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Obama Couldn’t Get the Catholic Vote in Pennsylvania

In Barack Obama, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Polling and Surveys, Religion on April 28, 2008 at 11:27 pm

The Pew Research released their findings of Catholic voters and candidate choice during the Pennsylvania Presidential Primary.

It shouldn’t be by anyone’s surprise that the exit polls showed Clinton winning the Catholic vote while Obama did well with the African American vote.

According to the Pew Research:

( in the exit polls), Clinton did very well with white Catholics, winning 72% of their vote. She also did well with white Protestants and Jews, winning 59% and 61% of their votes, respectively.

As in the past, Obama did very well with African Americans, most of whom are Protestants, winning 90% of their vote. He also won 62% of the religiously unaffiliated vote. Obama generally did well with non-whites and with religious minorities as well.

Were there any big surprises in the results?

The big surprise was how little change there was in the support for the candidates among religious groups despite the fierce campaigning in the state, which included extensive outreach to the Catholic community. Obama, for example, received strong support from Sen. Bob Casey, a popular Catholic politician. Some analysts expected the “Casey Democrats” to shift toward Obama and help him break into the white Catholic vote, but this didn’t really happen.

This result is reminiscent of the inability of Ted Kennedy to deliver white Catholics to Obama in the Massachusetts primary. All told, Clinton’s outreach to Catholics appears to have been more effective than Obama’s — but the same could also be said about her outreach to other faith groups.

Do we know why white Catholic voters have been choosing Clinton over Obama?

Not exactly. But the exit polls and other data reveal that the economy was the most important issue to Pennsylvania Democrats. We know that Catholic organizations, such as Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics for the Common Good, have been emphasizing the theme of “the common good” in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Clinton’s speeches on the economy, which include long lists of specific policy proposals, may well have boosted her standing among the state’s Catholics who share these concerns. She also likely benefited from memories of the more prosperous economy during her husband’s administration.

So does Obama have a serious problem attracting Catholic voters nationally?

From the point of view of the primaries, it appears that he does. The Obama campaign has made a strong effort to deal with this problem but has had only limited success so far.

Could this problem persist in the general election if Obama is the Democratic nominee? It might, and, if so, it would pose a challenge for Obama in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. We should keep in mind, however, that many of the Democratic Catholics who did not vote for Obama in the primaries might well support him in the fall against John McCain. But on the other hand, not all white Catholics are Democrats — many are independents or Republicans. If nothing else, this means that white Catholics are a key group to watch.

To be fair, one might also ask if Clinton has an “African American problem” or an “unaffiliated problem.” After all, she has not done well with these groups in the primaries, and she will need strong support from these voters in the fall if she is her party’s nominee. One substantial difference, however, is that black Protestants and unaffiliated voters tend to be more strongly Democratic in their partisanship than white Catholics, so it might be easier for Clinton to rally them.

Read the full report about Obama’s Catholic Vote Problem here.

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Roger Waters for Obama

In Barack Obama, Election 2008, Music, Politics on April 28, 2008 at 7:43 am

Roger Waters for Obama

From the AP:

Roger Waters brought Coachella to a close with an epic two-set performance that included playing all of “Dark Side of the Moon” and unleashing a giant inflated pig into the night sky.

The 64-year-old Waters, the third headliner of the three-day music festival following Prince and Jack Johnson, performed an elaborate, almost retrospective concert Sunday featuring music from throughout Pink Floyd’s catalog.

Old photographs of the band often flashed across the screen behind Waters and his current band, which played songs from “The Wall,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Animals,” among other Floyd albums. They also played “Dark Side” in its entirety, culminating with the album’s iconic triangle prism rising above the stage.

But Waters’ biggest prop was an inflatable pig the size of a school bus that emerged while he played a version of “Pigs” from 1977’s capitalism critique, “Animals.”

The pig, which was led above the crowd from lines held on the ground, displayed the words “Don’t be led to the slaughter” and a cartoon of Uncle Sam wielding two bloody cleavers. The other side read “Fear builds walls.”

The underside of the pig simply read “Obama” with a checked ballot box alongside.

As Waters drew the song to a close, flame bursts exploded on the sides of the stage and the swine floated into the night sky. Waters said sadly and comically, “That’s my pig.”

The performance also included speaker towers placed around the outside of the crowd. Smoke machines funneled across the stage and over the audience, thickening the atmosphere.

Post Penn Primary Commentary: Red State Update

In Barack Obama, Election 2008, Fun Stuff, Hillary Clinton, Humor, John McCain, Political Humor, Politics on April 24, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Oh dear God…If you have not seen these guys before, be prepared.

These guys have been posting YouTube videos for quite some time. They’re rude, crude, and claim to be residents of a heavy red state. Their website is like a train wreck – you can’t help but look around.

Whether you’re a Dem or Republican, you can’t help but laugh.

From their website:

Red State Update with Jackie Broyles and Dunlap, coming to you from a bunker underneath Jackie’s Market in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Y’all feel free to look at our latest videos, buy stuff with our face on it, hell, stay all night with us if you like– we’ll make y’all a pallet on the floor.

WARNING: explicit language

Sen. Clinton Victory in Pennsylvania

In Barack Obama, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Polling and Surveys on April 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm

As of this posting (10:19pm CST), CNN is reporting Sen. Hillary Clinton the victor in the Pennsylvania primary, 10 points ahead of Sen. Barack Obama and 88% of the precincts reporting.

The exit polls were already showing a sharp division per CNN:

Exit polls indicated that Philadelphia and its suburbs made up more than 30 percent of the vote, and those boxes were tilted heavily toward Obama. But Clinton supporters turned out heavily in Pittsburgh and the counties of western Pennsylvania, and she was racking up similarly lopsided margins in the state’s industrial northeast, those surveys found.

Clinton was expected to clench the blue collar workers while Obama drew in the college vote. The Democratic electorate in Pennsylvania includes more college-educated voters — a voting bloc that has reliably supported Obama.

The exit polls (2,217 respondents) also showed 59% of voters were women and 41% men. 52% of the males were for Obama and 57% of the females were for Sen. Clinton. Looks like in Pennsylvania the men stuck with the male candidate and the women stayed with the female candidate.

Voters under 40 years old were for Obama; over 40 for Clinton.

David Paul Kuhn of The Politico gives his explanation for how Clinton pulled off Pennsylvania.

Bill Clinton and the Voodoo Doll vs. “Race Card” Defense on Radio

In Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Media, Political Humor, Politics, Talk Radio, Uncategorized on April 22, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Listen to Bill Clinton defending past remarks about Sen. Obama playing the race card, not himself. Be sure to listen to the very end…former President Clinton thought he had hung up the phone. You can hear him saying, “I don’t think I should take any sh** from anybody on that, do you?” obviously speaking to someone in the car or room where he was calling from.

After hearing Bill Clinton on the radio today (taped radio interview from the 21st) I needed some humor. Sooo…

This is from 2006 but still fun to watch! Enjoy 🙂

I wonder if Hillary is planning on using one of these…

S. Carolina High School Student Arrested For Bomb Plot

In news on April 21, 2008 at 8:24 am

It still amazes me how easy it is for anyone – especially a high school student – to get the materials to make a bomb.

From ABC News:

The alleged plotter, Ryan Schallenberger, 18, was due in court Monday afternoon for a bond hearing. He was arrested Saturday after his parents called police because 10 pounds of ammonium nitrate was delivered to their home in Chesterfield. Police also said they discovered a disturbing journal.

“He seemed to hate the world. He hated people different from him — the rich boys with good-looking girlfriends,” said the town’s police chief, Randall Lear.

Schallenberger was one of the top students at the high school of about 580 students and had not caused any serious problems before his arrest, principal Scott Radkin said.

The teen was in the Chesterfield County jail Sunday night, charged with possessing materials to make bombs, the police chief said. Other than the bomb-making material, no other weapons were found at his home, Lear said.

Schallenberger kept a journal for more than a year that detailed his plans for a suicide attack and included maps of the school, police said. The writings did not include a specific time for the attack or the intended targets.

The teen planned to make several bombs and had all the supplies needed to kill dozens, depending on where the devices were placed and whether they included shrapnel, Lear said. Ammonium nitrate was used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that killed 168 people.

The 13th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing was yesterday, Sunday the 20th.

Civil Rights Act 1871 aka Ku Klux Klan Act: Political History for Thought

In Constitutional Rights, History, Politics on April 21, 2008 at 8:01 am
The Civil Rights Museum
137 years ago today:
April 20, 1871
Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1871, a.k.a. the Ku Klux Klan Act. The Klan had formed in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War to keep the freed slaves down, and many of the recently repatriated Southern states had governments that were sympathetic to the Klan’s campaign of terror and violence. When, in 1870, the Republican governor of North Carolina, William Woods Holden, tried to call out the state militia to fight the Klan, he was impeached. The Klan Act made it possible to use federal troops to enforce the law and to prosecute Klansmen in federal courts. And it worked. Many Klansmen were imprisoned, and the Klan was effectively neutralized, not re-emerging as a major force until 1915. However, the civil rights gains of the former slaves were short-lived. Within a few years Southern Democrats had regained control of their states, and in 1877 President Rutherford Hayes withdrew federal troops from the former Confederacy, ending Reconstruction and leaving the freedmen on their own.
Be sure to click on the picture above to visit the museum and learn more about the various civil rights acts.
From Today in Political History on Newsweek.com

Obama and Clinton Debate: Who Came Out Ahead?

In Barack Obama, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Facebook, Hillary Clinton, news, Politics on April 16, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Democratic Debate Between Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton Sponsored by ABC News and Facebook

Did you watch the Democratic debate on ABC Wednesday night? While Sen. Obama seemed to struggle the first part of the debate, Sen. Clinton really offered nothing in the way of a “take charge” kind of campaign. Well, I guess if you call her attacks on Obama taking charge. She really needed to stand out at tonight’s debate but I’m left scratching my head and wondering who really came out ahead. I tend to lean more toward Obama, mostly because he had to answer questions about Rev. Wright’s remarks and defend his own “bitter” comments.

Sen. Clinton stood tall and well versed but seemed to stammer and never really come to a clear answer when she was questioned about her misstatements regarding sniper fire in Bosnia.

And what about the comment to Sen. Obama about his patriotism and not wearing the American flag pin? To the person that asked him about the pin – Where in the hell have you been? This is so old news and he must have answered this type of question at least a dozen times last year. You couldn’t ask him something about taxes or something more important?

Neither one of them would really comment on agreeing to a “dream ticket” however, Clinton did say that she has confidence that Democrats will go to the polls for either her or Obama come November. She said that there may be differences between the two of them, but the differences are much closer in comparison than to those of McCain. In other words, she was making a point to tell Democrats to support the blue ticket and that McCain is not an option come November. AMEN.

According to an ABC poll, viewers seem to think that Obama came out ahead in the debate.

I’m not so sure. I do think that both candidates need to be answering more questions about taxes and the economy. Anyway, I’m a little disappointed by the whole thing.

What do you think?

From Facebook:

Will Hillary Get The Colbert Bump?

In Election 2008, Fun Stuff, Humor, news, Politics on April 15, 2008 at 8:00 am

I have a political science professor that gave me this paper to read this past weekend. The paper, which will be presented in the upcoming July issue of PS: Political Science and Politics, explains the pattern of success or lack of, when a congressional or presidential candidate appears on The Colbert Report and in turn, receives a “Colbert Bump” in financial support. He compares the “Hall of Heroes” (those who are brave enough to go on the show) and the “Hall of Cowards” (speaks for itself!). I had to chuckle yesterday as I was reading it, wondering how long and even if Sen. Hillary Clinton was going to make the big step and appear on the show just for the possibility that it might help her campaign. Low and behold, I read last night that she will indeed make her appearance on the Comedy Central political news show this Thursday.

James Fowler, author of the academic paper, “The Colbert Bump in Campaign Donations:
More Truthful than Truthy,” discusses Stephen Colbert’s own presidential run and popularity.

These graphs show that Democrats who appear on The Colbert Report enjoy a significant
increase in the number and total amount of donations they receive in the next 30-40 days, compared to similar candidates who do not appear on the show.

Fowler also states that some politicians are leary of going on the show:

Nancy Pelosi recommended that members of her own party avoid the show—she might have been projecting her expectations about her own performance if she were to appear.

You’ll have to read Fowler’s paper to understand just how this plays in. I suggest you print it out (it’s not as dull as you think), pour a cup of coffee and enjoy what political scientists really get to study. 🙂 I guess I wasn’t too far off when I decided to do Political Blogs as a thesis. In any case, I’ll be watching Thursday night and we’ll just have to see if Clinton gets the bump or not.

McCain is Banking on Obama’s “Bitter” Remark

In Election 2008, Media, news, Politics on April 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Wow. If thisisn’t flooding the blogs and new media this afternoon. McCain’s campaign jumped right on the heels of Sen. Obama’s “elitist” comment last week to head a new campaign strategy.

From an email sent to Sen. McCain’s supporters entilited, “A bitter America?”:

If Barack Obama is the Democrat nominee in the general election, the American people will have a clear choice between two different visions – Senator Obama’s liberal, elitist philosophy and John McCain’s faith in the small town values that continue to make America great. John McCain will not forget them or write them off. Neither should Barack Obama.

We are up against a large fundraising hurdle if Barack Obama is the nominee and we need your help now. Even before the general election begins, the differences are clear, we must do everything we can to make sure these beliefs don’t make it into the White House.

The fundraising email was sent out to encourage America to keep such an “elitist” out of the White House. What about Hillary’s whiskey “chugging” (that’s not how you take a whiskey shot!) and beer chaser antics at an Indiana bar on Saturday? Next McCain’s campaign will be attacking that alcoholics don’t belong in the White House either.

Don’t you just love dirty politics???