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Democratic Primary Projections for January 2008 (Made May 2007)

The states of Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are currently scheduled to hold primaries or caucuses during the month of January, 2008. That’s just eight months away, folks. And the outcome of these primaries is likely to shade to preferences of voters for all the primaries and caucuses that follow.

So what the heck is going to happen in these states in eight months’ time? The Dean experience teaches us that primary votes can turn on a dime, an orange hat, a sushi-eating advertisement or a scream. But taking into account the possibility for volatility, the best prediction for what’s going to happen tomorrow, or even eight months from now, is what happens today, yesterday, and the day before. So let’s take a look at what’s been happening lately in the states of Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in order to project what might happen this next January.

Here at Irregular Times, we’ve got a measurement that may be of some use. Since November of 2004, we have been tracking the strength of the different potential Democratic nominees for President in 2008 through a simple alternative measure: the number of bumper stickers, magnets, campaign buttons, posters and shirts that we sell in support for each of the Democratic contenders in the 2008 presidential race. Instead of the weak and changeable indicator of an opinion given over the telephone to a stranger, our own system for tracking candidates measures the kind of support that counts – whether Americans are willing to spend money to show their support for a particular candidate in a public way. That kind of strong commitment turns into donations, and later can turn into votes. This isn’t the random sample of state residents found in an opinion poll, which has the advantage of a systematic approach but the disadvantage of asking for reported opinions instead of actions; rather, given this website’s prominence in search engine results for gear supporting Democratic presidential candidates, our data has the disadvantage of not being complete for the entire internet but the advantage of being a collection of a fair chunk of actual observed actions of commitment. Take our results with a grain of salt with that caveat in mind.

From January 1 of this year through today, the following is the percentage distribution of Election 2008 sales of stickers to the declared candidates (plus Al Gore, who despite being undeclared for the presidency is a very popular shadow candidate overall) in the January 2008 election states:

Iowa Caucus: January 14, 2008
Barack Obama: 44%
Hillary Clinton: 21%
Bill Richardson: 20%

John Edwards: 7%
Dennis Kucinich: 6%
Joseph Biden: less than 1%
Chris Dodd: less than 1%
Al Gore: less than 1%
Mike Gravel: less than 1%

Nevada Caucus: January 19, 2008
Barack Obama: 48%
Hillary Clinton: 23%
John Edwards: 17%

Bill Richardson: 6%
Al Gore: 4%
Joseph Biden: less than 1%
Chris Dodd: < 1%
Dennis Kucinich: less than 1%
Mike Gravel: less than 1%

New Hampshire Primary: January 22, 2008
Hillary Clinton: 55%
Barack Obama: 19%

Bill Richardson: 11%
Al Gore: 8%
Dennis Kucinich: 4%
John Edwards: 1.1%
Joseph Biden: less than 1%
Chris Dodd: less than 1%
Mike Gravel: less than 1%

South Carolina Primary: January 29, 2008
Barack Obama: 50%
Hillary Clinton: 24%

John Edwards: 7%
Dennis Kucinich: 7%
Bill Richardson: 6%
Al Gore: 1.9%
Mike Gravel: 1.8%
Joseph Biden: 1.8%
Chris Dodd: less than 1%

Florida Primary/Caucus (undetermined): January 29, 2008
Barack Obama: 38%
Hillary Clinton: 25%

John Edwards: 13%
Al Gore: 12%
Bill Richardson: 6%
Joseph Biden: 3%
Mike Gravel: 1.9%
Dennis Kucinich: less than 1%
Chris Dodd: less than 1%

The shares above 15% are italicized above because in the Democratic primaries and caucuses, delegates will be awarded proportionately for those candidates who garner a 15 percent share or higher. The final distribution of delegates between states and territories is not settled yet, believe it or not. Still, if the expressions of committed support in the year so far are any indication, delegates for the nomination in the month of January look to be split mostly between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (with advantage to Obama), with a few more headed to Bill Richardson and a few within reach of John Edwards.

If I had to make my guess today, this is where my guess would go. Of course, I don’t have to make a final guess today, since time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future. In a few months’ time, I’ll make another peek into our data and see what is to be seen.

6 comments to Democratic Primary Projections for January 2008 (Made May 2007)

  • Spencer

    Nice metric – Paraphernalia sales as a proxy for money and media access. How about more information on the “not business as usual” candidate Mike Gravel and his plan to end the war in Iraq now!

    United States Armed Forces Withdrawal from Iraq Act
    Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel has a plan that will end the war in Iraq by September 2007 with all US troops home by Christmas. This plan recognizes that under the United States Constitution the power of the Congress is superior to the power of the Presidency.

    Mike’s plan is to pass a law in the Congress making the war in Iraq illegal. Failure to comply with the law would be punishable by 5 years in jail without possibility of parole. Understand that the President of the United States is required to follow the law just as is any other American citizen.

    Of course, once the law is passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is likely that President Bush will veto it. Mike Gravel’s plan would call for the Senate and House Democratic leadership, Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to bring the bill to a vote day after day, 7 days a week, 30 minutes per day, forcing the media spotlight to shine on those Senators and Congressman who are prolonging the war until pressure from their constituents produces a two-thirds majority sufficient to override the Presidential veto. (If the law is filibustered in the Senate initially, the same procedure would apply.)

    What is important to understand is that Mike served two terms in the US Senate fighting for “unpopular” causes and winning against the odds. Mike is a legislative strategist and you will see that his plan for ending the war will work, if adopted. Most other options for ending the war fall into the “do the right thing” category or involve timelines that extend far off into the future. Rather than wait, let’s force our elected representatives to listen to the will of the American people by introducing Mike Gravel’s draft legislation, the United States Armed Forces Withdrawal from Iraq Act, and end this destructive and unnecessary war now.

  • Jim

    Actually, Spencer, if you’re associated with the Gravel campaign as you appear to be you’ll know we’ve been writing about his campaign substantively for at least a year now. Barack Obama had a high share in our metrics long before he raised any money, and while Obama, the mainstream media and Democratic partisan groups so strongly insisted he wasn’t a candidate that he wasn’t included in polls. So while of course media and money are associated with the result, they aren’t perfectly associated: if they were, Hillary Clinton and John McCain would have a much more commanding lead than either currently does. We sent Mike Gravel a message wondering back in December of 2006 why he hadn’t been using his media opportunities as a presidential candidate — failing to update his campaign website for weeks on end.

    So rather than whine about media mattering, why not use what attention you’ve got? Why hasn’t Gravel added a press release since May 8? Why hasn’t Gravel or his staff posted to his blog since May 17? WHY isn’t Mike Gravel using his opportunities more, to greater effect?

    OK, enough with the meta-procedural stuff.

    “Mike’s Plan” is similar in many ways to the Byrd-Clinton plan in the Senate, which would rescind the war authorization. They’re current sitting Senators, and so we’ve written about that. “Mike’s Plan” can’t possibly, meanwhile, be implemented by September 2007, because he’s not currently president.

    But if you’d like, sure, I’ll write about Mike Gravel’s United States Armed Forces Withdrawal from Iraq Act. All you had to do was ask nicely.

  • Spencer

    Whining? Complaining? So much for reader participation.

  • Jim

    Cutting and pasting your pre-written text into multiple blogs isn’t “reader participation.”

    And factual disagreement with what you’ve said is, believe it or not, permitted. Do you prefer a political circle-jerk where everyone pretends to agree?

    By the way, your candidate still hasn’t added a new blog post or a press release. Why don’t you go write one and, you know, try to actually use the mainstream media before you complain about being ignored by it?

  • Oops, the above post was me. That is a link to Spencer’s blog which still has only one entry–the “talking point” that he cut and pasted above.

    Jim did take the time to answer Spencer’s post–on the same day that he posted it–although the answer was not to Spencer’s liking. On the other hand, I am still waiting for an answer to the comment I posted to Spencer’s blog four days ago on May 25.

    So much for reader participation.

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