Archive for the '’08 Primaries' Category
The media fails to recognize that since March 4, there have been two sets of Republican crossover voters. The first group consists of the 40-50% who were driven by Operation Chaos. The other consists of moderates who are strongly for Obama.
Final Exit poll data shows that since Operation Chaos began on March 4 in OH and TX, the percentage of Republican crossover voters has risen from 6% to 9%. The increase has been almost totally to Clinton’s benefit.
Prior to March 4 (before Operation Chaos), 7 primaries allowed Republicans to participate. Obama won their vote by an average of 59-28%. He won all 7 primaries by an average 58-37% share.
Since Operation Chaos began on March 4, 5 primaries have been open to Republicans. Clinton won their vote by an average 57-41%. Obama won 2 of the 5 primaries (but should have won 4). He had an average 51-47% share in the 5 primaries.
Republican Share of Democratic Primary Vote: Pre vs. Post March 4 (Operation Chaos) Final Exit Polls Pre March 4 Total Share Share of Rep Difference Rep% HRC BO HRC BO HRC BO AL 5% 42% 56% 52% 45% 10% -11% SC 4% 27% 53% 20% 37% -7% -16% IL 6% 34% 65% 36% 60% 2% -5% MO 6% 44% 54% 21% 75% -23% 21% LA 5% 37% 56% 17% 53% -20% -3% VA 7% 35% 64% 23% 72% -12% 8% WI 9% 40% 57% 28% 72% -12% 15% Avg 6% 37% 58% 28% 59% -9% 1% Post March 4 Total Share Share of Rep Difference Rep% HRC BO HRC BO HRC BO OH 9% 54% 44% 49% 49% -5% 5% TX 9% 51% 47% 46% 53% -5% 6% MS 12% 38% 60% 75% 25% 37% -35% IN 10% 50.1% 49.9% 53% 47% 3% -3% NC 5% 42% 56% 61% 32% 19% -24% Avg 9% 47% 51% 57% 41% 10% -10% __________________________________________________________ PARTY ID Pre- March 4 AL MIX HRC BO JE Dem 82% 40% 58% 1% Rep 5% 52% 45% 3% Ind 13% 48% 48% 3% Total 41.6% 56.1% 1.4% SC Dem 73% 28% 57% 14% Rep 4% 20% 37% 43% Ind 23% 26% 42% 32% Total 27.2% 52.8% 19.3% IL Dem 79% 36% 63% 1% Rep 6% 36% 60% 4% Ind 16% 22% 72% 4% Total 34.1% 64.9% 1.7% MO Dem 73% 50% 47% 2% Rep 6% 21% 75% 4% Ind 22% 30% 67% 2% Total 44.4% 53.6% 2.1% LA MIX HRC BO Dem 83% 38% 57% Rep 5% 17% 53% Ind 12% 36% 53% Total 36.7% 56.3% VA Dem 70% 38% 62% Rep 7% 23% 72% Ind 22% 30% 69% Total 34.8% 63.6% WI Dem 62% 46% 53% Rep 9% 28% 72% Ind 28% 33% 64% Total 40.3% 57.3% __________________________________________________________ Party ID Post March 4 (Operation Chaos) OH MIX HRC BO Dem 69% 56% 42% Rep 9% 49% 49% Ind 22% 48% 50% Total 53.6% 44.4% TX Dem 66% 53% 46% Rep 9% 46% 53% Ind 25% 48% 49% Total 51.1% 47.4% MS Dem 71% 30% 67% Rep 12% 75% 25% Ind 17% 43% 53% Total 37.6% 59.6% IN Dem 67% 51% 49% Rep 10% 53% 47% Ind 23% 46% 54% Total 50.1% 49.1% NC Dem 76% 39% 60% Rep 5% 61% 32% Ind 19% 50% 45% Total 42.2% 55.8%
Wed Apr 30, 2008 at 11:24:48 AM PDT
[Promoted by DHinMI: Robocalls in North Carolina are confusing voters and have the appearance of voter suppression. It turns out the source of the calls is a Democratic-leaning non-profit. The director of the organization apologizes for the “confusion” caused by her organization, but as this diary makes clear, the organization has had a series of problems prior to primaries. And it should be pointed out that a non-profit group focusing efforts on registering unmarried women in presidential primaries has to know that their activities will almost certainly help Hillary Clinton, as unmarried white women is probably her strongest demographic. Clearly we need to hear more of an explanation about this pattern of problems.]
Yesterday, I posted a recommended diary here about thousands of deceptive, anonymous and likely illegal robo-calls blanketing North Carolina shortly before the state’s primaries on May 6.
The follow-up below is the result of hours of investigative work over the last 24 hours, including helpful tips from DKos members. Thank you for your assistance in helping us tell this important story.
Please note: Women’s Voices Women Vote appears to be a legitimate organization; people we respect support their work. However, we believe that the tactics revealed in our story, as well as the effect they are having on confusing and potentially disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters — especially right before critical primaries — are cause for deep concern and raise critical questions about ethical election practices. — Chris
- ProgressiveSouth’s diary :: ::
FACING SOUTH reveals D.C. nonprofit aimed at women voters behind deceptive N.C. robo-calls
By Chris Kromm
Who’s behind the mysterious “robo-calls” that have spread misleading voter information and sown confusion and frustration among North Carolina residents over the last week?
Facing South has confirmed the source of the calls, and the mastermind is Women’s Voices Women Vote, a D.C.-based nonprofit which aims to boost voting among “unmarried women voters.”
What’s more, Facing South has learned that the firestorm Women’s Voices has ignited in North Carolina isn’t the group’s first brush with controversy. Women’s Voices’ questionable tactics have spawned thousands of voter complaints in at least 11 states and brought harsh condemnation from some election officials for their secrecy, misleading nature and likely violations of election law.
First, a quick recap: As we covered yesterday, N.C. residents have reported receiving peculiar automated calls from someone claiming to be “Lamont Williams.” The caller says that a “voter registration packet” is coming in the mail, and the recipient can sign it and mail it back to be registered to vote. No other information is provided.
The call is deceptive because the deadline has already passed for mail-in registrations for North Carolina’s May 6 primary. Also, many who have received the calls — like Kevin Farmer in Durham, who made a tape of the call that is available here — are already registered. The call’s suggestion that they’re not registered has caused widespread confusion and drawn hundreds of complaints, including many from African-American voters who received the calls.
The calls are also probably illegal. Farmer and others have told Facing South the calls use a blocked phone number and provided no contact information — a violation of North Carolina rules regulating “robo-calls” (N.C. General Statute 163-104(b)(1)c). N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper further stated in a recent memo that the identifying information must be clear enough to allow the recipient to “complain or seek redress” — something not included in the calls.
It is also a Class I felony in North Carolina “to misrepresent the law to the public through mass mailing or any other means of communication where the intent and the effect is to intimidate or discourage potential voters from exercising their lawful right to vote.”
The calls have been denounced by the N.C. State Board of Elections, as well as by voter advocacy groups including Democracy North Carolina, which called them “another in a long line of deceptive practices used in North Carolina and elsewhere that particularly target African-American voters.”
Yesterday, I placed a call to the Virginia State Police, which had investigated similar suspicious robo-calls before that Virginia’s primaries last February. Their investigation concluded that the source of the calls was Women’s Voices Women Vote.
Facing South then contacted Women’s Voices, and staffer Sarah Johnson confirmed they were doing similar robo-calls in North Carolina; they later admitted that they were the ones behind the deceptive “Lamont Williams” calls.
So who is Women’s Voices Women Vote, and why are they making shadowy and legally-questionable calls that are causing North Carolina voters so many headaches?
The D.C.-based nonprofit, led by well-connected Washington operatives, claims in a press release they sent to Facing South [PDF] that the North Carolina calls are part of a 24-state effort targeted at a list of 3 million voters, especially unmarried women. The robo-calls, which never mention Women’s Voices, are followed by mailings that include information on how to register to vote. They plan to mail some 276,000 packets in North Carolina alone.
But since last November, in at least 11 states nationwide, Women’s Voices — sometimes working through its Voter Participation Center project — has developed a checkered reputation, drawing rebukes from leading election officials and complaints from thousands of would-be voters as a result of their secretive tactics, deceptive mailings and calls, and penchant for skirting or violating the law. For example:
* In Arizona last November, election officials were “inundated with complaints” after Women’s Voices sent a mailing erroneously claiming that recipients were “required” to mail back an enclosed voter registration form. Many who received the mailing were already registered; the mailing also gave the wrong registration date. Secretary of State Jan Brewer denounced the group’s tactics as “misleading and deceptive.” A similar mailing in Colorado that month “[drew] fire and caused confusion,” according to a state press release.
* In Wisconsin, state officials singled out Women’s Voices for misleading and possibly disenfranchising voters, stating in a press release [PDF]: “One group in particular — Women’s Voices. Women Vote, of Washington, D.C. — apparently ignored or disregarded state deadlines in seeking to register voters,” sending in registrations past the January 30 deadline and causing “hundreds of Wisconsin voters who think they registered in advance” to actually not be.
* Michigan officials ended up “fielding tons of calls from confused voters” after Women’s Voices did a February mailing to “380,000 unmarried women” — including numerous deceased voters and even more that were already registered. Sarah Johnson of Women’s Voices “seemed confused by the confusion,” the Lansing State Journal reported.
* A 1.5 million-piece Women’s Voices mailing in Florida falsely stated: “To comply with state voting requirements, please return the enclosed application.” Pasco County’s elections supervisor called it “disingenuous”; another said it created “a lot of unnecessary panic on behalf of the voters,” reported local newspapers. Sarah Johnson of Women’s Voice said, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
* By March, Women’s Voices was backing off the erroneous “registration is required” language, but there were still problems. For example, a mailing in Arkansas allowed that “registering to vote is voluntary,” but a clerk in Washington County reported that “the majority [of forms] sent back to the county come from registered voters, causing needless labor for office employees.”
In each state, the Women’s Voices campaigns have brought the same news and the same themes, again and again: Deceptive claims and misrepresentations of the law — sometimes even breaking the law. Wildly inaccurate mailing lists, supposedly aimed at “unregistered single women,” but in reality reaching many registered voters as well as families, deceased persons and pets. Tactics that confuse voters and potentially disenfranchise them.
For such a sophisticated and well-funded operation, which counts among its ranks some of the country’s most seasoned political operatives, such missteps are peculiar, as is the surprise expressed by Women’s Voices staff after each controversy.
In at least two states, the timing of Women’s Voices’ activities have raised alarm that they are attempting to influence the outcome of a primary. As we reported earlier, in Virginia, news reports surfaced the first week in February that prospective voters were receiving anonymous robo-calls telling voters that they were about to receive a voter registration packet in the mail.
The timing of the calls was astoundingly off: As the Virginia State Police confirm, the calls were made the first week of February — about 10 days before the then-critical Virginia primary, but more than two weeks after the deadline for registering in the state had passed (Jan. 14). The Virginia State Board of Elections was deluged with calls by confused voters — many who were already registered. When they heard the calls from Women’s Voices, they feared that they really weren’t.
Because of the horrible timing and secretive nature, state officials assumed the calls and mailings were part of an identity theft scheme. When the Virginia State Police investigated, they found Women’s Voices was behind them. Women’s Voices was unapologetic after the controversy, merely issuing a boilerplate press release trumpeting the success of the program.
Now Women’s Voices is plunging North Carolina into the same confusion. State officials tell Facing South they are still receiving calls from frustrated and confused voters, wondering why “Lamont Williams” is offering to send them a “voter registration packet” after the deadline for mail-in registration for the primaries has passed.
In correspondence with North Carolina election officials, Women’s Voices founder and President Page Gardner merely said that the disruptive timing was an “unfortunate coincidence” — a strange alibi for a group with their level of resources and sophistication.
There are other questions about Women’s Voices’ outreach efforts. Although the group purports to be targeting “unmarried women,” their calls and mailings don’t fit the profile. Kevin Farmer in Durham, who first recorded the call, is a white male. Many of the recipients are African-American; Rev. Nelson Johnson, who is a married, male and African-American, reported that his house was called four times by the mysterious “Lamont Williams.”
And as Farmer asks, “Why are they using a guy for the calls if the target audience is single women?”
Some have also questioned the ties between Women’s Voices operatives and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton. Gardner, for example, contributed $2,500 to Clinton’s HILLPAC on May 4, 2006, and in March 2005 she donated a total of $4,200 to Clinton, according to The Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org. She has not contributed to the Obama campaign, according to the database.
Women’s Voices Executive Director Joe Goode worked for Bill Clinton’s election campaign in 1992 as a pollster; the group’s website says he was intimately involved in “development and implementation of all polling and focus groups done for the presidential primary and general election campaigns” for Clinton.
Women’s Voices board member John Podesta, former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, donated $2,300 to Hillary Clinton on April 19, 2007, according to OpenSecrets.org. Podesta also donated $1,000 to Barack Obama in July 2004, but that was well before Obama announced his candidacy for president.
“The reports from other states are very disturbing, especially the pattern of mass confusion among targeted voters on the eve of a state’s primary,” Democracy North Carolina’s Bob Hall tells Facing South. “These are highly skilled political operatives — something doesn’t add up. Maybe it’s all well-intended and explainable. At this moment, our first priority is to stop the robo-calls and prevent the chaos and potential disenfranchisement caused by this group sending 276,000 packets of registration forms into North Carolina a few days before a heated primary election. We need their immediate cooperation.”
While Hall says his group has “begged” the group to stop the mailings, but as if this writing, Women’s Voices has not done so — even though the mail-in voter registration deadline for the primaries passed April 11.
State election officials are likely bracing for the deluge of confused phone calls and complaints that are sure to follow.
— Sue Sturgis provided valuable research and reporting for this story
by Bob Fitrakis
Many people have asked me my thoughts about the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Here’s my brief analysis of why Hillary appears to be “winning” many large states.
Obama actually won in Texas, he barely lost the primary but won the caucus later that night and got more delegates than Hillary.
As for Ohio and Pennsylvania — and the other “must-win” state, New Hampshire — these are more problematic. For example, Obama was predicted to win in the tracking polls in New Hampshire. and the exit polls showed him winning. Bizarre election irregularities involving touchscreen machines seem to have played a role in Hillary’s statistically improbable win.
Both the exit polls in Ohio, which were barely within the margin of error (see the Free Press article Did Republicans give Hillary her victory in Ohio? by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2008/3041) and Pennsylvania, where it looks like Obama should have lost by less than 4 points but Hillary won by 10 points — suggest problems with the electronic voting. The key factor in Ohio and Pennsylvania are the Republican crossover votes. Hillary is winning not because she’s winning Democratic primary voters, but because Republicans are deliberately crossing over to vote for her in order to prolong the Democratic primary process. As long as Obama and Hillary continue to fight each other, then McCain gets a free pass and the Republicans will urge the defeated candidate supporters to crossover to the Republican side in November.
The Republicans want to run against Hillary. Their playbook is ready. I suspect there have been some electronic irregularities in her favor in NH and PA by Republican vendors of voting machines. But mainly, it’s the Republican crossover vote.
As long as our election system remains nontransparent and in the hands of private for-profit voting machine companies, we’ll never know the real vote count in these states.