South Dakota and Montana, thanks to Hillary Clinton, vote today. Hillary Clinton fights for the rights of primary voters. Obama runs a campaign by NOT counting votes and getting votes in states he did not even run in.
Exit polls released tonight indicate Obama remains unelectable in a general election (Obama once again loses white working class voters), aside from not being qualified to be president.
When the polls close (9:00 p.m. EST)) Hillary Clinton will be in New York. Obama will be hanging out with the ghosts of failed Democratic nominees.
As the final primary votes are cast Tuesday in Montana and South Dakota, Obama and his wife will travel not to one of those places but to St. Paul, Minnesota, where they will attend a rally at the Xcel Energy Center, a downtown arena where the Republican National Convention will be held this summer.
The campaign hopes it’s a potent sign of how he will take the fight to the Republicans on their own turf, assuming he wins the Democratic nomination. They also think it’s a sign of his he’ll fight for closely competitive states such as Minnesota.
There’s one problem, however.
The site they chose played another role in political history. And it’s not a memory Democrats relish.
It was at that site where Democrat Walter Mondale met with about 2,000 crying supporters on election night to concede the 1984 presidential election to President Ronald Reagan.
And it wasn’t just a loss. It was an electoral college landslide.
Reagan swept 49 states and took 525 electoral college votes. Mondale carried just his home state of Minnesota – narrowly – and Washington DC, giving him just 13 electoral college votes.
It was the worst electoral college defeat ever suffered by a Democrat in American history.
Other Democratic landslide losers fared better: Jimmy Carter got 49 electoral college votes against Reagan’s 489 in 1980, and George McGovern got 17 against Richard Nixon’s 520 in 1972.
Perhaps Obama will appear with McGovern and Carter tonight and foreshadow in the starkest manner possible the Democratic? future.
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In Massachusetts Hillary Clinton voters beat Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Governor Patrick. In South Dakota the political establishment led by Tom Daschle is force feeding voters Barack Obama. A Hillary victory or close loss in South Dakota will be a great humiliation to the Democratic? establishment in South Dakota.
Politico has a list of things to watch for in South Dakota tonight:
Here is what South Dakota insiders will be watching for:
The eastern half of the state sits in the Central Time zone and the west is in the Mountain Time zone. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, but the Secretary of State’s office will not release any results until after all the polls close statewide at 8 p.m. Central Time.
Political analysts say it’s unclear which candidate is most favored among Native Americans, who are the largest minority group in the state, comprising 8.5 percent of the population. The returns from two counties – Shannon and Todd – could provide an answer. [snip]
Shannon County, home to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is 86 percent Native American. Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson was losing in his 2002 reelection bid until controversial late returns from Shannon County pushed him ahead of Republican John Thune by 524 votes. Democrat John Kerry won the county with 85 percent of the vote in 2004, making it his top county in the country.
Todd County, home to the Rosebud Indian Reservation and 81 percent Native American, also delivers for Democrats.[snip]
One quirk of the South Dakota election system is the way votes are tabulated: None are counted at the precinct level. Instead, the ballots must be driven to the county auditor’s office, which runs the paper through an optical scan machine, potentially slowing down the results.
Tabulations from Shannon and Todd counties can take even longer: The ballots are sent to adjacent counties, which mean the results from these key areas are likely to come in very late. (Shannon county is on Mountain time and Todd is on Central time.) [snip]
Minnehaha County is home to Sioux Falls, the state’s biggest city and the anchor of the eastern part of state. It’s a “bit more liberal, more diverse. There is an African American population, an Hispanic population,” Smith said. [snip]
Obama is expected to perform well in Minnehaha County, while Clinton is looking for high turnout in the rural counties around Minnehaha where her aides believe she could do well.
South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson predicted a turnout among the state’s 195,000 registered Democrats of between 40 percent and 45 percent. But campaign aides expect a slightly higher turnout of about 100,000 voters.
Things to watch out for in Montana:
Though Obama led Clinton 52 to 35 percent (with 13 percent undecided) among likely Democratic voters in Montana in a Mason-Dixon poll conducted May 19-21, his margin came almost entirely from the western part of the state.
“We had Clinton ahead in eastern Montana,” said Brad Coker, director of the poll.
The eastern part of the state is more rural and less densely populated. And it has all the demographic makings of Clinton country: lots of seniors, farmers and blue collar workers.
“If she starts cutting into his margins in the western part of the state, it could be closer,” said Coker.
That might be easier said than done, though, since the western part of the state seems well-suited for Obama. There are two big university towns – Missoula, home to the University of Montana and Bozeman, home to Montana State University.
Plus, there are clusters of younger and affluent voters around the ski resorts near Kalispell. And the state capitol of Helena is home to a significant population of well-educated white-collar government workers.
Clinton could make inroads in Western Montana in Butte, an old mining center, Great Falls, home to an Air Force base, and Anaconda, another older mining town.
About 15 percent of the state’s population live in Billings, Montana’s largest city with about 100,000 residents, and surrounding Yellowstone County.
As home to most of the state’s Democrats, Yellowstone County could be determinative. It’s considered cowboy country, but Billings is also a commercial hub with a population of professionals.
If Clinton wins the city and county by a good margin—and she is favored there—she could hold down Obama’s margin statewide.
Montana’s seven Indian reservations are home to only about 8 percent of the population, but typically produce 20 percent of the vote in Democratic primaries.[snip]
Even though both the University of Montana in Missoula and Montana State wrapped up their school years with May 10 graduation ceremonies, Lopach said there are still plenty of students around.
“A lot of their students are older and work, and so they’re not as mobile as traditional-age students,” he said. “They do live in the community, because their kids are there, their spouses are there, they have jobs there.”
Plus, early voting started about one week before commencement and same-day registration could make it easier for new, young voters, like those Obama has attracted in other states, to cast ballots.
Montana, which doesn’t have party registration, opens its primaries to all voters, and both campaigns will be keeping an eye on high percentages of Democratic primary votes coming out of Republican counties.
Big Media continues to work overtime for their tool, Barack Obama.
Hillary Clinton continues to work and fight for Americans.