Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Friday, February 29, 2008

Our smallest state is having a big independent primary on Tuesday, March 4!

Rhode Island

WHO MAY VOTE: All who have been registered to vote in their current city or town for at least the past 30 days.

The largest slice of Rhode Island voters is made up of independents — dubbed “unaffiliated voters” in state political argot — and they can vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries on Tuesday. (Providence Journal)


  • Independents Win! Bloomberg Pulls Out- Mike Bloomberg's Decision Not To Run Is A Sign That Independents Have Found Candidates They Like, Says CBS' Dick Meyer (CBS News)
  • Washington-Based Anti-War Coalition Re-Emerges : Targets McCain, Iraq Costs (Tom Hayden, The Nation) targets independent voters


Vermonters gear up for upcoming primary (Middlebury Campus)

Farrakhan fallout from Obama-Clinton debate (Amsterdam News)

A rolling stone gathers no moss

Number one on the Hit Parade of Love.

Let's do it, people!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


HANKSTER LEDE: Figuring Out the Will of the People (Wall Street Journal) Book Review: Gaming the Vote, why elections are't fair

OBAMA GROUND CAMPAIGN: How They Grew Brand Obama (Ad Age)

THAT DEM DEBATE FROM CLEVELAND -- HILLARY'S ANTI-INDEPENDENT REMARK-- what was that about? NOTE: It's no secret that the Clintons are hostile to independents -- after all, they don't control us. For background on this, read Richard Carter's 2006 oped on BlackElectorate Lenora Fulani Is Here To Stay Despite The White-Bread Naysayers: "As Democratic mainstays, Clinton and Spitzer are alarmed that many Black voters eschewed their party in the last mayoral election and voted for Michael Bloomberg on the Independence Party line. Thus, they have tried to influence McKay to undermine the dynamic Dr. Fulani’s demonstrated ability to provide other viable options for Black voters...."

And read Queen Hillary's Courage or What's Laughingly Called "Principles" in the Democratic Party By Jackie Salit
  • Hillary Recalls Her Fulani Moment (Adam Dickter, The Jewish Week)
  • Russert persisted in questioning Obama on Farrakhan -- even after his repeated "denunciation[s]" of Farrakhan's "unacceptable and reprehensible" comments (Media Matters - TRANSCRIPT OF EXCHANGE)
  • Morning Thoughts: Fighting Back (RealClearPolitics)
  • Jews Now Drawn Deeper Into Racial Politics-As Obama surges, new round of e-mails raises specter of Farrakhan, Jackson, Sharpton. (The Jewish Week)
  • Hillary Clinton & the Independence Party (Buffalo Pundit)



  • I’m Not Running for President, but ... (By MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, NY Times) this is his original statement
  • NYC to Mayor Mike: Don't run for prez (Newsday)
  • Bloomberg: I'm staying out of NY Dem mayoral primary next year (Newsday)
  • Bloomberg puts it in writing: 'I am not a candidate for president' (by Staten Island Advance)
  • Bloomberg Won't Run, but Says an Independent Can Win (By Dan Balz, Washington Post)
  • Bloomberg Says He'd Help the Right Candidate (NY Sun)

NADER: Party Pooper: Nader, others should not be discouraged from running (Mountain Press - TN)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm an independent voter in Texas. Can I vote in the primary on March 4?

Can independents vote in the texas primary?


And stop by Texas Liberal (All People Matter) for more on the rules of voting in the Texas primary. You have to be registered to vote for at least a month (by February 4). Texas has nonpartisan registration. Just ask for the primary ballot you want to vote in.

Also, you might want to stop by the polls -- is a good resource for all the major polls. In the Texas Democratic primary polls, Obama is leading Clinton by 4 points on SurveyUSA and Clinton leads by 3 points on Public Strategies..... Tighter than a tick on a hound dog's ear.....


  • The Philosophy of Change (by Lenora Fulani, The Daily Voice)
  • L.A. to count most votes by independents (Los Angeles Daily News)
  • TX: WFAA poll: Clinton, Obama race a dead-heat (WFAA-TV) Obama is ahead 54 to 38 percent among independent voters, and commands strong support among blacks 72 to 17 percent.
  • Obama's Call for Change Speaks Loudly to Women (Womens


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hillary Clinton attacks New York Independence Party

Dem debate from Cleveland Ohio tonight:

My Very Counterintuitive Take on the Debate by Jim Geraghty on National Review Online is worth a read.

My Very Intuitive Take is that Hillary Clinton made an extraordinary attack on Lenora Fulani and the New York Independence Party tonight in reference to the question about Min. Louis Farrakhan's endorsement of Barack Obama. Sen. Clinton makes no bones about her hatred of independents in New York.

In this, Mrs. Clinton bites off the hand that has fed her: From Free New York blog -- This woman is bad news and Tim Russert knows it. Another outright lie from Hillary Clinton came in her false repudiation of the New York State Independence Party. In 2006, Hillary Clinton was endorsed by the Independence Party (seen here: and garnered a significant number of votes on the line. When will her mendacious diatribe end?

Stay tuned on this!

Live-blogging CNN Democratic Debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, February 26, 2008

10:33pm -- wrap up....

10:20pm -- Clinton says she regrets her pro-war vote.

10:19pm -- Liberalism: What about polls and appealing to independents? Obama says lots of independents want to make sure that there is ethics reform. Break-down of categories means that independents and Repubs may support positions Obama takes....

10:07pm --- Obama denunciates Min. Farrakhan's considered anti-Semitic positions, and distances himself from his endorsement... Tim asks about Min. Farrakhan's travel to Libya. Obama speaks to Jewish/black relations, the Civil Rights era.... makes clear that he is pro-Israel, pro-Jewish...

Clinton raises her relationship with the Independence Party in New York. She says she has made clear that she rejects the IP "conditions". She's trying to draw a distinction between denuciation and rejection.... [FYI -- Hillary is a rabid anti-independent in New York and is emphasizing her rejection of independent voters in New York... Members of the Independence Party and the Outsiders Coalition marched in September in Harlem to demand a debate in Harlem between Dem shoe-in Hillary Clinton and insurgent outsider Barack Obama. See the video at the top of The Hankster..... Read the Redding News Review or Rock Hackshaw's article on Room 8 for coverage of Lenora Fulani's perspective on this. See also Obama's Wave and the New York Role Reversal on]

Obama says he doesn't see the difference.

10:03 pm--- Campaign Finance Reform: Tim asks Obama about taking public financing. Obama says he'll negotiate that as it comes about in November. Obama says he had confidence in the American people to fund his campaign, which is the aim of good government.... His average contribution is $109.....

Tim asks Clinton who's bankrolling her campaign. She says she's raising about a million dollars a day on the internet... Will work toward releasing her financial statements.....

9:52pm -- Debate on "speeches" vs. "record" ---- Obama: special interests are dominating Washington....

10:01 -- Obama says the only way to change what's happening is to involve the American people in this.

9:46pm -- Obama now says he's been very clear with the American people about where he's at with these issues. NBC "Nightly News" host Brian Williams has just cut off Clinton to go to commercial..... Not much else so far in terms of a strong appeal to voters, independents, or involving the Amiercan people in the decision making process.....

9:34pm: Foreign Policy/Iraq: Obama says Clinton equates longevity with expertise. Policy positions.... NOTE: Is there a substantive debate on US presence in Iraq? Obama seems more definitive in terms of getting out. Clinton has a tentative timetable for withdrawal. Once again, Obama "seems" to be more principal-driven and Clinton seems to be more triangulating in terms of where to locate US policy.... Still no mention of a mandate from the American people as to policy.....

9:19pm: NAFTA: So far, no mention of involvement in dialogue of the American people of trade issues.

I will say that Tim Russert of NBC's "Meet the Press", the moderator of tonight's debate, seems particulary even-keeled and "hard-hitting". We'll see if he has a question about process and giving a voice to the American people in this election....

9:27pm -- Obama wants to be an advocate on behalf of workers....

9:12pm: Healthcare: No mention so far on involvement of the American people in decisions on policy, desire for universal health care... [NOTE from The Hankster: Questions and answers are All programatics -- the DP has failed on programatics, so they NEED to talk about process...]

2/26/08 8:33pm:
Hello everyone. The Hankster will be live-blogging the Democratic debate tonight on CNN betwen Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. My perspective will be from the vantage point of independent voters and any notice of a coalitional effort or alliance between independent and black voters.

Every day, The Hankster runs at least one post called "TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS", a comprehensive aggregated source for news articles from around the country for independent voters, about independent voters.

Independent voters throughout the country are concerned about being able to vote in state partisan primaries and having input as to who is running for president. Independents are concerned about being able to choose their ballot.

The Hankster offers a selection of articles that talk about independents and the weight they carry for the 2008 presidential election. You can subscribe by emailing or signing up.

I'd be pleased to hear from you, your thoughts about what's happening nationally and locally in terms of our changing political landscape.


What is The Hankster?

Hello from The Hankster!

Most every day, The Hankster runs at least one post called "TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS", a comprehensive aggregated source for news articles from around the country for independent voters, about independent voters.

Independents are a big deal in this 2008 presidential election. We will have a say, if not determine, the next president of the United States.

Independents are talking to each other and organizing at the ground level every day of the week. On ths blog, The Hankster, you will find a daily selection of MSM and other pertinent articles that talk about independents and the weight we carry for the 2008 presidential election.

What do independent voters think about the candidates? And more importantly, what do independents think about the process by which we the American people arrive at that decision?

Let me know. Speak out!

Lenora Fulani, "Delusional" Voters, Barack Obama, Reality and Change

The Philosophy of Change by Lenora Fulani on The Daily Voice:

When I ran for president of the United States as an independent in 1988, I achieved some important firsts - through the hard work of many people, who were called "delusional" (and much worse) just as Obama's followers and supporters are now being branded.....

The Hankster highly recommends a visit to The Daily Voice!


  • Washington state voters want a primary (Seattel Post Intelligencer blog)
  • Democrats Abroad makes voting accessible-Organization works to enfranchise thousands of Americans (The Daily Evergreen)
  • Rock the Vote's Post-Super Tuesday Poll (Fox Business) poll says 16% independent --- NOTE: I've seen polls where youth come in more around 40-45% independent, so watch for a disconnect with Rock the Vote's analysis..... -NH
  • Gerrymandering robbery (Salt Lake City Tribune)

  • Clinton courts county Independents on wife Hillary's behalf (Lancaster OH Eagle-Gazette)
  • Grassroots grow deep in Ohio (Politico)


Ralph Nader announced his intention to run for president as an independent on Meet the Press on Sunday:

Monday, February 25, 2008


OPEN PRIMARIES: Letter: Political parties displease voter (The Advocate) * Bring back state primary for 2012 (The Denver Post) * Making It Easy To Vote is A Good Idea (The Day CT)

INDEPENDENT VOTERS: Voters get left out in the rain (Pasadena Star News)

NADER: Nader's 3rd presidential bid mostly draws shrugs (Chicago Tribune) ...... The Nader Nadir (Veeps 2008 blog)

TEXAS: Hispanic Spending in Texas to Surpass $2 Million (Ad Age)

OHIO: Obama draws big Toledo crowd; 5,000 turned away (Dayton Daily News)

RHODE ISLAND: Upbeat Despite Defeats (Hartford Courant)

FEATURE: Cutting Women Out: The media's bias against female presidential candidates (In These Times)

Weekend News Headlines for Independent Voters

OPEN PRIMARIES: Open primaries in Texas and Ohio will test Clinton-Independents, GOP voters can participate, which may benefit Obama (Houston Chronicle) * Voting In Democratic Primary Makes You A Democrat, Regardless Of Motive (Tyler

PENNSYLVANIA: Voters switch parties before primary (Erie Times News)

TEXAS: Election call: It is Obama (Houston Chronicle)

OHIO: Obama talks change (The News Herald) * Youngstown still sees its shadow (The Vindicator)

THE CAMPAIGN: Kentucky donations follow trends (Herald Leader) * Barack Obama crowd looks like 'cult' or 'craze,' pundits say as backlash begins (Michigan Live) * Obama Backers Seek to Shut Down Pro-Clinton Organization (Wall Street Journal)

NADER: Obama: Nader bid would not hurt campaign (Washington Times)

Ohio, Texas Uphill Climbs for Clinton (AP) Among independents, Obama is leading Clinton by 14 percentage points in Ohio and by 13 in Texas, according to a Washington Post-ABC News telephone poll taken Feb. 16-20.

Obama, McCain have wide leads in Vermont, poll says (Burlington Free Press) independent voters in Vermont, who make up an estimated 40 percent of electorate, are choosing to participate in the Democratic primary over the Republican primary by a nearly 2-1 margin. VERMONT PRIMARY IS OPEN

Obama's New Populism (Wall Street Journal)

Washington's Independents On The Move (NPR - THIS IS A RADIO LINK)

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Fraud" in Harlem, or just machine politics as usual?

From the New York Observer's Politicker by Azi Paybarah:

"....Michael Bloomberg's use of the word “fraud” to describe the unofficial, faulty Super Tuesday results from the city Board of Elections is getting lots of attention in lots of very different places, as illustrated here [College Democrats at the University of Wisconsin at Madison] and here [this is The Hankster post] and here [this is Icky, a Chicago-based independent/liberal blog that is worth a look]. ...... Jerry Skurnik still thinks the accusation is bogus. [This is Room 8 -- if you're a New Yorker, or even if you're not.... you want to check out this important -- if bogus -- blog.......]

To read Lenora Fulani's comments on the significance of Super Tuesday and the black vote, see Obama's Wave and the New York Role Reversal in the Daily Voice: "In many respects the New York story could be cast as a simple one - man vs. machine - where the man, Barack Obama and his visionary campaign was outpolled by an entrenched and powerful urban political machine with deep roots in Harlem. It would be that simple story but for the fact that the recent history of black politics in New York City includes a massive and unexpected uprising against the clubhouse by black voters. In 2005, 47 percent of black voters rejected the Democratic Party mayoral candidate and voted for an Independent/Republican Mike Bloomberg instead. This outpouring against politics-as-usual and for nonpartisan political change briefly put New York in the national vanguard of a black electoral revolution. But on Super Tuesday, the roles were reversed....."


PENNSYLVANIA: Obama, Clinton, to court Pa.'s 1 million independent voters (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Name Actors Get Presidential (Backstage) Scarlet Johansson also recorded a phone message supporting Obama, directed at independent voters.
  • Strange Bedfellows (Seattle Post Inteligencer) Poll: Good news for Gregoire, Obama-Obama picks up 60 percent of those who describe themselves as independents, for a 3-2 lead over McCain. Clinton scores only 44 percent of independents, and runs virtually even with McCain.
  • McCain vs. Obama: 'Watch and learn' campaign (MSNBC) Last para: Independents: They both want them. But they each face different hurdles to win them over.
  • Schwarzenegger: "Party of One: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Independent Voters," (By DANIEL WEINTRAUB, Modesto Bee)

WISCONSIN: Editorial: Wisconsin joins call for change (Sheboygan Press) ..... * Why Obama is beating Hillary (Boston Globe)

OPEN PRIMARIES: Open Primaries in Oregon? (BlueOregon)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


WISCONSIN: Voting gap divides the parties (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) When those proportions are applied to the total state vote, about 311,000 self-identified independents voted Democratic, while about 94,000 voted Republican. Put another way, about 77% of the independents went to the Democratic side.

TEXAS: Texas Latino community plays hard to get (Politico) Texas Hispanic turnout in the last presidential election offers a glimpse into an electorate that is anything but monolithic: 57 percent were Democrats, 26 percent were Republicans and almost 16 percent were Independents. Hispanic independents will be a key target, said Gonzalez, who endorsed Obama last week.

PENNSYLVANIA CLOSED PRIMARY: 3rd-party voters get reminder -- independents cannot vote in PA primary (Wilkes Barre Times Leader)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Harlem Political Machine Fraud

OREGON INDEPENDENTS: Independent’s Way/One in five Oregon voters won’t get a say in the May presidential primary. Phil Keisling tries again to change that. Open Wide: Oregon’s closed primary faces a third attempt at change. (Willamette Week)

WISCONSIN INDEPENDENTS: Party leaders confident there will be unity following primary (AP REPORTS

If you haven't read about the "0" votes in 80 predominantly black districts in New York for Barack Obama in the primary (Super Tuesday), please partake:
  • Bloomberg Charges 'Fraud' in NYC Primary, But Believes 'No Legal Issue at Stake' (Brad Blog)
  • Civic Group Calls for Voting Investigation (City Room/NY Times blog)
  • No Obama Votes in NYC - Is This Some Florida B.S.? (Black
  • OBAMA "Robbed" In NYS Primary: Recount May Change Delegate Count (
  • Obama Cheated Out of Votes ( blog)
  • Meet the new guard black politicians (NY Daily News)
  • Obama and Clinton: War of the Words (The Gothamist)

Big flap over Harlem Obama results: Does "0" stand for Obama in Charlie Rangel's district????

How far would you go to preserve your relationships with the Clintons?

Bloomberg's allegation from Politico's Ben Smith: New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg yesterday alleged "fraud" in the unofficial count of New York City's votes, which left Obama with zero votes in 80 election districts....

And I like the tone of the Brad Blog's Bloomberg Charges 'Fraud' in NYC Primary, But Believes 'No Legal Issue at Stake'
"New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has used the "F" word to describe what may have taken place when zero votes were registered for Barack Obama during unofficial results at nearly 80 precincts in New York City on Super Tuesday, including several in heavily African-American areas such as Harlem....."

As Brad notes, Daily Kos says "And the problems are being caught and corrected, so no need to hyperventilate." Hmmm.... no need for concern, folks, the problems are being corrected...!!

Billary? Schmillary!

I must say I rather agree with John Heilemann when he says you ain't seen nothin' yet. Billary is very upset. "We must win..." they shreik.... (The horror, the horror....) Still, there seems to be something "in the air". Hope? Generational change? Amercian know-how? Who knows! It sure is interesting!

See Heilemann's post below from the New York magazine's blog "Clinton to Bring the Hammer Down After Her Wisconsin Drubbing":

The cheeseheads have spoken. And the message they delivered in the Democratic primary in Wisconsin was loud and unequivocal. There are fancier (or gentler) ways of interpreting it, but what the hearty souls who braved the subfreezing temperatures to cast their votes from Milwaukee to Menomonie announced was this: Virginia and Maryland weren’t anomalies; Barack Obama has the Big Mo; and Hillary Clinton is close to being forced from the stage by another lady — the fat one who likes to sing.... (New York magazine Daily Intelligencer)


HANKSTER LEDE: On This Week, George Will falsely asserted that "in the primaries," McCain "has achieved more independent voters than Obama" (Media Matters)

WISCONSIN: Obama, McCain win in Wisconsin (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN) Obama won independent voters by a 2-to-1 ratio ......AND..... Wis. Exit Poll Highlights (Associated Press) Obama won the votes of 64 percent of self-described independents, and got 53 percent of self-described Democrats compared with 46 percent for Clinton.

HAWAII: Obama Wins Big In Birth State Of Hawaii (NBC News WMAQ Chicago) McCain receives half of independent votes

OPEN PRIMARIES: ‘Non-affiliated’ voters tempt parties (Bluefield Daily Telegraph) WV Dems open primary to independents .....AND..... Our Views: Party voting in primaries (The Advocate)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Live-blogging Wisconsin primary Feb. 19, 2008

10:20 pm -- Barack Obama is addressing the nation. Drawing parallel to American Revolution, WWII fight against fascism, pioneers, immigrants, women's suffrage, civil rights movement -- that's what hope is. Remake this nation block by block, city by city, state by state.

End of speech. 10:24pm

10:14 pm -- We need new leadership to lead us into a new century. The only way we can make a difference is to bring new people into this -- independents, young people, Republicans.... a working majority...

Against John McCain's economics, war policy.....

The meaning of hope: the odds of me standing here are very slim. Single mom and grandparents gave him love, education, hope. Naieve? Fuzzy-headed? Need reality-check? Passive? The world is mean and tough. Hope is not blind enthusiasm. It's difficult.

10:09 -- Barack Obama speaking from Houston after winning the Wisconsin primary:

The war in Iraq was unwise, distracted us from what was happening in Afganistan. It's time to bring our troops home...

Bring our troops home, I remember what JFK said, we should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate.... wants to go to the world's community and say, we are back, we are ready to lead.... yes, we will hunt down terrorists, we will also hunt down AIDS, genocide in Darfur, etc... civil libertaries --- close Guantanamo.....

Obey the Constitution....

9:59 pm -- Economy - take away tax breaks for companies that leave American workers.... If you work in America, you should not be poor.... Every child in America should have the best education. The problem is not the lack of plans, it is the lack of urgency. Every child is our child. Engaging college students in helping..... Cap greenhouse gases... solar... fuel efficiencies... Stop using immigration as a political football..... give illegal immigrants a chance.... reinvest in our cities. Spending $9 bil. a year in Iraq....

"As your commander in chief" gets a big cheer.... support for troops, veterans

9:50 pm -- Anti-war message now from Obama from Houston. Why now? We are at a defining moment in our nation. We cannot afford to wait, on education, environment, end the war in Iraq, health care.... We cannot wait. When I decided to run, saw that the American people have grown weary of a politics based on spin. Change does not happen from the top down, it happens from the bottom up. Americans are decent people. Get beyond the divisions that have become so commonplace in American politics.... Challenge ourselves to be better.

My faith in the American people has been vindicated. We want to move forward into a better tomorrow.....

The American people [interruption with crowd chant "Yes we can"] have spoken out and they have said we need to move in a different direction. I'm not a perfect vessel. But I would not be running if I didn't think I could do something. But I can't do it by myself. Are you really ready for change???? If you are really ready for change, we can go ahead and tell the lobyists you will not run America.....

Health care system instead of a disease care system....

9:44 pm -- Obama from Houston: appealing now to Texas voters after the apparent win in Wisconsin. Change is not easy. More than big rallys, more than rousing speeches, position papers, etc.... The problem we face in America is not the lack of ideas, it's that Washington DC is the place that good ideas go to die.....

9:39 pm -- Obama from Houston, on Wisconsin victory: Thanks to SEIU and other union support... Early voting has started in Texas.... showing the voting card.... don't wait until March 4.... Feb. 19-29 to vote. Two things -- vote early and then vote in the caucus to select delegates... "Yes We Can".... Get your neighbors and family to vote....

Now sayin We just heard we won in Wisconsin.... Grateful to the people of Wisconsin for their friendship and support, civic pride.... it's cold!

Caucus in Hawaii -- it's too early to know how that will turn out....

But the change we seek is still ahead.... We need the people of Texas to achieve that....

9:37pm -- Obama now speaking from Houston. 55% Obama v 44% Clinton in Wisconsin..... NBC and CNN have now switched over to Obama's speech. Crowds "wild"... Obama now speaking Texese..... Houston we have lift-off, etc... Y'all....

9:27 pm -- Hillary is addressing fans in Ohio, still talking about words -- now, words DO matter, but not as much as actions...

Projections are Obama 55% and Hillary is apparently appealing to hope and independent voters.... a dangerous world, new threats, new opportunities.... she stood up to the Chinese and said that women's rights are human rights.... end cowboy diplomacy, ready to lead day one....

This projection was made literally minutes after the polls closed, results from Madison and Milwaukee were key.....

Obama is now speaking from Houston, interrupting Hillary's statement....

9:18pm -- NBC is projecting Barack Obama as the winner of the Dem primary in Wisconsin (they actually broke into the end of McCain's longwinded speech to announce )

9:02 -- on MSNBC apparently NBC has also called Wisconsin for McCain... 50% of Wisconsin voters are independents... says Tim Russert to Chris Matthews... negative campaign comercials... what will be the lessons going into March 4 in Ohio and Texas....?

McCain is celebrating, with his wife Cindy who tonight criticized Michelle Obama for talking about how proud she is of America right now.... Hmmmm..... McCain's victory speech in Wisconsin.... fighting an "eloquent but empty call for change" [rousing applause -- chants of "USA, USA, USA"....] ... talking about the need for the next president to have experience, as opposed to the confused .... of a candidate that wants to reach out to other nations.... "moral monsters".... "apocalyptic zeal"... we need to marshall all elements to win the war against Muslim extremists.... He's speaking from Ohio, fight for the right changes.... rely on common sense of Americans.... pro-growth, pro-jobs.... energy policy...

8:59 pm -- pre-poll closing chatter on CNN with 360 guy all talking about how Obama is inexperienced in speaking... whaaaa.....???

CNN projects McCain as Repub winner...

Obama has a lead, CNN is waiting for the actual vote [mighty white of 'em, huh?]

8:56pm Whoa! just a quick look on blogger: Independent voters, who are allowed to vote in Wisconsin’s open primary, broke heavily for Obama. Sixty-three percent went for the Illinois senator and 34 percent went for Clinton. (Taking Back the White House in 2008)

8:54pm: The polls are about to close in Wisconsin, the pundits are poised, the bloggers are blathering, Americans are America-ing....

Wisconsin independents break for Barack Obama by 62%

It seems clear that Barack Obama won the Wisconsin primary tonight (the media was projecting Obama the winner as early as 10 minutes after the polls closed....) and that independent voters were a major factor in that election.

Wisconsin independents (25% of the voters) went for Obama with 62%.

Wisconsin independent voters breaking 6 - 10 for Obama

Obama showed his appeal to independent voters, who had a choice of parties in Wisconsin's open primary. Obama won the votes of 6 in 10 self-described independents, while he tied Clinton among self-described Democrats. (AP)

Hawaii Caucuses tonight -- catch live updates on

Continuous Updates on Democrat Caucuses in Hawaii and Wisconsin from
With expectations of a record turnout in tonight’s Hawaii Democratic presidential caucuses, results will nonetheless come in very late tonight and in fairly leisurely fashion. Perhaps that is to be expected in America’s slice of paradise in the middle of the Pacific, the most multi-racial state among the 50, where Barack Obama was born in 1961...... (Hawaii Reporter)

NOTE: I caught a couple of minutes this morning of Obama's sister at a rally in Hawaii introducing herself as an "Obama Mama"....

Harlem Redux: Obama v. The Clinton Machine

Obama also rebuffed Clinton's argument that he would melt in the face of Republican attacks.
"First of all, I've had to go up against the Clinton machine. And it's not as if they're playing tiddlywinks, right?" he said. "So we've been battle-tested during the course of this primary." (AFP)

And speaking of going up against the Clinton machine, Black Voices asks: Did the New York City election officials pulled a jack move on Sen. Barack Obama on the night of the Super Tuesday New York State Primary? The New York Times found that in 80 of NYC's 6,106 districts, Obama did not get a single vote.

Or read what Christopher K. Leavitt says on a article OBAMA "Robbed" In NYS Primary: Recount May Change Delegate Count... commenting on the New York Post's article saying that Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron called the understated figures "outrageous. I think this is an all-out effort to stop a campaign that is about to make history and render America's first black president," he said. "We need some kind of independent or federal agency to investigate this." ....

And our new friends at picked up the Wall Street Journal's comments on the story....

And they wonder why people are leaving the parties and becoming independents!!!

Wisconsin independent voters turn out in open primary today

Wisconsin open primary today: Exit polls show independents cast about one-quarter of the ballots in the Democratic race, and roughly 15% of the electorate were first-time voters. (WAND-TV, Illinois)

Turnout was predicted to be 35 percent in Wisconsin, which would be the highest in 20 years for a presidential primary. Wisconsin's primary is open, meaning voters don't have to designate a party affiliation and they can register on election day. (

Talk/Talk: Keeping It Lofty

Below are excerpts from Sunday, February 17, 2008's Talk Talk, Keeping It Lofty. Every Sunday CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, February 17, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show", "Meet the Press" and the "McLaughlin Group":

Salit: So, let me get your thoughts on one of the other questions discussed - I think this is how Chris Matthews framed it: 'Can you keep things lofty?' He's now talking of a scenario where Obama is the nominee. Can Obama keep things lofty and beat John McCain?

Newman: Thomas Jefferson was lofty. George Washington was lofty.

Salit: Yes, they were.

Newman: Is something wrong with lofty? Of course, he can keep it lofty. The American people are, it's seems apparent, responsive to trying to elevate the level of politics in this country. If they weren't, we wouldn't be talking about Obama today....

Of Cheeseheads and Fightin' Bob La Follette

With its rich primary tradition -- dating to the days of Robert M. La Follette's Progressive movement at the start of the last century -- and with its wide-open process that allows Democrats, Republicans and independents to cross party lines and participate in whichever primary grabs their interest; its steady status as a swing state; its liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans; its urban, suburban, small-town and rural voting blocks; and its labor union and family farm traditions, few states offer presidential candidates more opportunities to fool themselves into believing that they can get the win they need in Wisconsin.... (The Capital Times)


  • Unaffiliated bloc flexing its muscles (The Denver Post)
  • The Potomac Primary (America, The National Catholic Weekly)

WISCONSIN: Open Primary on Tuesday (WEAU) Independent voters can vote, and you can register today

TEXAS: FYI: How to vote in the primary-Texas primary is open to independents and early voting starts today (The Lufkin Daily News)


  • Harkin, Kind express concerns about superdelegates' big role (Telegraph Herald) Ron Kind advocates open primaries in all states
  • Let Democrats decide who's electable (Eugene Robinson, Detroit News)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Texas Primary: I'm an independent. Can I vote?


I called the state Democratic Party Democratic Party of Texas
at 505 West 12th Street, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 478-9800(512) 480-2500 (fax)

....and the wonderful person who answered the phone said that I can vote in either party primary by saying at the poll which primary I want to vote in (no declaration of loyalty is necessary!)

From Wikipedia: Texas - Semi-Open Primary (Mar 4) & Closed Caucus (begins Mar 4, schedule based on party rules). Voting in primary is prerequisite for caucusing at precinct convention, which convenes after primary polls close. Deadline (Feb 4, 2008).

An American Research Group poll shows Obama slightly ahead in Texas as of Feb. 13/14, with Obama at 48% and Clinton at 42%...

In terms of where independents are going, ARG reports that Texas independents comprise 22% of the electorate and are breaking 71% for Obama, 24% for Clinton. According to the Rasmussen Reports, Clinton currently leads among both White and Latino voters. Obama leads among African-American voters. ...


The Hankster welcomes a new site, a news magazine that claims:
"'s philosophy is simple. The average person doesn't have a political left or right, but really feels somewhere in the middle. We try to keep our news “down the middle” and our opinions for all."


HANKSTER LEDE: Black Presidential Candidates Before Obama (US News & World Report)



PENNSYLVANIA INDEPENDENTS: Primary election laws unfair to independents (Morning Call - Allentown PA)

MARYLAND INDEPENDENTS: Fix the Maryland Primary to include indpendent voters (Diamondback Online (Univ of MD)


THE CAMPAIGN: Hillary Clinton and neocons use the same playbook against Barack Obama (Michael Goodwin, NY Daily News)

BLOOMBERG: The establishment's stooge (By David Sirota, Seattle Times)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


  • Hillary Clinton has an uphill climb ahead ( Seattle Post Intelligencer)
  • Secretary of State requests review of LA County ballots (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • R.I. sees surge in new-voter registration (Providence Journal) Independents can vote in either presidential primary. Of the last four months of voter signups, about 6,800 enrolled as Democrats, roughly 1,900 became Republicans and more than 12,000 registered as independents, a category deemed “unaffiliated” in state political argot.
  • The Chronicle endorses the senator from Illinois (Houston Chronicle)
  • Bill Clinton sweeps through East Texas (Austin American Statesman) Obama's lead in one poll attributed to independents
  • Charles Barkley: Conservatives are 'fake Christians' (Raw Story) [Barkley's statement that he's an independent was edited out of this version]
  • Charles Barkley Calls Conservatives 'Fake Christians,' Likes Obamanomics (Business & Media Institute)
  • Another poll gives Obama an edge in Texas (Austin American Statesman)
  • Virginia Nonpartisan redistricting plan defeated (Richmond Times Dispatch)
  • The 2/3 Southbound, 96th St, 11:30 pm (Chew your grouse blog) "Actually, Lenora Fulani has been running for years, and she's a black woman."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ohio Primary: I'm an independent. Can I vote?

Answer: YES WE CAN
I called the Board of Elections in Cleveland today and asked if I could vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary and the person who answered the phone said yes.

Good luck to independent voters in Ohio on March 4.....

Still watching CNN The Situation Room:
This just in, SEIU, the large service union holding contracts for hotel workers (150K workers in upcoming primaries....)

John Lewis is making a difficult decision....

Obama is making NAFTA an issue in Ohio -- a pro-union state...

Live-blogging CNN The Situation Room: Charles Barkley, independent, endorses Obama

6:39 pm: Michelle Obama is campaigning in Ohio, hoping to win over some Hillary supporters.... Michelle grew up on the South Side of Chicago, went to Harvard Law also [the whole primary could be seen as a Harvard/Yale game....?]

Clip of Hillary saying words are cheap/Obama saying negative attacks are cheap.... Candy Crowley says we're back to the beginning with the question of who can bring about real change... Superdelegates might switch says Wolf.... Cafferty says this was supposed to be a cake walk for Hillary and it just is not that way.... the Dems will have to go with who the American people say they want or they should be locked up bec. they're a danger to themselves..... Roland Martin says they have to check themselves bec it's still a long road...

6:27 pm: The first coverage of Ron Paul since I don't know when. Paul is still very much in the race, raising money and a lot of it from active-duty military people.

Former Pres. George Bush (the first one) has endorsed McCain -- Cafferty says to get Huckabee to get out.... They're worried about the social conservatives coming out in Texas for Huck. Texas has an open primary...

They come back to the issue of military people supporting Ron Paul who is outspokenly against the Iraq war. Wolf says that's interesting because wouldn't you think that military people would NOT support an anti-war candidate... Cafferty says what's the presumption here, that military people are not as smart as the rest of us...? (My personal opinion is that Cafferty, to his credit, often makes sense because he actually listens to people who write in to him...)

6:19 pm: Basketball great Charles Barkley just endorsed Barack Obama on CNN The Situation Room. Correcting Wolf Blitzer when Wolf said Barkley used to be a Republican and now he's a Democrat, Sir Charles said "What I said was I was rich like a Republican. I'm actually an independent." CNN was broadcasting from New Orleans tonight when Barkley made note of the increasing gulf between rich and poor, as well as speaking out as pro-gay marriage and pro-choice.


HANKSTER LEDE: Gregoire, Rossi in dead heat in poll (Seattle Post Intelligencer) Among independent voters, Rossi gets 41 percent and Gregoire (endorsement of Obama before the primary) 30 percent, with 29 percent undecided. A political lesson....

OPEN PRIMARIES: Letter: Parties should open their primaries (The Advocate, Baton Rouge)

SUPERDELEGATES: You Voted, but They Could Pick the Democratic Nominee (Black Voice News)

POLLS: Clinton Holds Lead Over Obama in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Poll Finds (Bloomberg)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Quit working. Start thinking.

I have decided to quit working and start thinking. I want to invite all independent readers to do the same.

In fact, I'd like to start an Americans Against Working/For Thinking program. I hope the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation will support this effort. But if you're just a regular person and you think this is important, let me know...

When you think about it, we've been working for a long time. Hasn't seemed to work... Let's start thinking.

Let me know what you think, and what you want to do.....
Independent voters are making a difference.
Where will the country go?

Independents are becoming more independent

Over the past decade or so, independents have been forced to act like either “soft” Republicans or “soft” Democrats—reluctant conscripts into one or other of America's armies. But in this election the opposite is happening—more and more partisans are thinking and acting like independents. Polls show that at least two-thirds of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. A Washington Post poll last year showed that 77% of voters would consider voting for an independent. (A declaration on independents, The Economist)

More Americans than ever before are registered as independent voters. Her sometimes-shrill partisanship began wearing thin when Obama emerged as a can't-we-all-work-together alternative. (It's an uphill fight for Hillary Clinton now By ANN McFEATTERS, Scripps Howard)

New York Latino pols criticize Hillary's campaign choices

Here's a link to Elizabeth Benjamin's Daily Politics blog about the letter from NY State Sen. Ruben Diaz (Bronx) and Assemblyman Jose Peralta (Queens) to Hillary Clinton "expressing dismay over the resignation of her Latina campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle".....


HANKSTER LEDE: An Independent Shut Out Of A Defining Choice (Hartford Courant)

MARYLAND: Confusion, bad weather and late starts plague primary voting (Business Gazette MD) independents show up to vote, turned away

LOUISIANA: Congressional Elections, Barack Obama (BayouBuzz) March 8 Dem primary open to independents

POLLS: Some Reflections on Polling in the Primaries (RealClearPolitics HorseRaceBlog)

THE CAMPAIGN: Clinton seeks swift reply to Obama onslaught (AP) * Campaign Trail Leads To Texas, Wisconsin (CBS) * After Potomac Sweep, Can Obama’s Momentum Be Stopped? Clinton’s Determined to Try (By: Michael H. Cottman,, and Associated Press) * Is It Too Late for Hillary? (Time Magazine)

WASHINGTON: Basking in Obama's glow (Joni Balter, Seattle Times)

OHIO: All eyes on Ohio (By STEPHEN ORAVECZ Tribune Chronicle) Obama has drawn a lot of independent voters, but they may be closed out in Ohio’s closed primary.

PENNSYLVANIA: 93,000 independents may not know they can't vote April 22 (Philadelphia Daily News)

SUPERDELEGATES: Democratic Super Delegates Guided By Voters, Not Backroom Deals (Bloomberg) * The Role of the Superdelegates: Could They Thwart the Choice of a Majority of Democratic Primary Voters? (By EDWARD LAZARUS, FindLaw)

REPUBS/CONSERVATIVES: Gingrich: There’s No Reason For Voters To Keep Republicans In Power (News Hounds)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

American Taino: Latino Pols are not going to just rollover and play dead to the Clintonistas

From American Taino:
NY Latino Pol: Clinton Playing With Fire
Yet more evidence that Latino Pols are not going to just rollover and play dead to the Clintonistas poor treatment of their Latino allies.

Today, two New York Latino Pols--State Senator Ruben Diaz and Assemblyman Joseph Peralta-- questioned the sacking of Patti Solis Doyle for primary losses they believe should be blamed on Bill Clinton and others.

Diaz issued this warning: She might be playing with fire with the Hispanic community. I just wanted them to know that we are not innocent, to believe that the person resigned on her own. No one resigns when things are going good..... click on the link to read more....

Talk/Talk: Broder's Caution

Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, Broder's Caution. Every Sunday CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, February 10, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show" and "Meet the Press".

Salit: Yes. And on that very point, there has been detailed discussion about the super delegates and about the question that the party faces, namely, what if you end up in the situation where the super delegates overturn the popular will of the voters?

Newman: If that does occur, it won't be projected that way. We have to bear in mind the distinction between what's going to happen and how what's going to happen is projected. That's never going to be projected. Might it happen? This is the age of party autonomy, so they can decide all kinds of things. The Supreme Court claims they can...

Salit: The parties can set up whatever they like.

Newman: They can set up whatever rules they like. So, ultimately they'll make the decision. It's the Democratic primary, it's not the general election. And, ultimately the Democratic Party will make the decision as to who they nominate.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.


HANKSTER LEDE: Power failure: Voter discontent could make this year’s election like no other in recent years (Beaver County Times)

  • VA: Huge numbers turn out to vote for Obama (Daily Press) More voters chose Obama than all the Repub candidates combined; Obama rang up huge margins and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said that means independent voters are opting for the Illinois senator
  • Va. steps into role on national stage (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH) Obama won every district except one; VA primary was a test of standing with independents for both McCain and Obama
  • Obama Crushes Clinton In Potomac Primary (CBS/AP) with exit polls
  • Assessing the GOP's Chances (Wall Street Journal) It was the defection of independents, not conservatives, that caused the Democratic landslide in the congressional elections in 2006.
  • Exit polls for Potomac primaries show support for Obama ran wide (CNN)
  • Exit poll: Why Obama and McCain won Va. (By: David Paul Kuhn, Politico)

OKLAHOMA: Subpar Tuesday: Primary lost in the shuffle (NewsOK) State should consider open primary for presidential elections

INDIANA: Presidential campaign leaders preparing for Ind. primary (WISH TV) Obama petition filing becomes rally

WISCONSIN: New poll has Obama, McCain leading in Wisconsin (Wausau Daily Herald) among independents, his margin is much larger, 63-25. Wisconsin holds an open primary, meaning party registration is not required to vote.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Independent voters: Where are we going?

Cudos to all the independent voters, the unalligned, the blanks, the unaffiliated, the declined to state, the misfits, the couldn't care less, the disenchanted, the fed-up, the disgusted, the can't make up my mind till the last minute, the disenchanted, the disenfranchised, the disempowered, the poor, the marginalized, the fringe,the radicals, the conservatives, the middle-of-the-roads, the leftists, the fundamentalists, the constitutionalists, the people that insist that democracy means something, the .....

We are being heard. Let's be louder! Speak up now!

Barack Obama/John McCain live-blogged from Madison WI, 2.12.08

Barack Obama is speaking tonight from Madison Wisconsin. It is a speech that might turn the page. "The American people must be enlisted in the process. What hope is, the moment when we join arms, to build, this is the moment. This is our time. A century ago, when the progressive movement was born (in Wisconsin). When the voices of the people spoke louder than the voices of the special interests... It's the same message when we were up, when we were down, our dreams will not be deferred." -Barack Obama, blogged lived....

Now John McCain speech. Hope my friends is a powerful thing.... It's a platitude... A challenge: I discovered that I was independent and that discovery made all the difference in the world. Srtong and capable defense, advance America's economy, he's ready and fired up..... from Alexandria, VA...

Chris Matthews and Barack Obama takes the cultural/emotional stage. We think we have a leader....

Obama sweeps Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC

Obama says: Your voices will be heard. The status quo in Washington won't do. We'll put this game in Washington to bed....

Will Barack Obama lead?

What does he need? What do we need?

Speak out now.

Speak out now.

Independent Potomac Primary: Obama leading Hillary in Virginia primary vote: Let's independent on!

Virginia went for Obama apparently at 7:02 -- sneeze you miss... Nobody is missing... Personally speaking, as a graduate of VCU in the 70s, I sympathize with the Richmond voters. We have come of age. It's a new way of doing politics. A new way of engaging our leaders. A new dawn. Onward!

60% African American for Obama. More stats to come. Join the non-party!!!

Let's independent on.

Can you vote???? Tonight at 6:45pm EST

From what I understand, you have 15 minutes to go vote in Virginia if you are an independent (or any!!!!!) voter. INDEPENDENTS GO VOTE!

Maryland: If you are an independent voter in Maryland, you can NOT vote in the primary...

If you are an independent voter in the District of Columbia, you can NOT vote in the primary...


WE DO! Keep rockin.!

Live-blogging MSNBC Keith Oberman 2/12/08: Potomac Primary

Russert: Dems: #1 - not just the win, it's the magnitude of the win; #2 - did anyone reach over into the other's turf? On Repub side: where's the Evangelical vote? If Huckabee can do well in VA, he can move on to TX.

Ron Allen is in Little Rock covering the Huckabee campaign. Huck is pushing McCain right without offending.... [some pundits say

Andrea Mitchell: Hillary way behind in Potomac Primary. They're looking at the numbers, they feel this is defeat. This is not spin.... Looking towards Texas. Chelsea is there now. Firewall. Texas. Stop Obama March momentum...

NBC commentator ----Virginia: who's coming out? Women - 56% of the electorate so far; % of blacks is 29% vs. 63% white; age: youngest and oldest most turnout and is up in both. New voters is up - 35% of voters on Dem side, is very big. Biggest Dem turnout in VA since Lyndon Johnson...

Matthews: New Voters: that helps Obama....

Hillary: 954 v Obama: 1025 pledged delegates tonight
1215 Hillary; 1190 Obama superdelegates
Huh? Not sure what they were saying.... Should be a democratic process....

Pat Buchanan: If Obama breaks away he will threaten Clinton base in OH and TX
Katrina Vanden Heuvel (Nation Mag): Obama needs to sharpen his war-economy connection
Eugene Robinson: Don't count out Clinton till the last dog dies.... [yes he really said that! and it's so true.....]
Pat: Impossible that Superdelegates would superimpose their will on the grassroots... Huck should get 35-40%, will be a viable candidate, Repubs need to re-think....

Live-blogging MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews 2/12/08: Potomac Primary

5:48pm: Now Eugene Robinson says we're looking at the margins tonight, Obama most likely to win. Tucker Carlson being humorous, saying every single person is voting for Obama. Michelle Bernard, Independent Women's Voice, who lives in Maryland concurs.

USA Today poll: Carlson yes momentum matters; polls among investors (the market polls) are important -- they're saying Obama 70%. Robinson says yes these are important numbers. Matthews says if Hillary can't get higher than 50%, isn't that a problem. Carlson says that's the whole game -- the promise of Obama is a governing coalition that expands the party.

Matthews: what about gender? What will women do? Bernard says Hillary's support is declining. Women like him. She gains no advantage by not doing well tonight... She's looking to Ohio, etc, but not a big change... Robinson -- she needs more support among working class people.

They're joking about Starbucks.... ha ha latte....

Significance: Bernard- if Obama wins tonight, he's the frontrunner, people will think about ROI, can Hillary close the deal?

That's it.

5:43pm Chris Matthews just hosted former Va. Gov. Doug Wilder and former Ohio Sen. and astronomical hero John Glenn, Wilder for Obama and Glenn who has just announced his support for Hillary in Ohio. I think Wilder had the upper hand, bringing up the issue of the economic cost of the war in Iraq and asking for an appology from Sen. Clinton for her vote authorizing Bush going to war.

Can independents vote today in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC?

Can you vote today?

According to FairVote, here's the scoop on open and closed primaries:

Washington D.C. (District of Columbia): Only voters registered with the Democratic, Republican, D.C. Statehood Green or Umoja parties can vote in their party's primary. INDEPENDENTS NOT ALLOWED TODAY.

Maryland: Parties can choose to open primaries but both Democrats and Republicans have chosen not to. If a voter does not choose a party, he or she will be recorded as “unaffiliated” and is permitted to vote in any nonpartisan primary in his or her local jurisdiction. INDEPENDENTS NOT ALLOWED TODAY.

Virginia: Parties may choose to nominate by convention rather than by primary election. According to the Virginian Pilot in Hampton Roads, "The primary is open to all registered voters, but each voter can only participate in either the Republican or the Democratic primary." INDEPENDENTS -- YES WE CAN!


Reuters FACTBOX not so factual: Tuesday's "Potomac Primary" presidential contests (Reuters) This article is wrong when it says independents cannot vote in any of these primaries . Virginia has nonpartisan registration and all voters can vote in either primary.

HANKSTER LEDE: Obama And The New Black Vote (By Lenora Fulani, Black Star News) AND same article on (Ballot Access News)

POTOMAC PRIMARY: Obama favored in Potomac primaries (Los Angeles Times) * Obama Poised to Sweep Into Lead Over Clinton in Primaries Today (Bloomberg)

OREGON: Of primary importance-Oregon may play a bigger role in this year's presidential primaries, while independent voters get no say (Daily Vanguard)

WISCONSIN: Tuesday will tell whether Obama is picking up momentum (Green Bay Press Gazette) Obama could win in Wisconsin next Tues., where an open primary could benefit him because of his appeal among independent voters.

ARIZONA: Independents foiled at polls (Kingman Daily Miner)

MAINE: Mainers show independent streak (Bangor Daily News) Maine voters from both parties exercised their independence, shunting aside the endorsements of their parties’ higher-ups.

TEXAS: Clinton, Obama to debate in Austin before Texas primary on Feb. 21 (The Dallas Morning News)

NORTH CAROLINA: The number of unaffiliated voters is growing in North Carolina/ Tight Race Between Obama and Clinton Could Impact State Races (WRAL)

THE CAMPAIGN: Hillary Gets Joe Trippi’s Memo-After Obama begins to trounce her, Hillary finally discovers the power of the Internet. (By Mark Hemingway, National Review Online)

Monday, February 11, 2008

More Potomac Primary buzz: independents and African Americans will make the difference

From Forbes Trailwatch:
Key to Virginia’s primary: the state’s independent voters, who account for nearly a third of all registered voters, and a group large enough to have a big impact in November. Also pay attention to John McCain’s rhetoric in the Old Dominion tomorrow; the maverick will be doing his best to appeal to centrist independents without alienating the traditional conservative base of his party.

In Maryland, Obama has an even larger lead in the polls: 55% to Clinton’s 33%. Obama can also expect a win in the District of Columbia thanks in large part to the district’s sizeable African-American population. This group propelled Obama to victory in South Carolina. As his campaign has gained traction, African-Americans have shifted even more support towards the Illinois Senator. His expected sweep of the Potomac primaries should be enough to give Obama the lead in pledged delegates.......

Potomac Primary: Obama leading Hillary in polls

Independents will be allowed to vote with either party in Virginia's primary. That could be a boon for Obama, who has scored well among independent voters in previous open primaries.
(Obama favored in Potomac primaries, LA Times)

Obama, who has trailed Clinton in every USA TODAY poll over the past year, edged ahead by 47%-44% — within the survey's margin of error..... Among Republicans, McCain has consolidated his front-runner status, leading former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee 53%-27% among Republicans and independents who "lean" Republican.

Maryland holds a closed primary, meaning you have to vote in the party you're affiliated with. But, in Virginia, it's an open primary, meaning you can vote in either party, but not both. (WMDT)

As former governor Doug Wilder wrote in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, "Virginia is neither a red state nor a blue state. Its citizens are too independent-minded. Having been elected first lieutenant governor and then governor some years ago as a Democrat here, I can tell you that voter support depends more on a particular candidate than it does on party affiliation." (Washington Post)

"Well, let me tell you something: I'm skinny, but I'm tough, too. I'm looking forward to mixing it up with John McCain," Obama said the day before voters in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., would have a chance to vote in the presidential primary. (US News & World Report)

NOTE: 17% of DC voters are independent; Virginia has nonpartisan registration; 16% of Maryland voters are unaffiliated.


HANKSTER LEDE: Wisconsin Group for an Independent Voice: Champions for those who ignore party lines (Journal Times) quotes George Penn and Mary Gesteland

INDEPENDENT VOTERS: The Emerging Crisis in American Politics (Douglas Schoen, The Peoples Voice) * Getting to 270-Can John McCain win in November? (John Fund, Wall Street Journal)

MARYLAND: A slow uphill battle-Independents and third parties growing in Frederick County (Frederick News-Post)

MAINE: Obama takes Maine-Locals back winner (Seacoast Online)

OBAMA: Barack Obama Sweeps Weekend Elections, Turns Eye Toward Tuesday’s ‘Potomac Primary’ (Associated Press and "Sen. McCain's ability to rally conservatives while keeping moderates and independents in the fold are key factors in determining whether he will in fact be the new standard bearer of the Republican party." NOTE: Not all independents belong in Sen. McCain's fold. It's a bit like herding cats.... AND: * COUNTDOWN 2008: Obama's youthquake: IS THE SENATOR LEADING A MOVEMENT, OR JUST AN INTERESTING CAMPAIGN? (By Richard Halicks, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

BLOOMBERG: Mayor Quiet on Bid. Senator Not So Much. (NY Times) * Analysis: Silence Is Bloomberg Trademark (By SARA KUGLER, AP)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Maine, Virgin Islands, Independents and the 2008 Presidential Race

Maine Caucus Sunday Feb 10: Northport and Belfast
An on the spot report from the Northport Town Caucus: there were 84 people, and 88 votes (4 absentee); 64 cast for Obama and 24 for Clinton. The proportional delegates are 3-1 for Obama at 72.7%. The space in the town hall could comfortably accommodate 30 people. My source tells me that at the outset, a lot of independent voters were registering as democrats. (From On Not Being a Sausage)

This from a pro-Hillary blogger on MyDD: Independents Will Abandon Obama The writer, who seems to be quite upset that Barack Obama is even in the race, thinks that independents are registering as Dems in order to skew the vote knowing that McCain can beat Obama when they all switch back to their independent clothes and vote for McCain in the general election..... Talk about conspiracy theory! Whew! I wish independents were THAT organized!!!

Barack Obama Trounces Hillary Clinton In Virgin Islands posted by jclifford
The neglected presidential caucus yesterday was the one that took place in the Virgin Islands. It doesn’t take much work to find that Barack Obama got more of the vote there than Hillary Clinton, but it requires a good amount of digging to discover just how much of the vote Obama got, and how much Clinton got. Major news outlets like MSNBC and CNN bury the information. (From Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print -- worth a visit!!!)

Abolitionists, Independents, The Movement, and the 2008 Presidential Race

Great article:

COUNTDOWN 2008: Obama's youthquake:
By Richard Halicks (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Scholars who have studied U.S. movements suggest that Obama is, indeed, part of a movement, but one that he didn't start.

"The abolitionists were the first generation to conceptualize what it meant to be an American in the modern sense of the word; that to be an American meant to be rich, poor, black, white, male, female," said Omar H. Ali, assistant professor of history at Towson University, near Baltimore. "They had a new vision of the founding documents, to extend the notion of all men being created equal to all people being created equal. Those are really the founding fathers and mothers of our country."

Jackie Salit, editor of Neo-Independent magazine and, concurs that Obama is tapping into a movement that is much larger than himself. But, seen through her lens, that movement is of independent voters.
She notes that independents comprise between 35 and 40 percent of American voters, and that their numbers continue to grow.
"You look for signs that new kinds of partnerships are emerging and becoming viable in the mainstream," Salit said. "And to me, one of the very interesting partnerships that is emerging is what I would call the black and independents alliance.


HANKSTER LEDE: Independents on the rise-In N.C. and elsewhere, more voters are shunning affiliation with party (Charlotte Observer)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Biggest winner so far: voter turnout (Los Angeles Times) in NH, biggest registration increase was independent * 'Star-struck lefties'are in good company (Letter to Concord Monitor) independents also supporting Obama

NATIONAL: Whom Will Independents Choose? (By Katharine Q. Seelye, The Caucus/New York Times)

CALIFORNIA: Why GOP selectively restricts its voters-Independents are eligible to cast ballots in all Republicans' primaries – except for president. (Sac Bee) * This year shows why primary system must change (San Francisco Chronicle) * Full count sought of disputed votes in primary (Daily Breeze)

WASHINGTON: Count me out of this primary (John Laird, The Columbian) * Obama beats Clinton 2-1; McCain edges Huckabee (By David Postman, Seattle Times)

LOUISIANA: Voters called in droves Saturday (Shreveport Times) Independents angry at exclusion

BLOOMBERG: Mike's one 'L' of a candidate (NY Daily News)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lenora Fulani: A new paradigm, new partnerships, a new way of doing politics: Are you down?

Obama's Wave and the New York Role Reversal
by Lenora Fulani
Feb. 7, 2008

New black political voices are emerging, searching for a new paradigm, new partnerships and a new way of doing politics.

Super Tuesday may not have decided the Democratic or Republican presidential nominations. But it did redraw the map of black politics in some significant ways.

Black voters throughout the country - and particularly throughout the South - embraced the "new politic" message of the Barack Obama campaign. In Georgia, Obama polled 88% of the black vote, in Alabama 84 percent, in Arkansas 74 oercent, in Tennessee 77 percent. In the northeast, Obama polled 82 percent of the black vote in New Jersey and 74 percent in Connecticut. The most notable exception to this pattern was New York where Obama polled 61 percent of the black vote, his lowest percentage of African American support in any February 5th state.

There are obvious explanations for this differential. New York is Hillary Clinton's home state (at least it became her home in 2000) and she and her husband (remember him? he's the new invisible man) are the state's most persuasive power brokers. Just as Obama won his home state Illinois handily (64 to 33), Hillary racked up a New York win (57 to 40) over Obama by a smaller but still convincing margin.

She also carried New York City, where the majority of the state's black population resides, with Obama nearly outpolling her in Brooklyn, one of the city's five boroughs and often the seat of black political insurgencies. Not surprisingly, Obama prevailed over Hillary in three congressional districts. Brooklyn's 10th CD, represented by Congressman Ed Towns and 11th CD, represented by Congresswoman Yvette Clark, both of whom endorsed Clinton along with the 6th CD in Queens represented by another Hillary backer Congressman Greg Meeks. These districts yield a good number of delegates for Obama, and the anti-machine campaigns were led by a rising group of progressive black politicians - Councilman Charles Barron, State Senator Bill Perkins, State Senator Eric Adams and Assemblyman Karim Camara among them.

In contrast, all of New York's black members of Congress backed Hillary and helped produce her highest percentage of the black vote anywhere in the country - 37 percent. In Harlem, the seat of the black establishment, represented by Congressman Charles Rangel, Hillary beat Obama by 7½ points. Rev. Al Sharpton remained neutral, managing to avoid getting caught in the crossfire between the insurgent and establishment camps.

In many respects the New York story could be cast as a simple one - man vs. machine - where the man, Barack Obama and his visionary campaign was outpolled by an entrenched and powerful urban political machine with deep roots in Harlem. It would be that simple story but for the fact that the recent history of black politics in New York City includes a massive and unexpected uprising against the clubhouse by black voters.

In 2005, 47 percent of black voters rejected the Democratic Party mayoral candidate and voted for an Independent/Republican Mike Bloomberg instead. This outpouring against politics-as-usual and for nonpartisan political change briefly put New York in the national vanguard of a black electoral revolution. But on Super Tuesday, the roles were reversed. On February 5th, the Clinton machine fought back hard, making sure the Obama wave which swept the black South was dissipated before it hit the Empire State. Hillary repressed Obama's share of the black vote to well below the national average, making New York the rearguard of the larger sea change. The Brooklyn and Queens insurgencies kept the movement for black political independence alive, while the most resounding call for "turn the page" black politics came from everywhere else in the country.

There was another "trend within the trend" which I, as an independent, not a Democrat (I couldn't vote on February 5th because New York is a closed primary state) noted with interest. That is the emergence of a discernible constituency - the black independent.

Exit polling picked up this trend for the first time on Super Tuesday. And here are what some of the numbers show. In Massachusetts 33 percent of black voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary self-identified as independents. In Missouri it was 18 percent.

In Connecticut the number was 22 percent, in California 14 percent, in New Jersey 13 percent, in Tennessee 17 percent. Among black independents, the support for Obama appears to have been astronomical. For example, in Georgia, where 12 percent of all African American voters in the Democratic primary were independents, 97 percent of those cast ballots for Obama.

From here, the presidential race moves on to hand-to-hand combat between Obama and Clinton for delegates. Meanwhile, new black political voices are emerging, searching for a new paradigm, new partnerships and a new way of doing politics.

Thanks to CUIP Press person Sarah Lyons for this heads up. Dr. Lenora Fulani is America's leading black political independent, a developmental psychologist and innovator in the field of supplemental education.