Texas is red. Ohio is blue.

I turned on the TV to watch the election results, and I'm already confused.

It's too early to count anything in the Ohio and Texas Democratic races, but Hillary is winning the former and Obama the latter.

Fox gives this reading:

OBAMA 467,143 56%
CLINTON 356,470 43%
Except that's with one percent of the vote in!

Texas must be a bigger state than I thought.

MORE: Seriously, the idea of 800,000 people being one percent of the Texas vote has me worried.

And it's not my imagination.

Here's CNN:


And Fox:


Irregularities, I'm sure. Because, if there are 80 million Democratic voters in Texas, we're all in trouble.

9:09 -- Breaking news. Huckabee is dropping out.

Considering that McCain has now won 1195, putting him over the top (and assuring his formal status as the GOP nominee), I think Huckabee has made the right move. Fred Barnes just compared it to baseball, saying that for Huckabee to continue would be like a baseball team showing up for the tenth inning.

Huckabee is expected to speak soon.

9:18 -- Huckabee is speaking. He's using a baseball analogy about playing your best to the very end. But he acknowledges McCain will win, and is speaking for party unity.

9:25 -- He mentions his wife, his small campaign staff, and the Apostle Paul.

And to great cheers, he said he'd rather lose an election than lose principles.

Stresses humble roots, dirt floor. It's a good speech, with a strong religious, populist, anti-establishment message.

9:31 -- Quotes from Travis's "Victory or Death" letter from the Alamo. The crowd is deeply moved.

9:35 -- Sean Hannity just opined that Huckabee will not be on the ticket.

9:37 -- They're saying the numbers are meaningless, but Ohio is now 202,000 to 138,000 (58%-40%) for Hillary, while Texas is 554,340 to 481,716 (53%-46%) for Obama. The percent of the vote in Texas now shows as 5%.

It still isn't right.

9:42 -- In the races which aren't as important, Obama won Vermont, and Clinton won Rhode Island.

9:45 -- Hillary's Ohio numbers are so high (58% to 38%, with 17% of the vote in) that I see no practical way for Obama to close the gap.

And so, at the risk of being reckless and irresponsible, Classical Values calls Ohio for Hillary.

9:47 -- Ohio is now 59% to 39%, with 18% in (for Hillary).

And McCain is giving his speech in Dallas.

He remarks that not long ago this would have seemed unlikely, and he's thanking Huckabee and all his former rivals.

It's time to begin the most important part of the campaign.

Says he never believed he was destined to be president, but stresses responsibility. Believes he owes his country, and I think he's utterly sincere when he says he's committed to something greater than himself.

Promises he'll never forget his responsibilities, and that the campaign will not be another tired and empty debate.

Stresses the war. Defends decision to destroy Saddam Hussein's machine. (LOUD applause) Also criticizes the failed tactics. Must be allowed to leave Iraq secure with US honor intact. Very credibly stressed our vital security interests and he sounds very convincing.

9:56 -- Will encourage Islamic moderates. Will not abrogate trade treaties.

(Meanwhile, Hillary is almost even with Obama in Texas.)

9:58 -- I like his stress on encouraging economic growth as opposed to pursuing anti-business policies.

Stresses civility (in contrast to an "uncivil brawl" for power). Much cheering.

"We don't hide from history. We make history."

Stresses the "hope built on courage, faith and the values which made us great" and exhorts the crowd to stand up for the country. "The contest begins tonight."

"Won't you down, God bless America."

A sincere speech which sounded as if it's from the heart.

10:04 -- With 12% of the Texas vote in, it's now Obama with 641,109 (50%) to Clinton's 611,352 (48%). She's gaining steadily.

10:09 -- No matter what happens, Hillary will claim victory tonight.

Here's Stephen Green, drunkblogging again:

Let me get this straight. A loss for Obama anywhere is a win for Hillary everywhere? I'm so spun my boxers are on backwards. And on my head.
Via Glenn Reynolds, who also links soberblogger Megan McArdle, who says,
Hippies like Obama--who could have guessed?
As a McCain Deadhead for Obama, I not only guessed it earlier, I reveled in it!

I don't know who's drinking (or smoking) what anymore.

But I also liked what James Joyner said earlier:

....given the proportional allocation of delegates the Democrats use, the race will likely remain a virtual tie regardless of tonight's "winners" and "losers." The press and Democratic Establishment may start to hammer Clinton to withdraw and anoint Obama as the prohibitive favorite. But so long as she's got the resources and energy to run, I don't see why she'd quit. She is, as she noted in her announcement, "In it to win it." My guess is that will be true until the bitter end.
(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

Meanwhile, the race is continuing to be "competitive."

Sigh. It promises to be a long night.

I'm reminded of the line from a Dead song,

Didn't get to sleep that night till the morning came around...
It really sucks being a McCain Deadhead against Hillary.

Too many conflicts of interest.

10:25 -- Hillary and Obama are within a hair in Texas.


10:30 -- Texas is now 49% to 49%. 685,880 Obama to 678,919 Clinton.

I'd say that negative campaigning works -- provided there's a legitimate negative, and with crooked real estate deal with Rezko, and the appearance of a NAFTA lie, Hillary appears to have a legitimate negative.

A pity for Obama that he has cemented himself into the role of being "above all that," because Hillary has plenty of much dirtier underwear.

10:41 -- A virtual tie in Texas, with Obama ahead by a scant 2000 votes.

This guarantees that Team Hillary will be descending on my home state like a plague of locusts. Howard Dean (via Glenn) was right that Pennsylvania will be the deciding state:

The evidence in Pennsylvania shows that she has no plans to step down. Her campaign has been busy, opening offices and holding training sessions. Plans are in the works for her to hit the ground in the Keystone State as early as Thursday.

Larry Sabato, political science professor at the University of Virginia, says Clinton's Pennsylvania activities point to someone not planning to withdrawal.

"If she wins Ohio and breaks about even in Texas in the popular vote, she should be off and running in Pennsylvania," Sabato said.

"Why would she listen to Bill Richardson and a bunch of Obama supporters about 'the need to get out?'" Sabato said. "As far as she is concerned, Obama is the usurper."

10:50 -- Hillary is now ahead in Texas, and they're finally saying that Obama can't make up the difference in Ohio.

Great. I'm wondering what all the people who issued calls for her to step down will say now?

Once again, she will not go gently into the good night.

She can still win this thing.

Fox just called Ohio for Hillary.

10:56 -- I think the people who wanted Hillary should be forced to listen to her.

What I can't stand is that I have to.

10:58 -- Hillary is now ahead by two points in Texas. Slow, steady gains, all evening. I think she has a good chance of winning it. God help this country.

11:10 -- Just heard an Ohio warmup speech in anticipation of Hillary "Let us go to Pennsylvania, and West Virginia! Let us go to Michigan and Florida!"

I'm sure Hillary's Michigan voters are feeling disenfranchised. At least as disenfranchised as Obama's, considering he wasn't on the ballot....

(I know my bias is showing, but I don't want the Clintons back in the White House.)

11:17 -- The crowd chants HILLAREE!, HILLAREE!, HILLAREE!

And there goes that grating voice, gloating tonight.

Is there at long last no way to stop her?

"As Ohio goes, so goes the nation."

"We're going all the way!" And I think she means it.

She's saying that to be a president you have to win the battleground states and she ticks them off. (But Michigan? Really.) She's tested to be commander in chief on day one, and she knows how to turn the economy around. (Yes, with a rehash of her failed socialized medicine.)

People want their turn to make history, and their voices to count. Urges everyone to join her campaign. Americans don't deserve promises, they deserve solutions, and they deserve them now.

Again, she's ready to lead. Bashes Bush. Green jobs. End the war in Iraq, win the war in Afghanistan.

When there's a crisis and that phone rings at 3am, there's no time for on the job training.

Now she congratulates McCain and says she looks forward to a spirited debate with him.

Crowd keeps chanting "yes we will!" or something equally original.

(Seriously I don't think I can take eight more months of listening to that voice, much less eight more years.)

11:27 -- Thanks her staff, plus Bill, Chelsea, and the mom who named her after the explorer. Also thanks Obama, and says she looks forward to discussing the issues that matter.

11:29 -- She closes by repeating "YES WE WILL!"

Actually, it's a brilliant way of rhetorically ridiculing "YES WE CAN!"

How well it will go over with the Yesiwecans remains to be seen....

11:33 -- Fox analysts are saying that the Obama campaign got cocky (they did) and the media consistently underestimates Hillary Clinton. (I may be biased against her, but I don't think I've done that. But then, I'm not what they mean by "the media.")

Bill Kristol just said, "Pennsylvania is very big."

(The horror. The horror.)

11:38 -- Analyst Bob Beckel points out that the net gain for Hillary will only be 20 delegates, and that people should maintain perspective.

Now Obama is giving his speech. He says it's close in Texas, but congratulates Hillary for winning Ohio and Rhode Island. "No matter what happens tonight, we have roughly the same delegate lead."

He's not looking happy.

He's also talking about McCain, and the two different visions they have for America. Accuses McCain of falling in line behind the policies which have filed America, and now he's talking like a pacifist, and of course reminding me of why I could never vote for him. (Still, he is not Hillary.)

Bashing corporations, Wall Street versus Main Street. Want a new course for this country.

Complains that John McCain and Hillary Clinton have echoed each other, and accused him of "speeches, not solutions."

It's too bad, because I was hoping Obama was a twofer. (Get rid of Hillary, plus offer McCain an easier target.) He's now sounding a bit tired, and too socialistic.

11:51 -- He's talking about the opportunity he had to go from a humble background to running for president.

Whoa. Saying they're being fair to Hillary, they cut him off at Fox! (CNN continued the speech to the end.) Obama left the stage looking rather subdued, if not beaten.

Hey, as long as Hillary doesn't win the presidency, I can handle all of this. But I'm not convinced that underestimating her has worked very well.

12:03 -- Carl Bernstein has just pointed out that this is a big victory for Hillary because she got away with going after Obama at the last minute without ever having to release her tax returns.

And Naftagate! The irony is that I rather liked the idea of Obama's covert reassurances -- especially if they took place.

12:40 -- With 80% of the Texas vote in, Hillary Clinton is still ahead 50% to 48%, although Obama is winning the caucuses.

I prefer sleeping to the suspense. But since Fox is verging on a prediction, I'll predict here and now that Hillary will win Texas.

A Clinton Obama unity ticket is looking more and more likely.

12:46 -- Fox predicts Hillary to be the winner in Texas.

And with that I'm going to bed.

I can go to sleep knowing that I never wanted Barack Obama to be president. What I cannot understand is why all these conservatives are either willing to bring back the Clintons, or else think they're better than Obama.

Unless I'm missing something, history is being forgotten.

posted by Eric on 03.04.08 at 08:31 PM


The Mrs. and I just got back from voting in the Republican primary here in west Houston and the line for the Democrats was three times as long as the Republican one. FWIW, the word on the Republican side was that the Democrats had been busy all day while the Republicans were slow and that many Republicans were crossing over and voting in the Democrat primary.

Uncle Fester   ·  March 4, 2008 8:53 PM

Thanks for coming!

Here's the problem. There are 20,851,820 people living in Texas. Assuming that every last Texan voted in the Democratic primary, one percent of them would be 208,510 votes.

Eric Scheie   ·  March 4, 2008 9:02 PM

I don't know the particularities of Texas vote reporting, but I'm guessing that 810,000 counted votes with only 1% of precincts reporting is a result of early voting.

The early voting count may have been tabulated -- in whole or in part -- but only one percent of the precincts have reported their Primary Election Day-of vote count.

Rhodium Heart   ·  March 4, 2008 11:50 PM

Thanks RH! I think you figured it out.(They weren't part of the 1%, obviously.)

Eric Scheie   ·  March 4, 2008 11:59 PM

Eric -- it's just a numbers thing. 1% of the precincts is not the same as 1% of the vote, since not all precincts are the same size. The biggest ones are in cities, and are the ones most likely to come in early. They report it that way because they know how many precincts there are, but not how many people will decide to vote.

Loren Heal   ·  March 5, 2008 6:39 AM

"What I cannot understand is why all these conservatives are either willing to bring back the Clintons"

If I have to sleep with a rattlesnake, I want the one that rattles loud and clear.

If I have to have a Dem president, I want the one that everyone knows is a snake. I do not want the one that comes off as "such a nice, nice man!! We'll do whatever he says!!"

If I have to have a Dem president, I want the one that NO ONE trusts.

guy   ·  March 5, 2008 8:14 AM

"If I have to sleep with a rattlesnake, I want the one that rattles loud and clear."

The Clintons have certainly demonstrated that they are rattlesnakes, as their appetite for the personal destruction of enemies is legendary.

The argument is predicated on the assumption that Obama operates the same way, though, and I haven't seen evidence that he does.

Eric Scheie   ·  March 5, 2008 8:31 AM

Well, I don't want Hillary as president. I've merely been predicting it for the last 4 years. When all the pundits called her campaign dead in the water, I called them all stupid. For some reason, people don't seem to remember the win at all costs mentality of the Clintons. Now that she has won Ohio and Texas, and will likely win PA, she can claim that she's the candidate that more people want. And if you don't think the Florida and Michigan delegates won't be counted, you're dreaming. I can already see the civil rights lawsuits.

On the plus side, we can elect one of the Bush twins in 2016. Might as well keep the Clinton/Bush sine wave going. Then Chelsea can win in 2024 to give us 36 uninterrupted years of Bush and Clinton.

God help us all.

physics geek   ·  March 5, 2008 10:04 AM

I think you were seeing the % of precincts reporting and the number of votes tallied. The number of votes tallied includes early voters, of whom there were quite a lot. So you'd actually have a vote total with 0% of precincts reporting.

Either that or Texans count as 5 votes each because we're so awesome. :)

Earnest Iconoclast   ·  March 5, 2008 5:49 PM

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