Friday, February 01, 2008

Ready for Super Tuesday

Super Bowl Sunday will lead into Super Tuesday, when more than 20 states including Illinois will hold primary elections. That invites this fun fact: U.S. Sen. Barack Obama collected enough donations in January alone to pay for 13 TV advertisements during the game. That's a lot, considering a 30-second ad goes for $2.4 million.

Obama's campaign officials reported that the Democratic presidential hopeful raised $32 million just in January. (We'll have more on Obama's campaign donations linked to the federally indicted Tony Rezko later.) Obama's camp also attracted 170,000 new donors, bringing his total to 650,000, according to David Plouffe, his national campaign manager. He said in a conference call that the strongest day was the day after the New Hampshire primary, when Obama came in second to U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

Clinton's campaign said it wasn't releasing its January donations yet. You can see older contribution summaries for all candidates here. Obama's campaign said it's now able to run advertisements in every state with a February 5 primary, as well as in states with later primary dates.

Kent Redfield, political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has a good point about moving up Illinois' primary to February 5 from its original date in March. “There's a certain irony in the fact that we moved our primary up so we could be a major player, and now states that didn't move actually may be more important than Illinois. If we'd have stuck to mid-March, we might have been this huge battleground all by ourselves instead of one of all of these other states.”

That's an indication the Democratic race has some legs. While Redfield predicts that the Republican race between U.S. Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could be decided on Super Tuesday, he doesn't think the Democratic nominee will be as clear-cut. It is likely that Obama will win the majority of delegates in Illinois, he says, but it's still a really tight race because every delegate counts.

FutureGen factsAnd to keep FutureGen discussion going, the FutureGen Alliance released this fun fact sheet in response to the federal government's kibosh on the Mattoon project announced Wednesday.

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