Due to the unfortunate absence of Professor Tierney (who is getting out the vote in
Professor Wu started by noting that, “if you’re into politics, this is just a great time to be alive.” He found Super Tuesday very interesting and claimed that he didn’t understand what was going on with American politics this year. Why, for example, did Obama carry
Professor Wu compared the upcoming dynamic to a cartoon grudge match, where each candidate gets one really good shot at the other. First, February seems to favor Obama, and he has a month to exploit that. Then, March, with
With regards to the delegate totals, Wu predicted that
Professor Persily began by offering some generalizations that he said were “about 80% true.” He noted that, for the most part,
Persily personally thought
Additionally, he’s very concerned about the way this race is going because he’s worried that this is going to end up depending on the most undemocratic aspects of the primary process. In a race this close, three things come into play that candidates can’t control. (1) Delegate apportionment. (2) Superdelegates. (3) The Florida/Michigan votes, which might be reinstated despite not really having contested elections.
On the Republican side, Persily thinks McCain wrapped it up last night.
Steve Nadel, who worked on the Romney campaign, had some insights into the Republican contest. First, he discussed Romney’s campaign strategy, which was to win the big states early and knock out McCain and Giuliani. It appeared over the summer that everyone who saw Romney liked him, so they aimed to increase his exposure. When other candidates starting coming to the fore, Romney basically fell off the map. Nadel thinks this speaks poorly of him as a candidate.
Nadel thinks the Republican primary is over, and that everyone except the CNN commentators realize this. He does not think Huckabee can win, but thinks the governor might still be relevant.
As for the Democrats, Nadel is “amazed at how long it’s going to take”. He expected like
David Gringer began by talking about the media. They are having a huge effect on this race, and he wanted to highlight just how badly they’ve done. He also pointed out that endorsements don’t seem to actually mean anything to voters, only to the media.
In Gringer’s view, perhaps the most important aspect of the campaign is organization. The strength of the candidate’s ground team in each state seems to have a huge effect on the outcome. Obama’s team in
Attempting to explain the strange voting results noted by Professor Wu, Gringer hypothesized that there are two different kind of Democratic voters at issue here. What he calls the “machine” wing of the Democratic party dominates in places like
Gringer uses this model to suggest that we might see surprising results. For example, Louisana, thought to be an Obama stronghold, has a strong machine structure. On the other hand,
A very interesting presentation from a great panel. Thanks to all who participated and attended. For those who missed out, it looks like we will soon need the Wu’Tierney Factor III.