So will tonight be the turning point that ends or dramatically changes the dynamic of the race? We shall see.
Here are my predictions for tonight:
I was almost on the mark for Pennsylvania, but this time I could easily be hugely off base. Anyways I'll be live-blogging as the results come in.
7:05 PM: So the polls have closed in Indiana and Clinton has an early lead: 58% - 42% with 4% in.
7:20 PM: Clinton still leading huge 58% to 42% with 11% in (you see the results as they come in here). If this holds that would be very bad news for Obama. I expect a call for Hillary in this state soon.
Polls stilll aren't closed in North Carolina. When they do close at 7:30 PM, you can find the results as they come in here.
7:35 PM: Ok with no results officially in, Obama has been called the winner of North Carolina and yet Clinton is up 58%-42% still in Indiana with 20% in and it hasn't been called for her yet. Curious, makes me wonder why Obama's margin in North Carolina will be tonight.
7:50 PM: Hillary Clinton has held at least a 14 point lead in Indiana ever since results started coming in. Still 57%-43% with 28% in. I can't help but wonder what kind of data they have that's preventing CNN for calling it for Clinton when she's been leading so strongly since the polls closed.
8:03 PM: Obama leading 69% - 31% in North Carolina, but less than 1% is in. I think a 15 point win or greater in North Carolina would look good for Obama, but I don't see how he pulls out a win in Indiana. A double digit loss (or close to that) in Indiana would be enough for Clinton to justfy continuing.
8:10 PM: Obama has a 30% lead still with 5% in for North Carolina.
8:23 PM: CBS has has called Indiana for Clinton, no one else has though. I'm sure they will follow soon. Obama will 28% lead still in NC.
8:49 PM: Gap has narrowed somewhat in Indiana - now 54% - 46% with 53% in. CNN still hasn't called it, Scott noted in the comments that it could be because Obama strongholds still remain.
Obama keeps his 28% lead in NC with 15% in.
9:10 PM: Obama is out to speak in NC.
- Mentions he's won in a big state and a swing state, trying to counter the Clinton talking points against him
- Says he doesn't believe her supporters won't support him or vice-versa. Good touch and I think this needs to be in both Obama and Clinton's speeches from now on.
- "We will have to remember who we are as Democrats. We are at our best when we lead with principle, with conviction, to a higher purpose. We all agree that at this defining moment in our history - two wars, economy in turmoil, a planet in peril, a dream that feels like it's sleeping away - we can't afford to give John McCain a chance to complete George Bush's 3rd term, we need change and that's what we will be united"
I hope he's right.
- More stump speech stuff he's said before: anecdotes of people taken advantage of the health insurance industry, people suffering from the economy, an energy policy written by the oil companies, a recklessly waged war on terror that has left veterans uncared for, etc.... Even though we've heard it all before he does make the case well why McCain needs to be defeated in November.
- Talks about the importance of government aid to give people the leg to succeed. His and his wife's story provides some great anecdotes - loans to buy a home and financial aid to help them go to school allowed them to make the country more prosperous - didn't just reward wealth but those that created it.
- Talks about McCain's attemps to do nothing but divide the country.
- "The question isn't what kind of campaign they will run, but what kind of campaign we will run. It's what we will do to make this race different. I wasn't running for President to avoid this kind of politics but I am running because this is the time to end it."
- "We will end it by telling the truth forcefully, repeatedly and confidently and trusting that the American people will embrace the need for change even if it comes from an imperfect messenger." That's great in theory, but in American politics, I think that's a bit naive to think that will be enough
- Says again election is about the people not the nominees and about securing "your portion of the American dream. We can choose not to be divided to finally come together. This time can be different. This is the time to answer the call by insisting that by hard work and sacrifice the American Dream will endure."
I'd say this speech was better than his speech after Pennsylvania. I think it lacked policy specifics though.
He finishes up as it's now 52% - 48% in Indiana and Obama still leads 57%-41% in NC with 51% in. Clinton must not be happy at all with tonight's results so far. CNN still won't call it.
10:12 PM: Alright not much has changed in the past 30 minutes. Obama leads 56%-42% in NC with 70% in. Still 52-48% with 83% in.
CNN still won't call in: Scott Tribe (noted Obama supporter) has an explanation (see comments) at least: "Lake County in Indiana (where the city of Gary is) is not going to start reporting til 11 pm EST. A late night perhaps.. at the very least, Clinton's victory speech will be after everyone goes to bed in the East :)"
- Clinton is out. I knew she would bring up the "tiebreaker" comment (which was a really dumb and unnecessary remark by Obama), but I didn't think it would be the first thing she said.
- Says she's going to the White House because she won this "tiebreaker" (well CNN still hasn't called it yet)
- Crowd chants "Yes She Will"
- Needs their support and wants them to go to hillaryclinton.com to support her campaign against someone who outspends her.
- Talks about people feeling invisible under the Bush administration. "I will never stop fighting for you"
- Stump speech stuff: Ready on Day 1, knows how to make economy work for the middle class, etc...
- Talks gas prices (I haven't endorsed either candidate, but I think Clinton is wrong on this for the same reasons a GST cut was wrong, not to mention the fact her plan will never pass Congress this summer like she claims and is bad environmental policy with gas prices already exremely low in the U.S.)
- Talks about sticking together - good.
- Talks about how close the race and that it's good Democrats are so exciting about the primary process.
- Says she will work hard for the Democratic nominee and her supporters cheer - Good we need to hear more of this from both repeatedly so their supporters get the message.
- Thanks Senator Evan Bayh for his support. He may have made the difference for her between winning and losing given the narrow margin.
- Thanks Governor of North Carolina for his support.
- Gives condolescenses to victims of cyclone in Burma and calls on the junta to let the rest of the world in to help. I commend her for calling attention to to this, very good on her.
- She's going to compete for Indiana and Kentucky in the genearal election. Mentons West Virginia too where everyone knows she will win next week.
- She's running to be President of all America - "That's why it's important to count the votes of Florida and Michigan" Crowd chants "count the votes". I agree they have to resolve this somehow.
- Wants everyone to start acting like Americans again. Exits to This is Our Country.
I still don't think her speeches inspire like Obama's do, but at least she seemed to attack Republicans more in this speech then after her Pennsylvania victory and stressed the importance of party unity more. It seems she is going to continue on while pushing hard to get Florida and Michigan counted to close delegate gap.
I think it showed though that she was not as pleased with tonight's results as after Pennsylvania. She may dominate in West Virginia next week, but she has now lost the momentum she had after April 22nd and I'm not sure that's something she can afford at this point in the race. She faces much longer odds after tonight now.
86% in for Indiana, CNN still won't call it.
11:26 PM: Only 87% in still in Indiana, no change, I thought the results were coming in at 11 PM? 97% in fo NC, Obama wins 56% to 42% that will probably be the final margin.
11:28 PM: CNN says their exit polling indicates that Obama did much better among white women then they expected. They speculate it may be because they were turned off by Clinton's negativity. Perhaps that's true, I've said before both candidates need to stop running excessively negative ads against each other - it does not help the cause in November.
12::02 AM: So this night has gone on later that I (or probably the journalists covering it) thought. The gap is definitely narrowing - 91% in, the lead is down to just over 20,000 votes. If Obama took about 65% of what's left he will win. I don't think he will but this is definitely closer than the Clinton campaign would have wanted.
1:12 AM: FINALLY! CNN calls Indiana for Clinton.
Final results tonight.
North Carolina: Obama wins 56%-42%
Indiana: Clinton wins 51%-49%
I think an unbiased observer can clearly say it was a great night for Obama and a bad night for the Clinton campaign. I think it will be a tough week ahead for Hillary Clinton for sure.
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