By David Swanson
WHY HE’LL WIN: Money, Media, Momentum, Mobilization, Madness
Barack Obama has more money than Hillary Clinton and is likely to bring in more of it. The money advantage has proved insufficient to Mitt Romney but has benefitted him greatly and will benefit Obama greatly. Obama will run more ads than Clinton, which will bring in still more money. News stories will happily avoid any mention of substantive issues by covering Obama’s money raising. He will have the option to avoid debates or engage in them, while Clinton grovels before the likes of Fox News in hopes of generating free coverage, and is forced to put her own money into the campaign from a reserve that is much smaller than John and Theresa Kerry’s bank accounts. Internet activists are going to identify ever more strongly with Obama, because so much of his money is being raised online.
As the Phoenix points out:
“Most of Obama’s money ($34 million of his $58 million) comes from more than 200,000 small donors, who, because they’re not even close to having given the maximum $2300 allowed by law, he can tap again and again. By contrast, a whopping 70 percent of the Clinton’s funds have come from donors who have already ‘maxed out’ and cannot give again. Of the money Clinton has reported to date, only $19 million of her $63 million comes from donors who remain beneath the $2300 ceiling….More than 110,000 of those Obama donors gave $17 million via the Internet. Many other Obama contributors are folks who shelled out $10 or $25 to attend one of his speeches. (Obama continues drawing the largest and most enthusiastic crowds across the country.) Only 45,000 of Obama’s 258,000+ donors gave more than $200. That leaves more than 213,000 very small contributors who have effectively rewritten the history of political-campaign funding.”
In terms of policy positions, both Clinton and Obama are acceptable to the corporate media, whereas John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich clearly were not. In personal terms, many members of the media find Clinton as unlikable as do so many citizens on the right and the left. Enough talking heads with access to the airwaves will take enough glee in Clinton’s loss of the lead to enlarge that loss significantly.
As Obama’s lead becomes apparent, many more people will vote for him because they moronically like backing the winner and always choose to vote for whoever least needs their votes. The same is true of additional campaign contributions: as they become less necessary, they will flow in all the faster, funding Obama’s general election campaign against John McCain. And as people look ahead to that general election they will pay closer attention to the polls showing that Clinton would lose to McCain whereas Obama would beat him.
One of the reasons Obama swamped Clinton on Tuesday in caucus states is that well organized activists make a bigger difference in caucuses than in primaries. But Obama is better organized at the grassroots level all across the country and will be better able to turn out large numbers at the primaries and caucuses yet to be held. Already Obama has won more states and more delegates, and trails only in super-delegates – which are of course some of the least dependable people on the planet and perfectly willing to jump on a different band wagon when they start to sniff the wind direction.
While the left is reaching a consensus that Obama is the lesser of the remaining evils, the right has always been there and views Clinton as evil incarnate. While recovering racists view Obama votes as therapy, sexists show little hope of recovering. As bad news from Iraq forces the occupation to the top of the agenda again, those who want peace oppose Clinton as the worst of the Democrats and McCain as the worst of them all, but those who cheer for war will do nothing to help Clinton or McCain, being for the most part obsessed with their hatred of McCain’s insufficient cruelty to gays, women, and immigrants.
WHY HE MAY HAVE ALREADY WON
There are several good reasons why Obama may have done better in caucuses than in primaries on Tuesday. He was better organized, and he focused on those states. But caucuses are also completely transparent. The results are completely credible. Obama took Kansas 74 to 26, Idaho 79 to 17, Colorado 67 to 32, and North Dakota 61 to 37.
Clinton Won the New Mexico primary by 217 votes, but 17,000 voters were forced to vote on “provisional ballots” which won’t be counted unless Obama fights for it. Were he to fight for it, it might reassure voters that he will fight to have their votes counted in November as well.
In Los Angeles County, where some 40 percent of California’s Democrats vote, huge numbers of new and independent voters had their ballots go uncounted, a problem that may yet be corrected in part. Obama should push hard to have these votes, many of them from young supporters of his, fairly and publicly counted.
In New Jersey, voters reported seeing their touch-screen votes flip from Obama to Clinton. Obama should demand that New Jersey use hand counted paper ballots in November.
Tuesday’s reports of election problems, intimidation, suppression, and possible fraud, for whatever reasons, all seem to have worked against Obama. And, of course, many such problems cannot be repaired. Vote counts on DRE machines can never be verified. But we absolutely must shake free of the idea that we can be sure of election results quickly. The only results we can be sure of are paper ballots counted by hand publicly on location, but even that would take time. With the crazy system we have now, significant time is needed to determine the actual results. The media’s rush to decide is irresponsible and destructive.
Of course, in other countries their media and ours use exit polls to check the accuracy of vote counts. In this country, our media outlets use exit polls to predict winners, but when the official results begin to come in straying too far from the exit polls, rather than questioning the results, U.S. media outlets “adjust” the exit polls and publish those adjusted exit polls, hiding the unadjusted numbers from the light of day.
Unadjusted exit poll numbers that did become public constitute one of the many pieces of evidence of election fraud in the 2004 and 2006 general elections. On Wednesday, the day after Super Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh went on his radio show and denounced so-called left-wing conspiracy nuts for having challenged the legitimacy of Bush’s 2004 win but failed to challenge Hillary Clinton’s wins in Tuesday’s primaries. The exit polls, Limbaugh claimed, showed a landslide for Obama.
I would like to hereby challenge Limbaugh to publish the unadjusted exit polls on his website and name his source. Many of us will be more than delighted to disabuse him of the notion that we would sacrifice election integrity for Hillary Clinton.
Limbaugh may have been getting his numbers from the Drudge Report website, which did not name its source but posted what appeared to be unadjusted exit poll results for some of Tuesday’s races. Here is what appeared on that site:
“WARNING: EXIT NUMBERS EARLY AND DO NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL VOTES:
OBAMA: Alabama: Obama 60, Clinton 37… Arizona: Obama 51, Clinton 45… Connecticut: Obama 53, Clinton 45… Delaware: Obama 56, Clinton 42… Georgia: Obama 75, Clinton 26… Illinois: Obama 70, Clinton 30… Massachusetts: Obama 50, Clinton 48… Missouri: Obama 50, Clinton 46… New Jersey: Obama 53, Clinton 47…
CLINTON: Arkansas: Clinton 72, Obama 26… California: Clinton 50, Obama 47… New York: Clinton 56, Obama 43… Oklahoma: Clinton 61, Obama 31… Tennessee: Clinton 52, Obama 41… “
Now, the results above that showed Clinton winning turned out to be quite in line with the official results reported later that evening, although Obama lost 5 percentage points in California if you believe the official results. Some of Obama’s leads and wins, however, oddly disappeared.
In Arizona, an Obama win of 51 to 45 became a Clinton win of 51 to 42. In Georgia Obama’s 75 to 26 win became a 67 to 31 win. In Massachusetts, a 50 to 48 Obama win became a 56 to 41 Clinton win. And in New Jersey, where noticeable machine malfunctions were reported, a 53 to 47 Obama win became a 54 to 44 Clinton win.
I don’t know whether the official results in all of these states are accurate, and I don’t know that the Drudge Report didn’t simply make up these exit poll numbers, but I do know that the exit polling is done as well as it can be done and is widely believed by election experts around the world to be an important tool for judging the validity of elections.
Any member of Congress, including the Senator from Illinois or any of his colleagues serving on his campaign, or any committee chair, could request or subpoena the unadjusted exit poll numbers if they chose to do so. This would be a non-partisan step toward election integrity, a move by the Democrats to verify their own internal affairs. Or a Republican member of Congress, perhaps one who listens to and agrees with Rush Limbaugh, could take this step on behalf of all of us.