-state tour:  Connecticut
    In the successful quest for the House waged by the Democrats in 2006, Connecticut was, seat for seat, one of their most decisive battlegrounds.  Two of the state's meager delegation of five seats switched to the Democratic side of the aisle.  A third, Chris Shays' seat in district 4, narrowly escaped the same fate.

    The two turnovers from 2006 - CD-2 and CD-5 - now have the power of incumbency.  I've listed them as possibly competitive.  We'll have to see if the GOP can mount a credible challenge to either seat.  On the other hand, Shays' seat will once again be among the Democrats' top targets and should be a close race.  However, if the Democrats couldn't knock him off in the very favorable climate of 2006, they probably won't be able to this year.  So, The Blogging Caesar starts this race off as a Weak GOP Hold.  That could change, and another good night for the Democrats here is certainly within reason.

    On the presidential front, a good night for the Democratic nominee is all but assured in this state.  Connecticut is part of the solid liberal Northeast and has voted blue since Bill Clinton's first run in 1992.  This year will be no different.  The only question is whether to project a "solid" or "strong" margin.  For now, let's go with Solid DEM.

    Neither Democratic Senator Chris Dodd nor newly-independent Joe Lieberman is up for re-election this year, and Republican Jodi Rell has two more years remaining in her first full term as governor.  (Dodd is retiring and will not seek re-election when his turn comes up in 2010.)

    Be sure to check out the Connecticut state page for lots more information.

    Next stop:  Delaware

    posted by Scott Elliott at 11:00pm 01/16/08 ::
    Thoughts on Michigan - Updated
    After predicting the Iowa caucuses extremely well and getting New Hampshire right except for the Hillary win which no one saw coming, my powers of divination seemed to slip a bit last night.  Unlike in the previous two attention-grabbing state contests, John McCain was the one who didn't deliver last night.  That was probably thanks in part to lower than expected participation by independents.  Mike Huckabee was a strong, but not praise-worthy, third place.

    But Mitt Romney, in his home state, was the man of the hour last night.  More than just his ties to Michigan, his message of economic hope scored big in this financially distraught state.  His victory cements the fact that we have no fewer than 4 men running neck and neck on the GOP side.  Three victors in 4 states - and the frontrunner for most of last year (Rudy Giuliani) has yet to compete in earnest.  And who knows, maybe Fred Thompson will win South Carolina!

    Whereas Hillary Clinton's nomination was perceived until Iowa to be an inevitability, it now is becoming clear that a brokered convention may be inevitable for the Republicans.  It will be interesting to me to see how the polls react to Romney's win last night.  After New Hampshire, McCain rocketed to the top.  He went from middle-of-the-pack to prohibitive favorite overnight.  Will Romney do the same?  Probably to some degree, at least for a while.

    I do believe the second-place finish will certainly draw McCain back to the rest.  Before the primary yesterday, he looked like the favorite to win South Carolina on Saturday.  Now, it looks like a two-way contest between Thompson Romney and Huckabee.  In fact, by finishing runner-up, McCain will be hurt more than any other candidate.

    His candidacy has always been iffy due to his past record within GOP circles.  Now that he has lost an open primary where Democrats and Independents could vote for him, his prospects of winning the nomination may have evaporated.  Even with the momentum of a New Hampshire/Michigan sweep, it would have been a tough task; without that momentum, it's probably an impossibility.

    So where does the race go from here?  The two I've written off, Romney and Giuliani, are front and center again.  Huckabee still has a chance, but he's running against Rush Limbaugh as well as the other candidates.  Talk about a tough task!  I've gone from threatening an edict decreeing a Huckabee nominee with a victory in Michigan to having serious thoughts about him dropping out altogether if he doesn't win South Carolina.  What a crazy primary season we have going on this year!

    While the picture gets cloudier on the GOP side with each passing election, it's not much clearer on the Democratic side.  Hillary Clinton only got 55% of the vote last night even though she was the only major candidate even listed on the ballot!  Forty percent of voters braved the cold and snow to register an "uncommitted" vote.  This cannot be a good sign for her as we move into more heavily African-American states.  Even without Barack Obama's name on the ballot, people flocked to the polls to vote against Hillary.  I still give Hillary the edge in the end, but the Democrats may be headed for a brokered convention as well.  (Maybe John Edwards serves a purpose in this race after all!)

    A reader wrote me scolding me for my recent predictions.  He said I should stick to formulating the numbers.  I'll get back to that in good time.  For now, these two nomination races are far too intriguing not to try to predict.

    Update:  I've reconsidered the race in South Carolina.  As polls currently stand (pre-Michigan), Romney and Thompson are in a close battle for third behind McCain and Huckabee.  Romney will benefit from his victory last night and will move ahead of Thompson, who is courting essentially the same block of fiscal conservatives.  So, instead of a two-man race between Huck and Fred, it will be a contest between Huck and Mitt.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 11:45am 01/16/08 ::
    Tuesday, January 15, 2008
    Michigan predictions - Updated at 8:55pm
    It will be close.  But who will win today in Michigan is hard to say.  Unlike many states, Michigan's primary is open.  That means anyone, Democrat, Independent, or Republican, can vote in either party's primary.  As we saw in New Hampshire, this can have some measure of impact on the outcome.  This year is different in Michigan, though.

    With the DNC attempting to strip Michigan of its delegates, many more Democrats than normal may decide to vote in the GOP primary instead.  If they do, how will they vote?  On the one hand they may vote for someone they like.  That could benefit McCain.  On the other hand, with an eye on November's outcome, they may vote for the one they think will be the easiest for a Democrat to beat.  That could help either Romney or Huckabee.

    And then there are the polls.  They've been all over the place this last week.  Add to that the failure we saw in New Hampshire with regard to the polls, and it's just very difficult to pick a winner with any confidence.  Yet, here I go.  Below are my predictions for the 2008 Michigan primary.  I've included the Democrats even though the frontrunners are skipping this one and, among them, only Hillary is even on the ballot.

    • John McCain - 30%
    • Mitt Romney - 29%
    • Mike Huckabee - 21%
    • Fred Thompson - 8%
    • Ron Paul - 7%
    • Rudy Giuliani - 4%
    • Duncan Hunter - 1%
    • Hillary Clinton - 63%
    • Uncommitted - 30%:
         Barack Obama - 20%
         John Edwards - 10%
    • Dennis Kucinich - 2%
    • Others - 5%
    Other predictions from around the blogosphere:
  • Label Free Zone  Huckabee beats Romney, McCain wins.
  • Coldheartedtruth  C.H. and I are close, our predictions are running neck and neck.
  • at-the-water-cooler  Wayne sees no losers - except Obama.
  • NB Politico  Giuliani in double-figures.
  • Kingdom of Chaos  El Jefe says the homeboy will win.
  • The Political Tipster  Odds favor McCain but predictions swing toward Romney.
  • AllahPundit at Hot Air  Chance of tears:  Mitt Romney - 50%, Hugh Hewitt - 100%.
  • Erick at Redstate  Romney victory builds momentum for Super Tuesday.
  • John Gizzi at Human Events  Uh oh, McCain insiders wary?
  • California Yankee  Dan Spencer adds another one-point victory to the list.
  • Outside The Beltway  Dr. Joyner and his crew post their picks.
  • Political Machine  Economy talk will win the day for Romney.
  • If you have posted predictions, send me an email so I can put you on this list.

    Update(8:55pm):  Well, it looks like Romney has proven me wrong, both about tonight and overall.  Two possible reasons come to mind.  Bill Kristol voiced one on Fox News tonight when he wondered what if anything can be gleaned from these first three major contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Michigan.  In effect, given the evangelical support for Huck in Iowa, the rock star status of McCain in New Hampshire, and Romney's family roots in Michigan, we really haven't seen how the frontrunners will fare out in the open water of mainstream Republican voters.

    The second factor that I think may be gaining momentum is the daily barrage against McCain and Huckabee from Rush Limbaugh.  On his radio show, he consistently berates and criticizes both men for their lack of fiscal conservatism.  Perhaps his influence has begun to be felt.  Perhaps it will only increase as we move into the closed primaries that dot the rest of the primary calendar.  If that's the case, it could spell serious trouble for McCain and Huckabee and open the door for Romney or Giuliani, or even Thompson, to get ahead.

    Monday, January 14, 2008
    Fifty-state tour:  Colorado
    Situated on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a breathtaking, scenic place that calls to mind the "purple mountain majesty" of that great anthem, America, the Beautiful.  On the political front, Colorado has a certain shade of purple, too, and is becoming more so with each passing election.  The days of Colorado seeing all red are all but gone.  Recently, Republicans have been finding it harder and harder to win elections here.

    In 1996, Bob Dole won the state even while Bill Clinton was winning a convincing re-election bid nationwide.  In 2004, George W. Bush got millions more votes than he did in 2000 across the country, but his victory margin here was cut in half.  Trends point to an even closer margin this year.  Add to that the residual effects of a mild landslide victory for the Democrats in 2006, and you have the ingredients for a party switch come November.  As a result, The Blogging Caesar rates Colorado Weak DEM, making it the first state projected to turn colors in 2008.

    The outlook is not much brighter as we move down the ticket.  In 2006, Republican Bob Beauprez failed to keep the Governor's Mansion for the GOP against Democrat Bill Ritter.  It wasn't even close.  This year Wayne Allard's retirement from the Senate presents the GOP with another problematic open seat to defend.  Compounding the dilemma is the decision of Democrat Mark Udall to enter the race.  Even with an attractive candidate on the GOP side, former Rep. Bob Schaffer, The Blogging Caesar has to give the edge to the Democrat and rate this race a Weak DEM Gain as well.

    The slow shift of Colorado to the blue side is perhaps most evident in the House.  In each of the past two elections, the Democrats have picked off a congressional seat.  After the election of 2002, the GOP held a 5-2 advantage.  That balance now stands at 4-3 for the Democrats.  And yet another GOP seat is somewhat vulnerable this year - Marilyn Musgrave's fourth district seat.  However, since she was able to survive a strong challenge in 2006, this seat will start out rated a Weak GOP Hold here at Election Projection.

    You can peruse much more information on the Colorado state page.

    Next stop:  Connecticut

    posted by Scott Elliott at 10:40pm 01/14/08 ::
    Michigan predictions coming - Updated
    In preparation for tomorrow's Michigan primary, I will be evaluating the polling data tonight, trying to divine some trend or signal that will let me know who is set to win.  This primary, much more than the GOP contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, is a difficult mystery to solve.  By late tonight, I will make a decision and post my predictions.  If you have a blog and will be posting predictions, let me know so I can include it in the Michigan prediction roundup.

    Update:  Looks like it will be "on the morrow" before I can get the predictions and roundup posted.  I'll try to get them up bright and early.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 2:15pm 01/14/08 ::
    Poll:  Who will win the Republican nomination?
    The latest edition of Election Projection's Weekly Poll is up.  Last week's poll took a look at the battle for the Democratic nomination.  Early in the week, Barack Obama, still benefitting from his convincing win in Iowa, took a commanding lead.  Then the New Hampshire primary produced an unexpected win for Hillary Clinton.  Over the latter part of the week she closed the gap some, but not enough to make the poll close.

    This week is your chance to weigh in on the GOP nomination contest.  Who do you think will get the opportunity to face the Democratic nominee in November?  Keep in mind that the Michigan primary is tomorrow and South Carolina's is on Saturday.  When you cast your vote may help determine who you choose.  The poll is located in the right sidebar.  Please be sure to cast your vote.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 8:25am 01/14/08 ::
    Saturday, January 12, 2008
    Fifty-state tour:  California
    With 55 electoral votes, California is by far the biggest prize in the race for the White House.  Since 1992 it has been locked up in the Democratic column.  2008 will be no different.  As usual, the only question is what the Democratic victory margin will be.

    The same would likely be true if a race either California Senate seat were on the ballot this year, but neither is.  And since Governor Schwarzenegger is not up for re-election this year, we'll go straight to the House races.  Almost all of the 53 seats in California's House delegation are secure in the incumbent party's hands.  At most, we'll see only a couple seats change hands.  The most likely candidates are CD-4 and CD-11.  The former will be a battle to replace retiring GOP Congressman John Doolittle.  The field is not set, but the Democrats have a decent chance at painting this district blue in November.

    The latter is a district won in a surprise last time by Democrat Jerry McNerney.  The power of incumbency gives him the edge early on, but this is definitely a seat ripe for the picking with a decent GOP challenger.  As for preliminary ratings, The Blogging Caesar rates district 4 as a Weak GOP Hold and district 11 as a Weak Dem Hold.

    Check out the California state page for lots more cool stuff.

    Next stop:  Colorado

    posted by Scott Elliott at 8:00pm 01/12/08 ::
    Wednesday, January 9, 2008
    Fifty-state tour:  Arkansas
    Not much is going on in Arkansas this year in terms of competitive races.  All four House seats are secure - 3 Democrats and 1 Republican.  The governor and lt. governor are not up for re-election.  And Senator Mark Pryor (D) is relatively safe as well.

    Oh wait, there is that presidential election everyone's talking about.  So far on the national stage, the race for the White House has been full of surprises and uncertainty.  That uncertainty is no where more apparent than in Arkansas.  With native Arkansans making serious bids for the nomination in both major parties, projecting the outcome of this state 10 months out is not unlike predicting now which states will enjoy sunny skies on Election Day.

    But I've got to make a preliminary projection.  To pass would not be like The Blogging Caesar you've all come to know and...well...read, occasionally.  When I take into consideration all the variables, I feel like Arkansas will end up once again in the GOP column.  So it is with great uncertainty - there's that word again - I'll call this state a Weak GOP Hold for now.

    There's lots more Arkansas information on the Arkansas state page.

    Next stop:  California

    posted by Scott Elliott at 7:55pm 01/09/08 ::
    After New Hampshire, Huckabee sitting pretty
    I floated the idea in the previous post of what would happen if Mike Huckabee actually won the Michigan primary next week.  Today a poll from Rossman Group, the first to be released in Michigan this year, shows Huckabee indeed leading there.  The margin is small, and the Democratic polling firm may have some interest in propping him up.  Nevertheless, Huckabee is, if not winning, for sure competitive.

    Over at Real Clear Politics, John Ellis has published an article which looks very favorably at Huckabee's chance to shake the already reeling conventional wisdom about election 2008.  The piece articulates with almost eerie similarity the impression I have had for over a week now.  If you want to know what I think about the rest of the GOP nomination process, check out his article to get a very good idea.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 6:20pm 01/09/08 ::
    Reactions to the New Hampshire primary - Updated
    Last week in Iowa, we saw a few surprises.  But they were trivial compared to what we saw last night in New Hampshire.  Hillary Clinton's victory is one of the most unlikely we've seen in a while.  No one, not the polls, not the pundits, not even her own campaign, saw it coming.  How did she win and what does it mean for the rest of the race for the White House?  I have a few ideas.

    Independents dominate the political landscape in New Hampshire, and they came out in droves.  Conventional wisdom would predict a strong independent turnout benefits Obama.  But there was another race on the ballot that New Hampshire independents could choose to participate in - the GOP primary.  Perhaps the polls showing Obama stretching his lead over Clinton and Romney slightly edging closer to McCain enticed more independents to cast their vote in the GOP primary.  The desire to make their votes count would steer them toward the closer race.  Why vote for Obama - whose victory, many thought, was a foregone conclusion - when you could impact a race whose outcome was much less certain.  The result was a strong victory for McCain and a stunning loss for Obama.

    Another factor was the Hillary breakdown.  She cried.  Whether staged or not, it turned out to be a brilliant ploy that tore away the abrasively inpenetrable persona she has been trying to get away from all this time.  One emotional moment did what 14 months of careful strategizing and image spinning could not do - it made her appear human.  And it captured the hearts of Democrats, especially women.  Proof can be seen in the fact that roughly 20 percent of voters said they made up their minds in the last 2 days before the primaries, and the strong majority voted for Clinton.

    Those two factors contributed more than any other to the surprise result in my view.  So what are the implications?  What do the races look like in the aftermath?  One thing is clear on both sides - we do not have a front-runner in either race.  Obama has yet to benefit from the large African-American populations who live in southern and industrial states.  Yet, Hillary's political machine and on-the-ground organization are second to none.  Either could win the nomination, and, at this point, neither would be a surprise.

    On the GOP side, McCain's victory further weakens Romney's anemic chances.  The pundits on television last night pointed to New Hampshire and Michigan, which holds its primary next week, as a do-or-die double-header for McCain and Romney.  They posited that if either one wins both, the other is finished.  As you know if you read me over the last two weeks, I predicted Romney was finished even before Iowa.  I have not changed that position and will not even if he wins next week in Michigan.

    What I didn't hear last night about Michigan is what it will mean if Mike Huckabee wins there.  After a good third place finish in New Hampshire, his momentum from Iowa is virtually intact.  And he has polled even with the others in Michigan.  I believe he has a chance to win.  Here's a news break for you.  I'm prepared, should Huckabee win Michigan, to issue an edict that he will be the GOP nominee.  First place in Michigan will undoubtedly lead to a massive victory in South Carolina and another, closer, victory in Florida.  The momentum generated before Feb. 5 would then be too much too overcome.

    It was an historic victory for the new "comeback kid."  It was a harsh rebuke to a popular governor from a neighboring state.  New Hampshire likes to be known as a state that bucks the trends.  They certainly demonstrated that once again last night.

    Update:  I've gotten a couple of email responses to this post from New Hampshire folks.  One gentleman wrote in to agree with my assertions, stating...
    Your analysis of the Independent vote in NH is right on.  My wife was trying to decide between Obama and Guiliani, and finally voted for Guiliani since "Obama doesn't need my help".  My dad was similar, although he voted for McCain.  If you asked either of them on Sunday who they were going to vote for, they would have said Obama.
    Of course, this does not prove in itself that my assertions are correct.  In fact, Coleman Kane writes in with a much different take.  He attended several rallies, at least one each featuring Obama, Hillary, and Bill (Clinton).  He says the Obama events were nothing more than pep rallies filled with vague cries of "change" and "hope."  By contrast, at the Clintons' rallies, Bill and Hillary spoke of specific issues and specific ways to make them better.  Of course, I'm sure the rhetoric was nothing resembling the kind of change I would support, but the arguments resonated with issue-driven Democratic electorate in the Granite State.  He continued.
    All of this policy detail and planning was absent from the Obama speeches, and he really sounded all too familiarly like the Bush 2000 campaign stressing himself as a "Washington Outsider" who will "Reach across the aisles" and "End partisan politics in Washington" all through "Change" and "Hope".  The "change", "hope", and the rallying cries get the youth energized, but the older people were really interested in knowing specifics about plans.
    Looking at the turnout demographics, Coleman's point appears to be well-taken.  While Hillary did win the female vote by a wide margin, we also saw voters from older and less affluent areas turn out big for Hillary and overwhelm the youth and yuppie vote which favored Obama.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 11:25am 01/09/08 ::
    Monday, January 7, 2008
    New Hampshire predictions
    The first-in-the-nation primary starts at 6AM tomorrow.  Here are my predictions.  I'll be hard-pressed to duplicate my Iowa predictions.  Nevertheless, here goes.  I see a razor-close victory for McCain (Romney seems to be making a last-minute comeback, but I believe it is a bit too little, too late) and a comfortable win - but not really a blowout - for Obama.

    • John McCain - 34%
    • Mitt Romney - 33%
    • Mike Huckabee - 11%
    • Rudy Giuliani - 9%
    • Ron Paul - 8%
    • Fred Thompson - 4%
    • Duncan Hunter - 1%
    • Barack Obama - 41%
    • Hillary Clinton - 34%
    • John Edwards - 17%
    • Bill Richardson - 6%
    • Others - 2%
    Other predictions from around the blogosphere:
  • Label Free Zone  Ron Paul to win! (Dixville Notch, that is.)
  • Viking Pundit  Eric and I mostly agree.
  • Captain's Quarters
  • Outside the Beltway  Dr. Joyner sees a 3-man race for the GOP nomination.
  • Sister Toldjah  Obama by just 3 or 4.
  • Right Wing News  John has a good analysis of some general election polls, too.
  • Kingdom of Chaos  El Jefe Maximo provides more than just numbers.
  • Confederate Yankee  Will Obamamania spell the end of McCain's chance?
  • No Runny Eggs  GOP 3rd?  Says steveegg, "They love their Nuts in New Hampshire."
  • Coldheartedtruth  C.H. is "going out on a limb" for Obama.  Cute.
  • Political Machine  Greg McNeilly also posts a list of past winners in NH.
  • California Yankee
  • NB Politico  Kudos to NB for sticking by predictions posted last Friday.
  • The Political Tipster  Predictions plus probabilities.
  • Race 4 2008
  • Conservathink
  • If you have posted predictions, send me an email so I can put you on this list.

    Update (01/08/08):  Stephen Green thinks the shortage of ballots in New Hampshire means Obama may eclipse 45%.  At this point, I tend to agree.  Looks like my predictions on the Obama victory may fall woefully short.  And as Bob Owens points out over at Confederate Yankee, this phenomenon most probably means a poorer than expected showing for John McCain - which puts my GOP prediction in doubt as well.  Still, only the 30 or so votes from Dixville Notch and Hart's Location have been counted so far.  Too early to make any definite concessions.

    Update2 (01/08/08, 11:00pm):  Whoa.  Tomorrow, I'll have reactions.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 10:00pm 01/07/08 ::
    Poll:  Who will win the Democratic nomination?
    The latest edition of Election Projection's Weekly Poll is up.  The events in Iowa last week changed the face of the race in both parties.  Barack Obama's substantial victory amid record-breaking turnout was an enormous story.  The battle for the Democratic nomination was supposed to be Hillary's coronation.  Now it is a true dogfight.  Some feel it's now Obama's to lose.  Others still believe Hillary's political machine will prevail.  What do you think?  The poll is located in the right sidebar.  Please be sure to cast your vote.  Oh, and by the way, it's fine to wait to vote until the New Hampshire results are in.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 10:55am 01/07/08 ::
    Saturday, January 5, 2008
    Fifty-state tour:  Arizona
    The Democrats had a very strong year nationwide in 2006.  Arizona played a significant role in the Democrats winning back the House of Representatives.  Two congressional seats from Arizona's 8-seat delegation went from red to blue that year.  2008 may hold more good news for them.

    The presidential election here has gone the GOP's way so far this millenium.  As the population takes on more and more of a latin flair, the race for Arizona's 10 electoral votes may get a little closer.  George W. Bush took the state in 2004 by an 11-point margin.  Expect the GOP to once again paint Arizona red, but by a bit less.  Call it a Mod Hold for the Republican candidate.

    Since there are no Senate or gubernatorial races on tap this year, we'll move to the House.  Just as they did in 2006, the Democrats have a good chance of gaining ground here on Election Day.  Particularly vulnerable on the GOP side is Rick Renzi's district 1 seat.  Mired in controversy, he has decided to forego a defense of his seat.  That opens the door for two strong candidates on the Democratic side to take aim at it.  Because they both are of Native American descent in this most Native American of districts, The Blogging Caesar rates this race a Weak DEM Gain.  That may change, but for now, Arizona CD-1 becomes the first seat I'm projecting to switch parties.

    The only other race which should be interesting is the possible rematch between Democrat Harold Mitchell and Republican J.D. Hayworth in district 5.  Mitchell took the seat from Hayworth two years ago and should hold onto it now with the power of incumbency, but it will be a close race.  For now, I'm rating it a Weak DEM Hold.

    There's lots more information on the Arizona state page.

    Next stop:  Arkansas

    posted by Scott Elliott at 11:55pm 01/05/08 ::
    Romney wins Wyoming caucuses
    Because the state GOP in Wyoming decided to hold their caucuses before February 5, the RNC stripped 14 of 28 delegates from their convention delelgation.  Eight of those delegates are now in Mitt Romney's column after his win in Wyoming today.  So far, Fred Thompson has also picked up 3 delegates, and Duncan Hunter has claimed his first.  Check Election Projection's Primary Table for an updated tally.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 8:25pm 01/05/08 ::
    The truth about religion in the Iowa results
    Michael Medved has looked closely at entrance poll results for the Iowa caucuses and has posted some insightful findings.  I was going to analyze and excerpt his article here, but instead found it more appropriate just to say it's spot on and encourage you to read the whole thing.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 5:15pm 01/05/08 ::
    Will Romney and McCain mudslinging open door
    for Huck in New Hampshire?
    One of the most pivotal moments in the 2004 Democratic primary process happened in the run up to the Iowa caucuses.  Richard Gephardt and Howard Dean were battling it out for first place there by slinging negative ad after negative ad at each other.  I wrote shortly after that in a two-man race mudslinging can work to one's advantage, but when a solid third candidate is waiting on the sidelines, untouched by the fray, it may not be a good idea to focus all your angst on your main opponent.  John Kerry benefited mightily from the spat between the two front runners and won Iowa in a surprise.  The rest, of course, is history.

    What we are going to be seeing over the next 3 days will somewhat resemble Iowa of 2004 with Mitt Romney and John McCain constantly punching and counter-punching one another.  Could this be just the right set of circumstances for Mike Huckabee to get into contention?  Perhaps.  With GOP debates - Huckabee's strong suit - set to air between now and when polls open on Tuesday in addition to the fight brewing between the top two, we might be in for a 2006 version of Kerry's 2004 Iowa surprise.

    I'm not predicting Huck to win on Tuesday, but I do think he will outperform.  It wouldn't surprise me if he comes in just a couple points behind Romney instead of the 15 to 18 point deficit the polls now give him.  If Rudy Giuliani had been halfway engaged in the Granite State, he might benefit as well.  (And, yes, that means I think McCain wins.)

    posted by Scott Elliott at 1:10pm 01/05/08 ::
    Friday, January 4, 2008
    Fifty-state tour:  Alaska
    Alaska is the largest state and has the smallest population (correction - it used to be have the smallest population, now it ranks 47th).  It is also a Republican stronghold.  On the presidential front, it will continue as such in 2008.  But a couple of other statewide races this year may test the GOP's fortitude in our northernmost state.

    First is the race for Ted Stevens' Senate seat.  The 4-term senator is caught in an ethics scandal and may yet be indicted for alleged wrongdoings.  As a result, this race is presently very cloudy at best.  He may avoid serious legal action; he may withstand probable primary opposition; he may win the general election in November.  But since all three of these possibilities are unknown right now, this race can only be classified as a Weak GOP Hold.  However, the events in the next few months will most likely change that rating - to one side or the other - in dramatic fashion.

    If he secures the Republican party nod, he'll be in for a tough fight regardless of what comes out of the investigation.  If he loses in the GOP primary, his successor in Washington will likely be another Republican.  On the other hand, if the Democrats can entice former Governor Tony Knowles into the race, it will be competitive for the Democrats no matter who is on the ballot for the GOP.  This race is definitely one worth keeping an eye on.

    The second vulnerable Republican is Congressman Don Young.  He has some legal troubles of his own.  Since he's been in the House for over 35 years, he may decide it's time to quit.  That would make keeping this seat in the 'R' column much easier.  Like Stevens, he will probably face stiff primary competition anyway, so that may be a moot point.  This race is also rated a Weak GOP Hold for the time being.

    Be sure to check out all the great information on the Alaska state page.

    Next stop:  Arizona

    Update:  I initially - and erroneously - characterized Don Young's seat as solid for the GOP.  The current post reflects a change in that evaluation.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 5:45pm 01/04/08 ::
    Ten reactions to the Iowa caucuses
    Last night was very good, obviously, for the two winners, Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama.  It was very bad for two prior frontrunners, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton.  Beyond that, let's take a look at what else I think we can glean from the results in Iowa.

    First, Democratic enthusiasm has maintained - if not increased - the very high level we saw in 2006.  Well over 200,000 Iowans participated in the Democratic caucuses.  That's huge when you consider the previous record, set in 2004, was around 120,000.  Barack Obama is largely to credit for the increase.  It appears he was successful in his aim to widen the pool of participants.  This substantial uptick portends another difficult year for the GOP in November.

    Second, Mike Huckabee is the real deal.  Sure, Iowa was won by a tremendous outpouring of support among Christians, but this nation - especially the red states - are full of Christians who have longed for a candidate like Mike.  Last night proved that the Huckabee appeal has an enormous ability to motivate and mobilize.  Regardless of his questionable fiscal credentials, he "shares my values" with enough folks in America who will get out and vote to make him a legitimate contender, not just for the GOP nomination, but also for the presidency.

    Third, how I wish Barack Obama were a Republican!  I have to say the man is impressive.  I don't think I've been privileged to hear a more gifted orator in my lifetime, for sure not one running for office.  I was blown away by his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.  I was blown away once again by the victory speech he gave last night.  And at his age, he'll be a major force in American politics for a long time to come.

    Fourth, Hillary Clinton is in serious trouble.  I predicted earlier that if Hillary didn't win Iowa she would be in trouble, and, indeed, she is.  I'm sure she has plenty of dirty tricks up her sleeve to spring on Obama, and she could still capture the nomination.  I think, however, at this point, it looks like she'll have to go dirty, heavy and often, to win.  She cannot beat Obama on substance, and she is no match for him on charisma and personality.  (Plus, she doesn't have Oprah in her corner.)

    Fifth, again as I predicted, Mitt Romney underperformed.  He was perhaps the biggest loser of the night.  Unlike Hillary, who still leads in national polls and must contend with only Obama the rest of the way, Romney's troubles only get worse.  After the resounding loss last night, he now must go to New Hampshire - another 'must-win' that has recently gone south for him.  As it stands now, he almost certainly will not win there.  Those are two states where he was heavily favored just weeks ago.  McCain and Huckabee are rising, and Romney is fading.  And I haven't even mentioned Giuliani who waits in the wings to continue the clobbering once we get to Florida and beyond.

    If Romney didn't have the vast fortunes to self-finance his candidacy, he would surely be out after New Hampshire.  Since he does, only his unwillingness to concede the inevitable will keep him in the race.  In truth, last night and his impending loss in New Hampshire (he could finish 3rd or worse there depending on how the Granite State reacts to Huckabee's win in Iowa) all but ended any hope Romney has of capturing the nomination.

    Sixth, John Edwards is still irrelevant.  It's as if he's content to campaign in Iowa for 4 years, come in second in the caucuses, give a victory speech, and start the process over again.  Someone needs to tell him that runner-up in Iowa is not on par with winning the presidency.  Apparently, he hasn't grasped that yet.

    Seventh, John McCain made some noise last night with a virtual third-place tie.  Yet, even though he should win New Hampshire, it is hard for me see how he can win the nomination.  I just don't see him overtaking Giuliani and withstanding the momentum Huckabee has in his favor.  I do believe that last night, assuming a McCain victory in New Hampshire, turned this race into a contest between three men - Huckabee, McCain and Giuliani.

    Eighth, Thompson's late surge produced a third-place finish, but not the strong third-place finish he needed to solidify his chances.  I think we'll see the rumors of his departure are true.  Look for him to be gone soon after South Carolina.

    Ninth, Ron Paul didn't do as well as I thought.  Still, 10 percent in Iowa isn't bad.  He will stick around until all that money runs out, but I don't think he'll have much impact going forward.  (I do think it is wrong for him to be excluded from any debates.  Twenty million dollars in campaign contributions has earned him a place at the table.)

    Tenth, Iowa deserves it place as the first in the nation.  There's something quintessentially American about a smallish Midwestern state full of common folks getting to have a bit of additional sway over the election process.  I think Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

    And so we're off.  I'm excited that things are underway now.  This will be one of the most interesting primary and general election seasons in a long while.  I have long thought this election would be an uphill battle for the GOP.  After the turnout last night, I don't feel any need to adjust that sentiment.

    posted by Scott Elliott at 12:55pm 01/04/08 ::
    Thursday, January 3, 2008
    Iowa predictions
    If you are a first time visitor to Election Projection (or even if you're not), please see a short note at the bottom of this post.

    Ok, I know I said the caucuses are too close to call.  But I just can't help myself.  So here are my predictions for tonight's battle in the heartland.

    • Mike Huckabee - 30%
    • Mitt Romney - 19%
    • Fred Thompson - 18%
    • Ron Paul - 14%
    • John McCain - 13%
    • Rudy Giuliani - 5%
    • Duncan Hunter - 1%
    • Barack Obama - 38%
    • John Edwards - 29%
    • Hillary Clinton - 25%
    • Bill Richardson - 5%
    • Joe Biden - 2%
    • Others - 1%
    Update:  Other predictions from around the blogosphere: 
  • The Hedgehog Report  (Check out David Wissing's prediction contest over there.)
  • Frank Williams points to another Prediction contest
  • Michael Illions
  • Liberty Pundit
  • Sister Toldjah
  • John Hawkins  (He's got a prediction round-up, too.)
  • Vodka Pundit:  Democrats - Republicans
  • NBPolitico
  • California Yankee
  • Ben DeGrow
  • Steven Nielson
  • The Political Tipster
  • Macsmind
  • Label Free Zone
  • Kingdom of Chaos  (El Jefe Maximo sees the cold helping Edwards.)
  • Political Machine  (Greg McNeilly also has a poll you can participate in.)
  • Patrick Ruffini has an Iowa Caucus Pool you can enter.
  • The Rockford Rascal  (The Rascal posted these predictions on Dec. 31.)
  • No Runny Eggs  (Duncan Hunter gets 5 percent?)
  • Wake Up Americans
  • If you have posted predictions, send me an email so I can put you on this list.

    Update2:  Welcome, Instapundit and Michelle Malkin readers!  (Thanks so much, Glenn and Michelle!)  Now that you're here, let me invite you to look around.  I've projected the last two elections with pretty good results.  You can check out the final 2004 and 2006 projection results.

    I'm starting things up again this year.  Yesterday, I began a fifty-state tour in which I will preview each major race in every state.  The tour starts here with Alabama.  (Be sure to check out Alabama's state page as well.)  There are also handy election resources for you to take advantage of - a 2008 Presidential Primary Table and a 2008 Election Calendar.

    I hope you'll keep coming back as the 2008 Projection Maps fill out.  If you do, you'll be privy to election numbers from the guy Hugh Hewitt calls "one of the web's best prognosticators."

    posted by Scott Elliott at 12:00pm 01/03/08 ::
    Wednesday, January 2, 2008
    Thoughts on Iowa on Caucus Eve
    We're just a few hours away now.  After months of jockeying and jawing, politicking and polling, the nation waits with bated breath for the first real indications of where we stand to come in.  Tomorrow Iowans will debate their way to the first concrete results of the 2008 election season.  The dynamics of the races have grown more intriguing with each passing day.

    Instead of pulling away, former heir-apparent Hillary Clinton is bogged down in a three-way tie for the Democratic prize in Iowa.  On the Republican side, it appears that Mike Huckabee has peaked too early to run away with the GOP title but perhaps not too early to win it close anyway.  With Fred Thompson surging (you gotta see this video) and John McCain getting a fresh look by many (he's now separating from Romney in New Hampshire), it seems anything can happen tomorrow.  These two contests - one Democratic, one Republican - are about as hard to call as any I've seen.

    That said, here are some hunches I'm beginning to get regarding the outcome tomorrow and in the coming weeks.  First, while my first edict may yet turn out correct, I'm even more confident these days in my second one.  Look for Rudy Giuliani to be mired in the single-digits tomorrow.  He could conceivably finish sixth behind Ron Paul.  But his slide won't end tomorrow.  As McCain and Thompson become more and more viable to the GOP electorate, Giuliani's flame will continue to dim.  By the time we get to his "firewall" in Florida, he'll be on life support - and the national numbers will reflect it.  (A little peek at the future - don't expect Giuliani to win the Sunshine State.)

    Second, I think Mitt Romney will underperform tomorrow.  When Huckabee began his rise late last year, the one most impacted was Romney.  Now that Huck is falling back some, Thompson and McCain - not Romney - are the beneficiaries.  Where once he stood alone in Iowa, heavily out-spending everyone else, he now finds himself matched by Huckabee and hearing the rising sounds of Thompson's and McCain's footsteps behind him.  It wouldn't surprise me if Romney finishes third tomorrow and second in New Hampshire - and drops out of the race before Super-duper Tuesday on February 5th.

    Third, nothing comes to me about the Democratic race.  At least not about who will do well and who will do poorly.  I will say this:  if Hillary doesn't win, I think she's in real trouble despite a twenty point lead in a recent national poll.  As I heard Rush Limbaugh say today, if she does lose, the media will try to paint Iowa as no longer significant in the race to the nomination.  But momentum does have a way of building in the wake of Iowa's results.  I'm not saying a loss tomorrow erases her chances in the long run, but it will mean the coronation is no longer inevitable.  Conversely, if she does win - even by a hair - she will have weathered her most difficult challenge and will cruise to the nomination.

    And finally, John Edwards is still irrelevant.  Even if he were to win by a large margin - which he won't - he still isn't going anywhere.  So there you have it.  All the anticipation is just about over, and I for one am happy about that.  Just one more thing to say:  let's get this party started!

    posted by Scott Elliott at 10:15pm 01/02/08 ::
    Fifty-state tour:  Alabama
    For the GOP, Alabama is in the heart of the solid south.  Alabamans have voted reliably conservative for a generation now - especially in the presidential race - and 2008 stands to be no different.  In 2004, George Bush won here by a whopping 63%-37% margin over John Kerry.  In the Senate race that year, Richard Shelby retained his seat by an even greater margin.  And after a very close gubernatorial race in 2002, Governor Bob Riley handily won re-lection in 2006.  Neither Shelby nor Riley is up for re-election this year, but junior Senator Jeff Sessions is running.  He will easily join the eventual GOP presidential candidate in the winner's circle in this state.

    In the House of Representatives, Alabama's political makeup is remarkably stable.  Not one of Alabama's seven House seats has changed parties since at least as far back as 2000.  That's 28-0 for the incumbent party over the last 4 election cycles.  During that time, the balance of power has favored the GOP, 5-2, in Alabama's delegation.  Don't expect that to change this year.  All incumbents are heavily favored, and the open seat of retiring Rep. Terry Everett in CD-2 will undoubtedly be filled by another Republican.

    Be sure to check out all the great information on the Alabama state page.

    Next stop:  Alaska

    posted by Scott Elliott at 7:45pm 01/02/08 ::
    Tuesday, January 1, 2008
    Happy New Year!
    Let me wish each of you a very happy new year as we embark on this new adventure called 2008.  It promises to be a very exciting, eventful time - especially in the political arena.  The Blogging Caesar will be here every step of the way to track and comment on all the proceedings.  With your help, I hope to make this election season the best yet here at Election Projection.

    You can look forward to lots of great coverage of all the major election contests.  I'll be tracking all the Senate and gubernatorial races as well as several dozen hotly contested House races.  And, of course, you'll get state-by-state projections of the presidential race.  Tomorrow, I plan to initiate a tour of all 50 states, providing my preliminary outlook on each race in every state from Alabama to Wyoming.  I hope to complete the tour by the end of February.

    While I'm sorting things out over the next couple days, some of the links may not work properly.  Please bear with me.  In the meantime, let me wish you joy and peace in 2008, and may Election Projection - 2008 Edition be your favorite election stop on the way to Election Day!

    posted by Scott Elliott at 5:25pm 01/01/08 ::
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