The Wisconsin primary, Hawaii caucus, and Washington state primary (UPDATE 9: BO WINS HI)

**This post has been bumped to the top and will be updated frequently, with the most recent updates appearing at the bottom of it. Newer posts are below.**

Election 2008Voters are going to the polls today in Wisconsin and Washington state, and caucusing in Hawaii to decide which Democrat candidate they want to be their party’s nominee. 92 total delegates are in play in WI, where in the polls Obama is leading Hillary Clinton by the margin of error, while 20 delegates are at stake in HI, where neither candidate has campaigned, outside of Hillary Clinton sending Chelsea to Hawaii yesterday. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, and his sister lives there so that may have some influence with voters.

To view results as they come in, bookmark the following links:

As far as Washington goes, they’ve already had their caucuses, which saw Barack Obama defeat Hillary Clinton and John McCain edge out Huckabee. Today’s Dem primary in WA is “non-binding” while 19 delegates are up for grabs for the GOP. The results page for WA is here.

The Clinton campaign is playing the low expectations game, and saying that they don’t believe she will win in WI. The Politico reports this morning that La Clinton is hot on the heels of some of Obama’s pledged (not super) delegates. On the other hand, when it comes to the “buying the super delegates” contest, the “hope” candidate is heavily outspending his opponent. So much for that “change” he’s been promising …

Speaking of the O-man, sensible liberal blogger Kevin Drum writes today about the “Obama bubble” and fears it’s already been popped:

A “backlash” from a conservative like [NYT columnist David] Brooks is hardly a surprise. Still, I think [NYT columnist Paul] Krugman is right: bubbles always burst, and Obama has been riding a major league bubble for months now. Before too much longer his supporters are going to come down to earth. Reporters will start wondering why Obama doesn’t like to talk to them very much — and then they’ll get bored and cynical and start doing to him what they did to Howard Dean in 2004. John McCain is going to find his rhythm (though he hasn’t yet) and start making some effective jabs.

This backlash meme is already widespread, and you can almost feel in the air that it’s about to explode into a feeding frenzy. In other words, it ain’t over yet. Wisconsin and the two weeks after it should be interesting, shouldn’t they?

Stay tuned …

Update 1 – 6:28 PM: Via the Captain, I just read about some early exit polls that have been released, which have good news for both Hillary and Obama. Jim Geraghty notes that that turnout in WI has been high in some places, and low in others. The WI Board of Elections believes that voter turnout will be around 35% after all is said and done.

Polls close in WI at 9 pm ET.

Update 2 – 6:30 PM: Geraghty’s hearing that from 2 sets of exit data, tonight we may see a big win for the O-man. Anything can happen, of course, as exit polls have been wrong before. We’ll soon find out.

Hillary, BTW, is already in Ohio (as is Obama). The latest polls there show Obama closing in on her lead.

Update 3 – 7:03 PM: Hawaii is expecting a record turnout for its caucuses.

Update 4 – 9:00 PM: Polls have now closed in WI. They close in HI at 12:30 AM ET, and WA at 11 PM ET.

Fox is projecting McCain to win in WI. Surprise. ABC is reporting that Obama is leading in the exit polling.

Update 5 – 9:08 PM: McCain slaps Obama with a comment about the “eloquent but empty promise of change.”

Update 6 – 9:19 PM: Fox News is calling WI for BO – not sure if it will be a narrow victory or a wide margin victory. Rove speculates that if the victory is only a couple points for BO, then it will have actually been a decent night for Hillary because it means BO would only pick up one or two more delegates than she would.

Update 7 – 9:30 PM: Clinton is in OH speaking. FoxNews says there was a negative speaker there prior to Clinton who was so negative towards Obama that the crowd started booing.

Update 8 – 9:38 PM: Obama is speaking in TX. Can I bear to sit through this latest tent revival? Will he use his own words or “borrow” someone else’s?

He’s talking up early voting – probably doing that just in case the momentum slides back to Hillary.

Is he missing his treasured Teleprompter? He’s not his usual eloquent self at the moment. Maybe later when he gets into his actual prepared speech.

What a BS’r, complaining about lobbyists when he takes money from them, too.

The crock-speak continues – acting like he cares about the troops, when what he wants to do is cut and run from Iraq. The only time most Dems in DC “care” about the troops is when they aren’t in harms way.

Big government, big government, big government.

Yada yada – class warfare. Wake me when it’s over.

“If you work in America, you should not be poor.” Huh?

25 minutes into the speech – is he milking this free airtime or what? I wish the nets would all cut away from him at the same time before he stops speaking.

10:06 PM – What you need is a president who will tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear. Uh, right. You’re no paragon of virtue on that front, BO.

Here we go again – the money being spent in Iraq can be better used here. So much for “supporting” the troops!

This speech has gone on for 30 minutes!

First the MLK comparisons, now JFK. When will the nets cut from this stump speech?

35 minutes and counting.

Great way to mischaracterize your opponents arguments against your empty rhetoric, BO.

He’s lying about McCain’s 100 years war comment – AGAIN. When are the mediots going to call him on this?

Yeah, I know. They won’t.

40 minutes and counting.

Boy, he really doesn’t like it when people criticize his empty rhetoric.

The crowd seems to be getting bored/tired as the speech goes on – that’s what happens when you give speeches to a crowd that has a significant number of people with short attention spans.

The 46 minute speech is over.

Update 9 – 8:17 AM Wednesday: As expected, BO won his home state handily.

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