Saturday, February 27, 2016

Clinton likely to win big on Super Tuesday

Clinton's worst-case scenario is winning six out of nine primaries

There are nine Democratic presidential primaries on Tuesday, March 1—better known as Super Tuesday—and Secretary Hillary Clinton is predicted to win seven of them, based on the FiveThirtyEight polls-plus prediction model. A win in Alabama—where there is not enough polling for a projection, but where Clinton will almost certainly win—puts the count at nine. Even if Clinton loses all three states where the outcome is in doubt, she will win about four times as many delegates as Senator Bernie Sanders.

Super Tuesday Democratic Primary Projections

Clinton's lead in the polls in five of the eight contests—Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia—are enough to predict wins of 30 points or more with win probabilities of over 98%. While there is only one poll of the Alabama primary, the Clinton +28 margin in the February PPP poll, combined with geographic and demographic similarities with other southern states, means an almost sure win for Clinton in the Alabama.

The Massachusetts and Oklahoma races are much closer with predicted margins of 7 and 9 points and win probabilities of 81% and 77%. Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders home state, is the lone Super Tuesday primary predicted to go for Sanders, with a predicted margin of a whopping 75 points, and a greater than 99% winning probability.

While primaries are notoriously hard to poll and predict, there is enough evidence to suggest that the worst case scenario for Clinton would be losses in the closer contests in Massachusetts and Oklahoma, and the expected trouncing in Vermont. Even in this situation, Sanders' states provide a maximum of 145 delegates, while Clinton's states would total 561 delegates (although the complex delegate division rules make it difficult to predict an exact count for each candidate).

In the most-favorable Clinton scenario, Sanders would win Vermont's 16 delegates, while Secretary Clinton's winning states would have 690 delegates. Based on race results and polling in Super Tuesday and subsequence states, it is unlikely that Senator Sanders can win the nomination without a significant change in race dynamics.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A look at the 3rd Worcester, 9th Plymouth, and 12th Essex special state primaries

Candidates vie to replace DiNatali, Brady, and Cole on February 2nd

While those who follow politics are busy with this month's Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, there are three contested State Primaries for Massachusetts State Representative seats on Tuesday, February 2nd, the day after the Iowa Caucuses.

Rep. Steve DiNatali resigned his 3rd Worcester seat to run for the mayorship of Fitchburg. DiNatali won the municipal election and took office on January 4th. The 3rd Worcester State Representative District consists of all the precincts in Fitchburg, and Precinct B of Lunenburg.

Rep. Leah Cole resigned as 12th Essex State Representative to return to her nursing career. All of the 12th Essex State Representative District precincts are in Peabody.

Rep. Mike Brady gave up his 9th Plymouth seat to run for the 2nd Plymouth and Bristol State Senate seat that was left vacant by the death of Thomas Kennedy. Brady won the special election and was sworn in as a State Senator on November 10th. All of the precincts of the 9th Plymouth State Representative District are in the city of Brockton.

While all three state representative districts have a Democratic-leaning Partisan Voter Index (a measure of Democratic vs. Republican voting in the last two presidential elections as compared to the U.S. average), both the 3rd Worcester and 12th Essex districts can go Republican, as indicated in the Charlie Baker margins of +12 and +10 in 2014 gubernatorial election.

February 2nd Special Primaries

3rd Worcester Candidates

There are three candidates for the Democratic primary in the 3rd Worcester District. Joseph Byrne is a retired insurance company owner who has not raised or spent any money in the pre-primary period, and who has not received any major endorsements.

Stephen Hay, an at-large Fitchburg City Councillor, and Kim Maxwell, a Community HealthLink social worker, both seem to have viable candidacies. Hay has raised and spent quite a bit more money, and has received the endorsement of three local State Reps—Hank Naughton, Dennis Rosa, and Jon Zlotnik—and the Fitchburg Sentinel newspaper. Kim Maxwell, on the other hand, has secured the endorsement of Massachusetts NOW, Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus, Mass Alliance, SEIU, and NASW. The endorsements point to Hay as a more conservative Democrat, while Maxwell has received the endorsement of more progressive organizations.

There are no official Republican candidates for the 3rd Worcester seat. Dean Tran, a QA Manager at Avid Technologies, intended to run as a Republican, but did not switch his party affiliation from Independent to Republican in time to appear on the ballot. He is therefore mounting a sticker/write-in campaign and needs to get 150 write-in votes in the Republican primary to appear on the special election ballot against the Democratic winner, a fairly easy bar to clear.

3rd Worcester Primary Candidates

9th Plymouth Candidates

There are two current city councillors and one former city councillor in the Democratic primary for the 9th Plymouth State Representative seat. Former councillor Gerry Cassidy has raised over five times as much as his rivals, but current city councillor and aide to Congressman Stephen Lynch, Shayna Barnes has received seven high profile endorsements including Lynch, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Presley, among others.

The winner of this primary will surely be the next State Representative, given strong Democratic constituency of Brockton (and the lack of any announced opposition).

9th Plymouth Primary Candidates

12th Essex Candidates

The 12th Essex State Representative seat has been in GOP hands during the last two elections with wins by Rep. Leah Cole by 3 points and by 1 point over Beverley Griffin Dunne.

Former State Rep. Thomas Walsh formerly held this seat before resigning after an ethics probe. He is the top fundraiser on the Democratic side over Councilor at Large James Moutsoulas and Best Buddies State Director Craig Welton.

Jaclyn Corriveau, a collector for American Renal Associates, raised over $41,000 dollars in the pre-primary period and will face off against Cole Aide Stephanie Peach.

Christopher Gallagher, former chair of the Peabody Cable Commission, is running as an independent, setting up a three-way special election on March 1st.

12th Essex Primary Candidates