INDIANA RESULTS - 99% Reporting
NORTH CAROLINA RESULTS - 99% Reporting
See complete exit poll breakdown here.
ELECTION RESULTS NEWS:
1:30 AM - Obama Shifts To General Election Mode: "The Obama campaign appears poised to begin running its general election campaign after Tuesday nights primaries seemed unlikely to change the math or the momentum in the Democratic nomination," the Wall Street Journal reports.
David Axelrod, the top Obama strategist, told reporters that Barack Obama would compete for the six remaining Democratic contests, where 217 delegates are at stake. But he said that the campaign would soon focus on the general election because likely Republican nominee John McCain had basically run free for some time now because weve been consumed with this." He added: I dont think were going to spend time solely in primary states.
Pressed by reporters whether that meant the campaign would make stops in general election states over the next month, Axelrod said: You could infer that from what I said.
1:05 AM - Pledged Delegate Race Is Over: Politico's delegate counter estimates a net +15 for Obama: Clinton +2 in Indiana, Obama +17
What's interesting if these numbers hold is that this assures that Obama will win a majority of the 3,253 pledged delegates [excluding Florida and Michigan]. He's now at 1,494. Under this set of numbers, he picks up 101 for a total of 1,595. A majority is 1,627, so he's 33 short. If you assume he makes threshold in each of the remaining 24 districts for one delegate and then picks up at least one PLEO and one at-large in each of the 6 remaining contests, he's at 1,631. The battle for the majority of pledged delegates is over.
12:30 AM - Russert: Obama Is The Nominee: "We now know who the Democratic nominee is going to be," NBC's Tim Russert just declared on MSNBC.
The Meet the Press host was referring to Barack Obama, who won a decisive victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton in today's North Carolina primary and is within just a few percentage points of her in the Indiana vote count.
The network's Chuck Todd just ran through the math and calculated that Obama now leads Clinton in the "popular vote" by about 710,000 -- and by 200,000 if the disputed primaries in Florida and Michigan are counted. He also leads by about 160 Democratic convention delegates, Todd said.
12:24 AM - The Clinton Message: From Ambinder: "And the message to the media and to the superdelegates is: Everybody, let's take a deep breath. Let's look at the results. Let's think hard about the choices we face. Let's not rush Sen. Clinton."
12:06 AM - Clinton Cancels Morning Show Apparances: So says Tim Russert on MSNBC. "It's a sign of weakness she can ill afford at a moment when questions about whether she can continue are mounting."
11:30 - Take That Wright: "How Barack Obama ended his victory speech in North Carolina: 'May God bless you and the United States of America.' Damn he's good!"
11:15 - Clinton Muted: Ben Smith:
I've been out on the road with Clinton for the past few days, during which she was perhaps the sharpest she's been in her political career. Forceful, clear, connecting intensely with her crowds, utterly at ease with her message.
Tonight, that energy has really, strikingly vanished.
Bill, behind her, is somber too. And she's promised, "no matter what happens," to work to pull the party together.
From ABC's Rick Klein:
"A hint of healing to come? "We are all on the same team." "No matter what happens, I will work for the Democratic nominee, because we must win in November."
These could be the most important lines of the night.
To me, at least, Sen. Clinton's body language tells the story -- even if you don't look at the glum expression on Bill's face. Tonight, she needed a big win in a big state -- and she's winding up with a small win, while Sen. Obama won a bigger state.
Watch her full speech:
11:10 - Kos Doesn't Want Hillary To Drop Out (Yet): "If Clinton were to drop out this week, we'd face an uncomfortable situation in West Virginia, with Clinton likely crushing Obama. That would look terrible for the presumptive nominee. Better than that would be to garner enough superdelegate commitments this week, so that Oregon can push Obama past 2,024. That way, it isn't the supers who clinch it for Obama, but actual voters."
11:04 - Gary Mayor Predicts Indiana Shocker: The Washington Post reports:
As the fate of a nailbiter Indiana primary -- and possibly the course of the Democratic race -- hung on his city, Gary Mayor Rudy Clay said just now that it might take a while yet to finish counting the vote in Lake County, which includes Gary, and said that his city had turned out so overwhelmingly for Barack Obama that it might just be enough to close the gap with Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"Let me tell you, when all the votes are counted, when Gary comes in, I think you're looking at something for the word to see," Clay, an Obama supporter, said in a telephone interview from Obama's Gary headquarters. "I don't know what the numbers are yet, but Gary has absolutely produced in large numbers for Obama here."
10:24 - Clinton "Victory" Speech Delayed: So says Mark Halperin.
10:22 - Why Indiana Margin Closed: MSNBC explains how Clinton went from a double-digit lead in Indiana to a razor-thin margin.
10:14 - Obama 'Concedes' Indiana: "When Barack Obama took the stage to bask in his big victory in North Carolina's Democratic presidential primary, all but one of the television networks still were unwilling to call the day other contest, In Indiana," the LA Times notes. "But Obama showed no such hesitation, saying early in his remarks that he wanted to congratulate Hillary Clinton 'on what appears to be her victory in the great state of Indiana.'"
Here's Obama's full speech:
10:00 - How Does Clinton Win It? Obama supporter (to say the least) Andrew Sullivan writes:
There is no calculation that currently gives the Clintons a majority of the popular vote. There is now no mathematical possibility of them getting more delegates. Obama has won by far the most states. He has raised far more money; he has 1.5 million donors, mainly small sums. He has crushed her among new voters and young voters; and as a black politician, his support spans all races and classes. And recall: he is a freshman senator with a very funny name against the biggest brand name in American politics and a worldwide celebrity whose chief campaigner was a former two-term president of the United States.
9:30 - Obama Campaign's Talking Points: Lynn Sweet gets a copy:
"There really has never been any question that Senator Clinton would win Indiana," said a Obama talking points memo out Tuesday. Team Obama also blames Rush Limbaugh for urging Republicans to infiltrate the primary and vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
8:50 - Obama Camp Expects To "Clinch" On May 20: More from Ambinder:
May 20 -- that's the date when the campaign unofficially expects to "clinch" the nomination -- when they'll officially have a majority of pledged delegates, which triggers, in their view, the standard for superdelegate decision-making set by party leaders like Nancy Pelosi.
As of tonight, Obama will be between 35 and 43 pledged delegates votes away from achieving that majority.
8:30 - Obama Campaign Confident: Marc Ambinder: "The Obama campaign expects to end the night with an expanded lead in the pledged delegate count and having erased Clinton's popular vote gains out of Pennsylvania."
8:19 - Clinton Camp Raises 'Tiebreaker' Comment: An email from Clinton spokesman Phil Singer:
Senator Obama called Indiana the 'tiebreaker' for the Democratic nominating process: "You know, Sen. Clinton is more favored in Pennsylvania," he added, "and I'm right now a little more favored in North Carolina, so Indiana right now may end up being the tiebreaker. So we want to work very hard in Indiana."
INDIANA: An Obama campaign office has faced a bomb threat today:
Indiana State Police swept Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama's Terre Haute campaign headquarters on Wabash Avenue this afternoon following an alleged call to a WTHI Channel 10 reporter claiming to have placed a bomb there and at six other Indiana locations.
Campaign workers were allowed back inside to continue their voter calling once police determined it was safe.
INDIANA: That new Indiana voter ID law is working just fine:
At least 10 retired nuns in South Bend, Ind., were barred from casting regular ballots in Tuesday's Indiana Democratic primary election because they lacked photo IDs required under a state law upheld last week by the U.S. Supreme Court.
John Borkowski, a South Bend lawyer volunteering as an election watchdog for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said several of the retired nuns had been voting all of their lives but were told they lacked the required photo IDs.
NORTH CAROLINA: A few anecdotes suggest that the "Obama is a Muslim" smear hasn't gone away:
About 50 people were eating breakfast at the restaurant in Greenwood when Obama walked in at 7:40 a.m. He went from table to table, chatting briefly with patrons about the economy and gas prices before sitting down to breakfast.
One of his first encounters went poorly. He approached a man sitting alone at a table and was waved away. The man told me afterward he had no interest in meeting Obama. "I can't stand him,'' he said. "He's a Muslim. He's not even pro-American as far as I'm concerned.''
NORTH CAROLINA: A strong turnout is one thing, but election officials are anticipating over half of registered Democrats to make it to the North Carolina polls today:
Democratic turnout could reach 50 percent, assuming voters continue to show up at the same rate they appeared at the polls this morning, said Gary Bartlett, executive director of the state Board of Elections. Republican turnout is likely to be in the range of 20 percent, he said.
In recent years, primary turnout has ranged from 16 percent to 31 percent, Bartlett said.
INDIANA: Election Journal has video of what should not be happening in an Indiana elections poll- voter solicitation. Here's proof:
INDIANA: The Indy Star reports that even "hardcore" Republican districts are turning up to vote in the Democratic primary:
The two precincts at Broad Ripple Family Center selected Republican Jon Elrod over Democrat Andre Carson in March's special election for U.S. Congress. But by 9 a.m., just 21 voters in one of those precincts had requested Republican ballots -- out of 168 cast.
Amid heavy turnout, Republicans appeared to be crossing over in droves today in Marion County and suburban counties, where fewer Republican voters might impact down-ticket primary races.
INDIANA: Obama has responded to Hillary's claim that she will dismantle the OPEC cartel if elected President:
"You say you've been in the White House for eight years, you've had two terms as U.S. Senator and haven't said a work about OPEC and now suddenly you're gonna take it right to OPEC," an exasperated Obama said. "When you've opposed fuel efficiency standards that would actually reduce demand for oil and put OPEC in a bind. That's not being straight with the American people. That's not the kind of politics we believe."
NORTH CAROLINA: Poor Republicans. Missing out on all the fun:
Only unaffiliated voters -- who have not registered as members of either party -- are allowed to choose whether to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary.
Bartlett said has heard about a dozen complaints, all in Wake County, from Republicans wanting to vote Democratic, though he suspects the situation is coming up in other places as well.
INDIANA: Sounds like the lines are getting long in Indiana:
If you haven't voted yet, Marion County Clerk Beth White offered this advice just before noon: Go now.
"I'd recommend they get there right now, bring their ID and prepare to be patient," White said during a news conference in the clerk's office.
Polls close at 6 p.m., and White said turnout already is looking less like a primary than a general election. Based on reports from precincts, she said turnout may surpass the November 2006 election, when one-third of Marion County voters showed up, but might not be as large as the 2004 election, when nearly 54 percent of registered voters took part in the contest pitting President George W. Bush against John Kerry.
NORTH CAROLINA: The Observer's blog has a rundown of what to watch for in tonight's North Carolina exit polls:
The White Vote for Clinton, 65 percent: The Clinton campaign has focused its campaigning largely on the white, blue-collar vote in North Carolina. Hillary Clinton has spent most of her time away from the big cities here, and husband Bill has toured dozens of rural N.C. towns and smaller cities. If the exit polls show Hillary Clinton winning more than 65 percent of the white vote, that'll mean those small-town voters have turned out for her. Without that number, she likely won't win.
The African-American turnout, 35 percent: The big question among pollsters this week is how many blacks will vote in North Carolina. In 2004, 32 percent of N.C. voters were black. In early voting this year, the total was just more than 40 percent. The latter total is likely due to Obama's significant get-out-the-vote efforts, but if Obama can approach that number today - say, a 35 percent black turnout - his win will be more than five points. If the turnout is less than 30 percent, Clinton will be celebrating.
The Meck Vote, 200K: You'll likely be reading about busy precincts and record turnout in Mecklenburg County today. The more voters that show, the better the news for Obama. Mecklenburg offers his best demographics - young voters, black voters, better-educated voters. If the Democratic primary vote approaches 200,000 here, that's good news for him.
INDIANA: Turnout seems to be strong in the Indiana primary, with no major problems being reported yet:
At the Children's Museum polling place on the Northside, voters were waiting when the doors opened at 6 a.m.
More voters have turned out in the first half hour than usually turn out in a half day, said Democrat precinct committeeman Cordelia Lewis-Burkes.
NORTH CAROLINA: There's not going to be anyone left to go to the polls:
The numbers are particularly eye-popping in North Carolina. More than 488,000 voters have already cast ballots, nearly 13 percent of eligible voters.
In Indiana, at least 159,000 people have already voted, about 4 percent of eligible voters.
NORTH CAROLINA: The Charlotte Observer reports that turnout in North Carolina is strong this morning, and election officials are hoping to 1.5 million votes by the end of the day:
Long lines were reported this morning at some polling places across North Carolina in the state's first significant presidential primary election in two decades.
Longtime N.C. political observers say that 1.5 million voters may participate in the historic Democratic primary -- the first in which a woman, Hillary Clinton, or an African American, Barack Obama, will represent the party.
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