Archive for January, 2008

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Now Hillary’s Wal-Mart past get’s dragged up

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

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    Could this undermine union support?

With just five days to go to Super Tuesday some video tapes of Hillary in her role as a director of Wal-Mart in the late 80s and early 90s have “emerged” and are being given prominent coverage by ABC News.

Funny that the tapes being discovered now – anybody would think someone was planning a hatchet job.

Hillary’s problem is that the company has built up a reputation for being fiercely anti-union going to great lengths to break any signs of activity. The essence of the story today is that Democratic front-runner stayed silent while these developments were happening.

So far in the campaign Hillary has had considerable support from a large number of unions. Mailshots have gone out, members have been urged to back her and advertising campaigns have been funded. In one of the recent debates Barack Obama used her Wal-Mart connection to attack her.

With a battle of such ferocity reaching a critical stage then it’s almost inevitable that things get dragged up. The important thing is how Hillary and Bill react.

Democratic nomination betting is here.

Mike Smithson



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Does Obama need a longer race?

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

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    How will the GOP’s likely choice affect the Democratic race?

With the Republican looking set to select John McCain as their nominee for November’s election there will be increasing focus on the Obama-Clinton battle? Will we get a clear picture after next Tuesday’s mass of primaries and caucuses or could this be spun out over many months?

David Broder of the Washington Post looks at the dynamics this morning and suggests that the longer the Democrats take to decide the better the prospects for the Black senator from Illinois. His reasoning is that Obama’s best hope lies in “more elected Democratic officials and candidates coming to view him as the better bet to defeat McCain in November”.

He says that the race remains hard to handicap “…because Clinton already has demonstrated her resilience by fighting uphill battles to prevail in New Hampshire and Nevada and because she retains formidable alliances and organizational strengths.. But the last two weeks have seen a remarkable shift of establishment opinion against her and against the prospect of placing the party’s 2008 chances in the hands of her husband, Bill Clinton. The prominence of his role in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and the mean-spiritedness of his attacks on Obama, stunned many Democrats. Clinton’s behaviour underlined the warning raised in this column before Iowa, by a prominent veteran of the Clinton administration, that the prospect of two presidents both named Clinton sharing a single White House would be a huge problem for the Democrats in November if she is the nominee.”

In an ABC interview last night Hillary acknowledged the danger of her husband to her campaign. When asked if she could “control Bill” Hillary replied: “Oh, of course. You know there’s only one president at a time”.

In the nomination betting the markets have moved a notch back to Hillary following Florida and the John Edwards decision. The former First Lady is now at 1/2 with Obama at 1.9/1.

Mike Smithson



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Will McCain be able to beat either of them?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

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The above are the latest head to head numbers from the excellent Real Clear Politics site and show what happens when John McCain is put against either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

As can be seen the 71 year old beats both of them on the RCP average which is updated daily. The latest figures are very much affected by the Rasmussen numbers showing the GOP man with a substantial margin over the two Democratic party possibilities. In its previous survey Rasmussen had both Clinton and Obama ahead.

In the betting for who will actually get to the White House McCain is second favourite at 2.25/1.

There might be value, if you have confidence in these polls, in the winning party markets. Here the Democrats are the tight 0.56/1 favourites with the GOP on 1.76/1. If you think MCCain will get the nomination and believe the polls then these prices look great value.

Mike Smithson



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Will a numbers war work again next time?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008


    Will Labour be able to use the approach of this 2005 election broadcast?

Click on the link above and see how Labour used one of its final election TV slots in the days before the last general election. It’s effective and follows a well-established tested formula that helped underpin the 1997, 2001 and 2005 victories.

    Looking at it through today eyes, though, it appears outdated. Will this work again? How long will the demonisation of the Tories in this form continue to be a vote-winning strategy?

Judging by the continued references to David Cameron’s alleged role on Black Wednesday in 1992 and the way that Gord deals with almost any situation by quoting a barrage of numbers it looks as though the 2010 campaign will be the 2005 one with up to date numbers.

The problem is that for large sections of the electorate in two years time a Tory government will not be part of their memories. They were just too young and there must come a point where this type of election rhetoric doesn’t resonate any more.

On top of this, of course, a key part of the Osborne-Cameron strategy has been to designed to ensure that this sort of Labour attack will not have the potency it once had. There also a much greater mistrust, in the media at least, of government statistics. Thus when ministers assert that crime is down this is not widely believed.

It seems to me that Labour needs to develop a new rhetoric for a new situation. So far, at least, we have seen little from the new PM.

Mike Smithson



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Is McCain’s bid “like a woman having a baby in her late 50s?”

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

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    Newsweek raises the age question

After his sensational victory in the Florida GOP primary overnight John McCain has become an even more firm odds-on favourite to take the nomination. By 0430 GMT the Betfair price in response to the result had tightened to 0.15/1 which given the fact the the market won’t be settled until September looks crazy.

You only bet at such odds-on prices when the market will be resolved in a few days – to lock up your stake for more than seven months for such a small return doesn’t make sense.

For anything can happen in the meantime especially as the one negative feature about the Arizona senator has yet to been become a campaign issue – that he’ll be 72 years old by the time of the election.

The Newsweek article, reproduced above, by Anna Quindlen puts it like this: “..Political operatives say that his age makes McCain’s choice of a running mate particularly critical. But if you enter the process stressing a hedge against mortality or incapacity, shouldn’t that suggest something about suitability for the job in the first place? The senator’s pursuit of the presidency reminds me a bit of those women who decide to have a baby in their late 50s. The impulse is understandable, the goal possible. But, looking at all the facts, and the actuarial tables, is it really sensible?

Romney and his millions are still there and will be throwing a massive amount of money at the Super Tuesday primaries next week. No doubt, his team are looking at ways of touching on McCain’s age in a way that won’t re-bound. Difficult – but that’s what you hire expensive PR people for.

Just look a the way the Clinton gang in their unlovely way switched the focus onto Obama’s skin colour. Think what they could do with McCain’s 72 years?

Mike Smithson



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Florida election night…. continued

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

CNN calls GOP race for McCain, leads Romney by 3-4 pts

Halperin reporting Rudy will drop out & endorse McCain

Hillary called winner in delegate-free Democrat contest

Please post comments here to ease server pressure.

Double Carpet



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Is this where McCain will virtually clinch it?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

    …or will the Romney money machine seize victory?

florida from space.JPGAnd so the next US election night on Politicalbetting. This time it’s Florida, the biggest state to decide so far and the one that has seen the most fierce battles for the GOP crown.

The Democratic party does have an election but because, like Michigan a fortnight ago, the state defied the national party on the timing what’s decided by today’s voting will not count. However if it the delegate count between Obama and Clinton gets really tight you can see this one being resolved in the courts.

For Rudolph Giuliani this is the day of reckoning. His plan was to ignore the earlier contrst and focus on the big states with lots of delegates where winner takes all. If that falls down tonight his campaign is in serious trouble.

John McCain and Mitt Romney have been topping the polls though the betting today has moved towards the 71 year old from Arizona. As well as the delegates at stake tonight the results could give the winner momentum going for the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses on a week today.

A factor that needs to be taken into account is the number of absentee ballots – many people voted some time ago before McCain became the front runner. There’s been some speculation that this will help Giuliani.

GOP nomination betting is here.

Mike Smithson



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How much damage is Dick Morris doing to the Clintons?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

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Just two months before the presidential election in 1996 dick Morris, the man who went on to advise UKIP for their Euro-Election campaign in 2004, appeared on the front page of Time magazine alongside Bill Clinton who was, of course, running for a second term.

Now he has become, arguably, the fiercest critic of the couple through his blog, through press articles and TV appearances. He’s the one that gets asked to comment on his former client’s campaign style and he’s the one who has been putting the most negative interpretation on their activities.

Morris was among the first and most vocal in describing, as he saw it, the Clinton’s plan to make Obama’s skin colour into an issue and certainly this got picked up.

    There’s little doubt that he has played a role in making the Clintons’ robust attacking campaigning style into a key issue

His latest piece “GOOD RIDDANCE TO THE CLINTONS’ POLITICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION” pulls no punches and is in keeping with with much of his recent writing.

His great attraction is the proximity that he had to Bill and Hillary and his close knowledge about what they are like. This has given him a kind of authority which means that his ideas are being taken up by other parts of the media.

Whatever went wrong between Bill and Dick I don’t know but the consequences are certainly having an impact on the current race – and he’s continuing to post everyday.

In the UK betting the Hillary price has continued to ease while Obama’s odds have tightened.

Mike Smithson