Liveblogging the North Carolina and Indiana Primaries

Obama pushed through and managed to reclaim momentum against the most popular Democratic brand in the world. And now, he's going to be widely regarded as the presumptive nominee.
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Live from neither North Carolina nor Indiana, time to make fun of the cable news coverage of the North Carolina and Indiana primaries. Tonight, I'll be typing with a southern accent to match Senator Clinton's bizarre new drawl.

MSNBC is calling Indiana "Too Early to Call" which probably means "We still have some ratings to gather before we call this primary for Senator Clinton."

Most of the networks are calling it 56-44 Clinton so far. Yeeeehaw!

I wonder if the networks will talk about how Senator Clinton has been unable to close the gap among independents, African Americans and younger voters.

For the first time since (I think) 2000, the networks were showing actual returns before polls closed. MSNBC in particular was showing up to 3% reporting before the 7PM poll closing. So far there aren't any premature returns being posted on North Carolina.

MSNBC projects Senator Obama wins North Carolina.

According to exit polls, Senator Obama has narrowly won the "shares our values" debate:

Does Clinton share your values?

Yes 62
No 37

Does Obama share your values?

Yes 65
No 33

Senator Obama won 36% of the white vote in North Carolina, which is impressive.

And as is the custom. My prediction for tonight's primary coverage:

According to CNN, Evansville, Indianapolis and the Gary sections of Indiana haven't reported results yet.

Karl Rove on FOX News Channel. He's stationed in the "Strategy Room". I can only assume it's because FNC's "Asshole Room" is closed.

Some MSNBC exit poll numbers. All good news for Senator Obama. 33 percent of voters in NC were African American. Young white voters under 30: 54-43 Obama. White voters over 30: 43-61 Clinton. Senator Obama also won 33 percent of the white female vote.

Pat Buchanan suggesting that Senator Obama can't win in the general without Ohio and Florida. Wrong!

Chuck Todd suggesting the if Senator Obama gets 57% in NC, he'll more than erase Senator Clinton's PA victory. Currently, Senator Obama leads 69-31 with 0% reporting. However, the Indiana results show Senator Clinton holding onto a 57-43 lead. FNC is using the language "Too Close To Call."

Markos is pointing out that, according to, Senator Obama is outperforming in Indiana.

Just throwing this out there... What about Senator McCaskill as Senator Obama's running mate? Or does he need someone like Governor Strickland of Ohio.

According to MSNBC's exit polling, the white vote in Indiana goes to Clinton 60-40. This is an improvement for Senator Obama since Pennsylvania.

According to our front page, CBS is calling Indiana for Senator Clinton. If this is in fact the case, if Senator Obama pulls within 5% there, it's not going to matter whether she won it or not.

Have any of you noticed whether the drug companies (the Montel Williams commercial) or the oil companies (the drill in ANWR commercial) are sponsoring tonight's cable news coverage?

Here's what the superdelegates will see: The Rev. Wright story has done very little -- if any -- damage to Senator Obama. In fact, it might have rallied more voters to Senator Obama in the same way NH swung heavily to Senator Clinton when she was being wrongly counted out.

NC still showing 64-35 Obama. Indiana is down to 8 points. 54-46 Clinton.

From this moment forward, everything the Clinton campaign says will include the words "Michigan and Florida." The DNC will not accept the popular vote in either state and will, instead, seat the delegates 50-50.

Is it me or does David Axelrod look like a cast member from the old Barney Miller show? Regardless, Axelrod will emerge from this year as a superstar. If Senator Obama wins in November, he and Axelrod will have defeated two of the three most popular Democrats in the world (Clinton and Clinton -- the third most popular Democrat, I suppose, is Gore).

Chuck Todd says that if Obama wins big in Indianapolis and Gary, this could change to "too close to call."

MSNBC is now showing 53-47 in Indiana with 65% reporting.

Markos: "CBS screwed up."

Senator Obama is due to speak any minute now. Weird. This is the first primary night in which he's spoken first. Will Senator Clinton interrupt?

Rove on FOX News again. The screens behind him look like he's on the set of Jeopardy. Categories: "Assholes Shmassholes", "Turdblossoms and 28 percent", and "Pot Pourri".

Question: Why couldn't Senator Clinton close the deal in North Carolina?

For what it's worth, both Senators Clinton and Obama are tied versus Senator McCain in the general. Indiana could be a blue state in the Fall.

Senator Obama on stage with Mrs. Obama.

MSNBC's language on Indiana now "Too Close To Call."

Senator Obama congratulates Senator Clinton on Indiana. Very gracious of him since no-one except CBS has called Indiana.

Obama says the words "victory in a big state." And "tonight we stand less than 200 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for President of the United States."

Senator Obama talking about unifying the party. "This Fall we intend to march forward as one Democratic Party."

Senator Obama reintroducing his backstory in the context of the broader theme: "That's the America I love!"

MSNBC is showing 52-48 in Indiana. 58-40 in North Carolina. Meanwhile, some people shouting out remarks to Obama. His delivery is a little off, but his themes are the themes of a presumptive nominee.

The promise of America. Mentioned the flag draped over his grandfather's coffin. A very emotional, very patriotic address. One of his best. "The America Dream will endure. May God Bless you and the United States of America."

Chris Matthews says that exit polls show that Rev. Wright worked on old people.

Question: Will Senator Clinton continue to push the gas tax holiday? My answer: not so much any more.

Chuck Todd: 300,000-350,000 votes still out. If Obama gets 55 percent of those votes, he could win Indiana.

Russert saying that the gas tax holiday helped Obama in that it knocked Wright out of the headlines and made Obama seem more presidential.

CBS probably feels a little silly right now.

Contrary to what Harold Ford was saying earlier, there's no way in hell Senator Clinton will be offered a spot on the ticket. Maybe -- maybe -- a Secretary of State post, but not the VP slot. No way.

The rest of the states... Senator Clinton will easily win West Virginia and Kentucky. Senator Obama will win Oregon, South Dakota and Montana. The campaign is over. The superdelegates will not overturn the pledged delegate count and Michigan & Florida will be seated 50-50.

Where's Senator Clinton tonight?

David Gregory: "this was an acceptance speech."

Clinton 512,331 52%
Obama 476,696 48%

This afternoon on the Mike O'Meara Show (WJFK-FM Washington) I laughed off the real electoral impact of Limbaugh's stupid Operation Chaos. But this thing in Indiana is so close, it could come down to a small Limbaugh sized margin for Senator Clinton. I guess that's why the Obama people are telling reporters that Senator Clinton's best friend today was Rush Limbaugh.

Russert: "late counting not until 11PM -- the suspense builds." Oh come on! I have tonight's Deadliest Catch waiting on TiVO.

Regardless of who wins Indiana, Wednesday will be superdelegate day.

Rove on FOX News again. "Nobody looks at John McCain and says, 'That's George Bush.'" Oh yeah? We'll see about that.

Lanny Davis on CNN wheeling out the "Obama outspent us 3-to-1" argument.

Senator Clinton's Indiana lead has widened a little to around 38,000, and in North Carolina, the margin is around 14 percent.

Oh! Adding to my remaining states list... There's Puerto Rico. Senator Clinton will win that one big.

Holy crap on a stick... Why the hell is Alex Castellanos on CNN? Castellanos is the race-baiting asshat who created Jesse Helms' 1990 "White Hands" ad.

CNN actually found a guest who is as much of a race-baiter as hall of fame race-baiters Karl Rove (on FNC) and Pat Buchanan (on MSNBC). Remarkably awful.

Senator Obama is about 15,000 votes away in NC from negating Senator Clinton's Pennsylvania victory. The magical margin in 200,000 votes.

Senator Clinton is going to be speaking soon. This could be her most important speech of the campaign. I can't imagine that she'll speak before the networks call Indiana.

Whoa. Senator Clinton is going to speak now. Strange.

"Indiana will be the tie-breaker." "We've come from behind -- we've broken tie -- and thanks to you, it's full speed onto the White House." Hmmm.

"To perfect our Union" followed by chanting "Yes we will." Hmmmm. Two lines coopted from Senator Obama. "An opponent who outspends us." Hmmmmmmm.

"Commander in Chief who will keep our families safe." Sheesh. I really, really wanted to give her a round of applause tonight.

"No matter what happens, I will work for the nominee of the Democratic Party because we must win in November." That's a little better. My crazy Liebercrat scenario be damned.

Lake County (Gary) is holding up the works in Indiana. Something about 11,000 absentee ballots. Meanwhile, Senator Obama's popular vote margin in NC has surpassed 205,000.

Matthews: "Not a single shot at her opponent." Well, I disagree with that one. But yeah, Senator Clinton's speech was ultimately sweet.

MSNBC: "Heavily African American precincts in Indiana yet to report."

North Carolina margin: 213,000.

John King with his magic-marker fingers says that Obama needs to win Lake County with around 58-60 percent of the remaining votes.

Lake County results not due until Midnight now. MSNBC also claims that Monroe County (Bloomington) hasn't reported yet. Weird. CNN alluded that Bloomington was done.

Matthews says something sensible regarding exits polls and racial demographics: "Can't we skip it once?"

Indiana and North Carolina might have dismantled the atomic bomb.

Did anyone notice Wolf Blitzer's weird twin brother "Porky Blitzer" sitting behind Senator Clinton tonight? That dude with the white beard and the blank stare?

Are there party officials on the ground in Lake County? I'm afraid this is beginning to look unsavory.

Chuck Todd says that Obama needs 60-65 percent of remaining votes in Lake. Obama won 67 percent of the vote in the similarly populated Indianapolis.

Todd also says that Senator Obama is now around 30 delegates away from getting a majority of pledged delegates. May 20 (Oregon and Kentucky) is likely when he'll achieve that.

I would love to see Senator Obama win Indiana, but not if Lake County is up to some shenanigans. It has to be legitimate.

Ultimately, the fact that Senator Obama won NC and came damn close (so far) in Indiana despite all of the horseshit he's faced in last six weeks is a truly remarkable thing. Senator Obama pushed through and managed to reclaim momentum against the most popular Democratic brand in the world. And now, he's going to be widely regarded as the presumptive nominee.

Matthews just lashed out at dittoheads who used their vote for mischief -- a vote for which Americans have fought and died. "I hope you're proud of yourself," he said. Credit where credit is due: right on, Matthews!

Whoa! 51-49. 19,000 vote margin in Indiana.

Russert says that Senator Clinton has cancelled her appearances on tomorrow's morning shows.

Markos: "If the Gary numbers project out, Obama wins."

I think we have to support the Clinton campaign if they choose to contest the Lake County results. If the tables were turned, I'd be screaming about this. Naturally, if the results turn out to be legitimate -- great. If not -- then the results have to be overturned.

Chuck Todd with the math... After tonight, regardless of Lake, you can count Florida and Michigan and Senator Obama would still lead by 200,000 in the popular vote and 100 in delegates.

Russert to Olbermann: "We now know who the Democratic nominee is going to be."

Senator Clinton has also cancelled her public appearances for tomorrow.

Via Markos, the media narrative: "It's over."

Turnout in Gary, Indiana is 95 percent? If it's for real, that's insane.

Olbermann on what changed tonight: "No more money. No more money. No more money."

I think Pat Buchanan has some old-timey Ebeneezer Scrooge pajamas just off camera. The gown. The sleeping cap.

Brit Hume's face is almost entirely melted at this point.

16,609 vote margin in Indiana. And here's a little something for Bloomington:

MSNBC chit-chat has turned to discussions about Senator Obama's running mate. I agree with Maddow in that Senator Obama has to pick someone who will carry on his message of changing the way politics is done. If he picks a polarizing Cheney type, it will dilute his message.

I refuse to quit before Pat Buchanan does. I was in a bicycling accident on Friday and my back is killing me, but I refuse to let Buchanan outlast me tonight. So I will stay up until they call this thing.

Why! Why did I flip over to FNC? Hannity is talking to goddamn Rick Santorum about Ayers and Wright.

That's all for me. It's been another historical night and now it's time for us to make up and be friends again. That is, as long as Senator Clinton can holster the attacks. The mission now will be fight off the McCain Media Machine and we'll need all the help we can get. As Senator Obama said tonight: "We can choose not to be divided..."

The tide has definitely turned...

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