Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It Was A Super Tuesday, When Everybody Won... Almost

It may be the morning after, but the votes, and the delegate counts, are still being counted. Even within the last half hour, there have been changes.

It was a good day for both Democratic contenders. The idea the Clinton could walk to victory has been put to rest, but she won California, the golden prize, and she won Massachusetts, in spite of the Kennedy endorsements that went to Obama. All told, she won nine states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. At last count she had 783 delegates, of which 590 were pledged – that is, actually won in the elections, as opposed to superdelegates (she has 193).

Obama won more states: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Utah. He also won more elected delegates; he now has 603 (with 106 superdelegates, for a total of 709). The only upset was the loss of Massachusetts. And Clinton has consistently beat him when it comes to Latino voters, even more so than women voters. As things are progressing among the Democrats, the big fight is going to be over Michigan and Florida. The only way – and I really shouldn’t use that phrase in a contest as unpredictable as this one – for her to lock down her win is to bring those states’ delegates onto the convention floor.

On the Republican side, things have been much clearer, that’s due to a winner take all formula that has allowed McCain to leapfrog ahead of the others. He now has 559 delegates to Romney’s 265 and Huckabee’s 169. There are a lot fewer unpledged delegates (that’s GOP terminology for supers): McCain has 17, Romney 9, and Huckabee 3. McCain won Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma. Romney won Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah. Huckabee Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Because the Republicans votes have been winner take all, McCain has a substantial lead; about half the delegates needs to win. Huckabee can claim a victory of sorts. His campaign was seen as dead in the water before yesterday. Now there is talk of a McCain-Huckabee ticket. The loser, if there was one, was Romney. He is running in place and unless he can perform a miracle, he won’t be able to shake the perception of being an also-ran.

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