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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

IN & N.C. Democratic Primary Election Results - Live Blogging

N.C. (115) and Indiana (72) have the largest numbers of delegates of any of the remaining primaries. The remaining six primaries have only a combined 217 delegates.

It is interesting to note that early voting took place in both states. It has been reported that Indiana had 159,000 early votes or 4% of those eligible and North Carolina had 488,000 early votes or 13% of their eligible voters.

CNN has reported heavy turnout in both states as was expected. In Indiana some counties were reporting republican turnout in the democratic primary - did Rush Limbaugh have any effect with his "operation chaos"? Indiana is an open primary and Limbaugh has been urging republicans to vote for Clinton to prolong the democratic primary process. N.C. has a closed primary.

The is reporting the Indiana voter-ID is working well as Nuns have been turned away for not have photo IDs - a sad story.

Here N.C. and IN Exit Polls will be updated all night - check often.

Here is an interesting idea, if neither candidate reaches the 2025 needed delegates. Both Michigan (Aug 5th) and Florida (Aug. 26th) hold state-wide elections - why not add Clinton and Obama and have the voters from these states weigh in. The Dem convention in Denver is Aug 25-28 so this could work.

The latest rumor is the punitive action by the DNC to strip the delegates from Michigan and Florida will most likely result in lawsuits against the DNC. The argument is the action of the DNC essentially disenfranchised the voters of these two states, a right guaranteed by the U.S. constitution.

Here is a new wrinkle - What does Clinton know that no one else knows? maybe a little fuzzy democratic party math. When asked today how many delegates are needed to secure the democratic nomination she said 2209 (not the 2024 or 2025 commonly referenced). I did a quick math check - the current estimated total prior to today Obama 1748 Clinton 1609 - The combined total is 3357, add the 404 pledged delegates remaining equals 3761, add the 268 uncommitted superdelegates equals 4029, then add the pledged delegates from Michigan (128) and Florida (185) equals 4342. There are probably some delegates out there won by John Edwards, but nonetheless, the majority of 4342 is 2172 delegates, not 2025 - interesting....

6:48 PM ET Many Indiana polls closed at 6:30, the rest will close in ten minutes. Very early results with 3% reporting, Clinton 61%, Obama 39%

7:16 PM ET Indiana 10% reporting Clinton 58% Obama 42% , A Judge has ordered two polling locations to stay open longer due to problems with their machines.

7:30 PM ET N.C. polls close and NBC calls it for Obama
Indiana 18% reporting, Clinton 57% Obama 43% - 7:54 PM 34% reporting Clinton 57% Obama 43%

N.C. obviously went big for Obama as the Zogby poll today indicated - no numbers out yet.

8:06 PM ET N.C 5% reporting Obama 65% Clinton 36%, 8:24 PM 11% reporting Obama 64% Clinton 35%
Indiana 49% reporting Clinton 55% Obama 45%

Remember my comment earlier about Rush Limbaugh trying to get republicans to vote for Clinton in Indiana? Here are the exit poll numbers - In indiana 67% of the voters were Dems, 22% IND, 11% repubs - the breakdown on the repubs? 52% Clinton, 46% Obama. So much for Limbaugh and his nonsense.

9:06 PM ET - Although only 27% reporting in N.C. Obama 59% Clinton 39%, and Indiana 68% reporting Clinton 53% Obama 47%, it appears Obama will be the candidate that picks up delegates tonight. If the numbers hold, Obama will pick up about 15 delegates and his lead will expand to approximately 155 delegates over Clinton. Even though Clinton is favored over Obama in 4 of the remaining 6 contests, it will be difficult for her to pick up 155 delegates. There will be only 217 pledged delegates and 268 uncommitted superdelegates for a total of 485 delegates available. Clinton would need to win 320 to 165 for Obama just to tie which is 66%

9:15 PM ET Obama is speaking now-thanked N.C. for a victory in a big state and a swing state (an obvious swipe at Clinton statements that he can't win the big states) Congratulated clinton on what appeared to be her victory in Indiana. Said after tonight, he is within 200 delegates to secure the nomination. This election is about the American people. He then went into his "change" stump speech.

9:37 PM ET N.C. 52% reporting Obama 57%, Clinton 41%, Indiana 74% reporting Clinton 52% Obama 48%
Look for Clinton to press a Michigan and Florida revote in August when the states have their state wide elections and stress that 2209 is the number of delegates needed to win the nomination.

10:00 PM ET Still too close to call in Indiana 83% reporting Clinton 52%, Obama 48% There is only a 40,000 vote diffeence and Lake County will not be reporting until 11 PM - This is the northwest portion of Indiana near Chicago which includes Gary and has a heavy Black population. Clinton is scheduled to speak in Indianapolis but obviously is holding off due to the closeness of this election.

N.C. 70% reporting, Obama 56%, Clinton 46%. If this 14 point lead holds the Zogby polls will be correct two primaries in a row after also calling the 10 point win for clinton in PA.

10:35 PM ET N.C. - 86% reporting Obama 56%, Clinton 46% IN - 85% reporting Clinton 52%, Obama 48%

Senator Clinton, husband Bill and daughter now on stage to speak - in order to hit all the late night news she needed to speak prior to 11 PM. Thank you Indiana - she talks about Obama saying that she would win PA, he would win N.C. and Indiana would be the tie breaker - thank you and it's now on to the White House. Tonight is your victory. Commended Obama on his victory in N.C. Talked about being outspent heavily by Obama - making the pitch for $, doesn't sound like she is willing to concede. Later, she did say she would work hard for the nominee as she was sure Obama would - there is a need for a change in the White House. Is thanking everyone, now it is on to W. Virginia, Kentucky, and the rest of the states - she intends to also win them in the general election. Important to count the votes of Florida and Michigan for I intend to be the President of all the states.

It appears this democratic primary race will continue - it will be critical for Clinton to be able to raise money to compete in the upcoming states. However, both candidates in their speeches were nice and supportive of the other in what may be an indication of an willingness to come together. As predicted, Florida and Michigan continue to loom large in this election. The DNC decision to strip the delegates from these states will go down in history as the worst decision ever made by the democratic party.

Indiana remains too close to call with approximately 220,000 votes left to be counted and Clinton with a 40,000 vote lead. N.C. with 92% remains Obama 56%, Clinton 42%.

It does not appear the Wright controversy had any effect on Obama and Clinton's gas tax holiday does not appear to have gained any legs. As mentioned earlier, it appears Obama will gain up to 15 delegates today and stop any momentum Clinton may have gained from PA. Time is running out on Clinton, even with Michigan and Florida questions remaining.

Let the Spin Begin - Goodnight

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