Feb 19, 2008

Updated - Early Exit Polling and Trends Suggest Obama Win

- Other breaking Wisconsin election sites at left column of this page -

- 7:30 - Clinton Will Make Early Speech Tonight Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign released exceprts from a speech she will give at 7:30 pm CT -- half an hour before the polls even close in Wisconsin, an indication she doesn't expect to win.
- 7:17 - Milwaukee neighborhood of Endries Park (upper-middle income), huge turn-out; lots of young professionals. Obamathon!
- 7:06 - Buzz of a big Obama win. from The Politico:
Mike Allen e-mails:
Democratic officials with access to exit polls say Sen. Obama looks like he’s headed for a huge win in today’s Wisconsin primary. The polls could turn out to be off, as they have in the past. But the officials’ revelation reflects the chatter in the campaigns in advance of the 9 p.m. Eastern poll closing.The party officials said that if the trends reflect in the interviews with hundreds of Badger State voters, the news out of the primary will be: Obama encroached deeply into three of Clinton’s core groups of voters — women, those with no college degree and those with lower incomes — while giving up none of his own. However, Clinton looked to be winning senior citizens, the officials said.Stay tuned for real numbers.

- 5:06 - Dane Co (Madison) reports 33 percent turnout at 5:00 pm, and rising fast; predicted 50 percent turnout. Very good for Obama.

Update 3:10
: Sporadic reports of GOP voting for Hillary in Dem primary because she is perceived as a weak candiate (just got another one from Fond du Lac (Wisconsin). Still do not believe that this will add up to much.

Update 3:04: Is there anywhere in Madison where Obama is not kicking ass? From David Callender
Southwest side voters like Obama

One of the heaviest polling places for voter turnout this afternoon was the Heritage Congregational Church on Madison's southwest side, where election officials estimated more than 800 ballots had been cast by 2:30 p.m.
A steady stream of new voters filled out registration forms as already registerd voters waited for ballots.
An informal survey of voters leaving the polling place showed overwhelming support for Barack Obama.

Update 2:40: From WiscPolitics: For the Democrats, 48 delegates are awarded based on votes in the congressional districts. The eight districts have between five and eight delegates each based on Dem turnout in past elections, and the district delegates are divided up proportionally according to the vote in each district.
Sixteen are considered "super delegates" that are uncommitted. They include Gov. Jim Doyle, Dem Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, the five Dem members of the House and the eight DNC members living in Wisconsin.
Obama has the backing of four super delegates.

Update 2:25 pm: Obama supporters can relax, because the Obama volunteers are not. They are mad men/women. Just off the phone with Obama HQ in Madison. Some facts:

- Entire City of Madison was hit with lit Saturday
- They're doing it again today; F&^* the cold, hitting the Isthmus and campus.
- Students do not vote early; they vote when they want, between classes and beers.
- Obama HQ on Gilman St. on UW Campus, ran out of phones (too many volunteers), and people used their cell phones to call lists of people.
- Cold out (five degrees), but staff is manning an outside tent in Library mall until they drop or the polls close.
- Staff is more hyper than I
- Obama has been through their phone lists, so they have begun calling them again

This may be Madison-centric, but from here nothing can stop the Obama train; because there is not quit in these people. Wow. I'm 40-something; was I that freaking nuts when I was 20?

Update 1:51 pm : Obama picks up votes in Brookfield (Milwaukee suburb)
In the Republican stronghold of Brookfield, Barack Obama was picking up some support among voters who cast their votes against rival Hillary Rodham Clinton and the war in Iraq.

Update 1:46 pm : Consider this, relatively few Republicans are coming out because the nominee is known to be John McCain. Would that not dampen turn-out somewhat? Point being Obama folks who look at the uneven turn-out and think "bad," can relax a bit. Cold, ice and lack of Republicans will hold down turn-out in some places, for a while.

Update: 1:38 PM: CW is voters have been waiting for it to warm up a tad. Sunny out and five degrees fahrenheit, look for turn-out to increase now. Dane County (Madison) had 10 percent turn-out some two hours ago.

Update: 1:19 PM: Deborah Ziff writes Where are the Republicans? for the Wisconsin State Journal Election Blog:
- West side of Madison -
OK, so we all know Madison is a bastion for liberalism. And this primary is a much tighter race on the Democratic side, drawing more attention and excitement. But c'mon, where are all the Republicans? After five straight people exiting the polls here said they voted for Obama, Neil Kosterman, 61, emerged to say that he voted for McCain. "I think he's the best candidate," he said. There has been some talk that Republicans might vote for Clinton here because it's an open primary, and she is thought by some to be easier to beat in the general election than Obama. But so far, no one is owning up to actually doing it.

Update: 1:12 PM: While the Dems have a tent out in the UW-Madison Memorial Libary mall all day (you have to be an idiot to not know an election is going on), student voters use the net outlets (YouTube, Facebook and so on), cell phones to reach voters. Not many are shy about hitting doors, but it's not the best way to GOTV today.

Update: 12:47 PM: Newest report from Gordon's Commons polling place in the heart of the undergraduate UW-Madison dorm country. Pace is picking up, observer reports as of 12:30ish, with the new voter table having a line of six or seven, and about 20 others at the voting table.

Students are hitting the polls in between classes.

A large turn-out here means an intense interest, which translates into a positive sign for Obama.

Update: 12:43 PM: Students lean toward Obama

Update 12:39 PM: Capital Times Election Blog reports "Frigid temperatures and slick roads are keeping voters at home so far this primary election day," waiting for traffic to die down and the sun to warm things up a little (like to 10 degrees-the high). ... "Up to 35 percent of the state's eligible voters had been predicted to turn out statewide, mainly because of the close Democratic primary race between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, ... highest presidential primary turnout in 20 years."

Update 12: 20 PM: February 18, 2008 Clinton urged crowd to treat primary like job interview.
Fine. An interview question: Have you ever voted for a war for politcal reasons, resulting in the death of 100,000s?

Update 11:24 AM: Democratic delegates today:

Wisconsin: 74
Hawaii: 20

Update 11:01 AM: Germantown, Wisconsin, (pop. 18,260, some 60 miles northwest of Milwaukee) gets "much higher turnout than election officials said they had experienced in the past." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel staff) Speculating, these folks are not lining up to vote for Hillary. BTW, watch out for Huckabee, could be close with R's.

Update: Madison, Wisconsin - From the Gilman street Obama HQ (one of three HQs in Madison, pop. 208,054) on UW-Madison campus: "Controlled chaos," "People using their own cell phones;" "getting phone #s from the net;" "knocking on dorm doors". Mood is extremely "optimistic" and "energetic," "chaotic but good".

Update: Report from Gordy's (Gordon's Commons polling place) in the heart of the undergraduate UW-Madison dorm country (mostly 18 to 20-year-olds, and smarter than I was at that age). A large turn-out here means an intense interest, which translates into a positive sign for Obama.

Via Joe staffing the front desk at Witte Hall dorm. At 9:30 AM (central time), Joe took a walk over to Gordon's, about 40 yards over the bridge, reporting: "Not many people around. Just three or four people. But a lot of classes begin at 9:55, so I expect everything to pick up after 11:00 (AM) and also tonight." - check back at 1:00 PM central -

Update: "Wisconsin will be an important sign of things to come in what is likely to be a make or break day in the campaign" on March 4, said Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin, who is not working for either candidate. - Alan Fram, AP.

The line from Obama's office is that the campaign is very close.

No one wants to dash the energy of volunteers or have people get complacent.

From Michelle Obama's mass e-mail this AM: "America is watching Wisconsin. We're heading into today's primary after winning the last eight straight contests, but this race is still extremely close."

My prediction: Obama by nine points.

Temperature now: Zero degrees. High 11. That will not prevent anyone from getting out.


  1. "Clinton urged crowd to treat primary like job interview.
    Fine. An interview question: Have you ever voted for a war for politcal reasons, resulting in the death of 100,000s?"

    Classic. Well said. Another interview questions: did you vote against an ammendment that would ban the use of cluster bombs, weapons that kill children and civilians?

  2. Nice work, Michael! Great work with the Wisky primary...

  3. Regardless of who wins tonight, one thing definitely encourages me.

    I've read polling data that says Ms. Clinton's vote for the war is the biggest thing hurting her campaign in Wisconsin.

    I hope this give pause to politicians who vote for nutty wars because they think it is the politically expedient thing to do.

  4. he ROUTED her in Dane County. Amazing! Thanks for all of your great reporting today.

  5. Did you vote for Cass Sustein? If so I will be working very hard to end your reign.

  6. What is Obama's agenda! I want to see the cards in the other hand!