11:42: Obama puts focus on McCain; McCain "has seen where George Bush has taken our country and he promises to take us on the very same course..."
11:40: HRC leads by 35,000 votes in Texas with 51% in...
11:38: Obama: "Well, we are in the middle of a very close race right now in Texas..." Obama concedes to HRC in Rhode Island and Ohio... "No matter what happens, we have the same delegate lead as we did this morning..."
11:36: HRC is leading in Ohio by 225,000 votes -- 16 percentage points -- with 71% of the vote in. This margin will shrink somewhat, but not that much.
Clinton's Victory In Ohio: The Credits:
Executive producer: Maggie Williams
Writers: Mark Penn, Mandy Grunwald
Edited by: Howard Wolfson and Phil Singer
Producer: Guy Cecil
Director: Robby Mook
Production Manager: Karen Hicks
Cinematographer: Jay Carson, with Doug Hattaway and Isaac Baker and Mo Ellethee
SNL sequence by: Philippe Reines
3:00 am ad: Mandy Grunwald and Mark Penn
Secret advice by: Lanny Davis
11:27: HRC to Obama: "I look forward to continue our dialog.."
11:24: Header of news release from the Pennsylvania Republican Party: " PA GOP: HIDE YOUR WALLET AND TAKE COVER! LIBERAL DEMOCRAT INVASION IS OFFICIALLY COMING TO THE KEYSTONE STATE"
11:20: HRC crowd tonight seems as pumped as a regular Obama crowd....
11:19: HRC: "No candidate has won the White House without winning the Ohio primary...."
11:16: HRC: "This nation is coming back and so is this campaign. ... We're going on, we're going strong, and we're going all the way!"
11:08: Clinton campaign official disputes my sense that Obama will net delegates tonight.
11:08: Hillary Clinton has called John McCain to congratulate him on his nomination.
11:03: Obama aide: "Well, people got Missouri wrong too."
10:58: Joyful Clinton aide: "We were outspent 3 to 1!"
10:57: CBS, CNN, Fox call Ohio for Clinton.
10:52: Even with these HRC leads in TX (narrow) and Ohio (wide), Obama has about an 8 net delegate lead in those two states at this point. UPDATE: Forget that last part. I was looking at bad numbers.
10:50: HRC has an 180,000 vote margin in Ohio now with 50% in. Still no Cuyahoga County tho.
10:48: The tide is turning for HRC in Texas...
10:29: A reader's spreadsheet suggests that HRC is winning 60% of the non-early vote in Texas.
10:28: In Texas, Less than 10% of counties in Bexar are reporting.
10:20: Yet to report in from Ohio: most of the major cities and their suburbs, which explains, in part, why Hillary Clinton's margins are so big there. Half of Franklin Co. (Columbus) is in...Very little in from liberal Lorain Co...
10:15: Here's an audio link to the Clinton campaign conference call crashed by Obama general counsel Bob Bauer.
10:13: With a third of the vote counted in Ohio, Clinton holds an 120,000 vote lead, or 16 percentage points.
10:12: Note that Austin, Houston, Dallas haven't reported in yet in Texas.
10:11: Clinton won late deciders in Ohio by 22 points.
9:59: CBS's Dante Higgins notes that John McCain's TelePrompTer has failed.
9:58: Many of the early vote "precincts" in Texas have largely been counted, and the election day precincts are beginning to allow Hillary Clinton to close the margin with Barack Obama. But a lot of the bigger counties haven't counted their early votes yet, so the margin could widen in Obama's favor again.
9:51: McCain claims victory; thanks
"Republicans, independents, and independent-thinking Democrats."; "respectful, convincing and determined case...that...our campaign...[is]...in the best interest of the country we love." "I understand the responsibilities I incur with this nomination, and I give you my word, I will not evade or slight a single one. I will leave it to my opponent to claim that they can keep companies and jobs from going overseas by making it harder for them to do business here at home. We will campaign to strengthen job growth in America by helping businesses become more competitive with lower taxes and less regulation. ... There are others just as urgent, and during this campaign I'll travel across the country in cities and rural areas, in communities of all ethnic backgrounds and income levels, offering my ideas and listening to the concerns and advice of Americans. Americans aren't interested in an election where they are just talked to and not listened to; an election that offers platitudes instead of principles and insults instead of ideas; an election that results -- no matter who wins -- in four years of unkept promises and a government that is just a battleground for the next election. Their patience is at an end for politicians who value ambition over principle, and for partisanship that is less a contest of ideas than an uncivil brawl over the spoils of power.
9:50: RNC official confirms that McCain is its nominee presumptive;
9:47: Obama calls McCain
9:27: CBS News's Bill Plante reports that McCain will have lunch with Pres. Bush tomorrow and will then appear with him at a Rose Garden press avail.
9:20: CBS News: Clinton wins Rhode Island.
9:19: Huckabee concedes. "We aren't going away completely..."
9:14: Reader: K.B: writes: "Does John McCain clinching of nomination tonight have an impact on the psychology of the Dem supers? Do they see him cross that threshold and begin to feel that they need to step in now to close down their contest too? Does it make the coalescing around a winner more urgent in their minds after they see this?"
8:52: Reader D.B writes: "That early vote advantage Obama has is with a sample size that's roughly the size of the entire '04 primary turnout. It's certainly far more significant than 1% reporting. I'm not a network, but I think it's statistically unlikely enough that Clinton is going to be able to close that gap that we can safely call the TX primary portion for Obama due to that huge early vote advantage -- not with exit polls running them essentially even. Texas is done. On the primary side at least."
8:50: CBS News's Maria Gavrilovic reports: "The Obama campaign is projecting a Democratic primary turnout of more than 3.6 million. They point out that Kerry only had 2.8 million votes in the general. Also, Obama appears to have won the early vote in Tarrant County (Fort Worth area), which is a big Republican area. They are projecting 59-40…noting that they can win the support of Republicans and Independents who are crossing over."
8:44: Statement from Obama Ohio mgr Paul Tewes:
"“Due to reports of ballot shortages in Cuyahoga and Franklin counties, we requested a voting extension in those counties. The judge granted our request to extend voting in a number of Cuyahoga county precincts. We are working to ensure that every Ohioan who wishes to cast a ballot today may do so."
8:42: NBC News: Huckabee to concede tomorrow; George W. Bush to endorse McCain tomorrow; RNC to anoint McCain tomorrow.
8:39: Extremely savvy Texas political observer e-mails: "Look at early vote in TX -- O crushing HRC in big urban centers." (See: http://www.quorumreport.com/ and click on Daily Buzz.)
8:37: RNC may issue statement if McCain crosses threshold...today or tomorrow.
8:35: Caucus Problems In Texas
8:18 pm: A reader writes:
I, along with about a hundred + other Ohio lawyers volunteered to serve as credentialed poll observers for the Obama campaign today (see Ambinder entry about Paul Tewes letter). There was a systemic problem with provisional ballot envelopes and our precinct ran out around 6 o'clock. We had, at first 5, then 10 then 20 people who were waiting 15, then 30, then 45 minutes while my precinct judge was on the phone with the Board of Elections who kept promising envelopes were on the way (they never arrived). So I got on the phone with another lawyer in a neighboring precinct who confirmed that they had plenty of envelopes - I put my precinct judge in touch with her and she was able to go over there and pick up the envelopes. We got over 20 people in just before the polls closed that otherwise would have probably left without voting. Hillary had no such lawyers serving as observers. That's why he's got an edge and that's why this campaign is where it is.
8:09 pm: Hearing that..the Obama campaign has convinced a judge in Cuyahoga County to keep 20 precincts that ran out of ballots open until 9 p.m. So those previously closed polls are being re-opened. Unconfirmed and unverified at this point.