Friday, February 8, 2008

Super Tuesday Re-Cap, Romney is Out and McCain is the GOP Man.

Wow, what a night Tuesday was. Lots of crazy action happening. Overall I would say that things happened roughly how we all thought they would with one exception: Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee started of Tuesday with a bang when he won the West Virginia Caucuses defeating Mitt Romney by 5 points 52-47. This win was not without controversy though as Romney accused Senator John McCain of turning a "backroom Washington deal" where McCain supposedly told all of his supporters to vote for Huckabee to keep Romney from winning a state he had previously thought would be his. McCain denied this accusation but if you look at the facts this could be totally plausible. Bill Richardson was accused to doing this same thing in Iowa where it was thought that he informed his people to throw their weight behind Barack Obama. McCain needed Romney to falter on Tuesday in order to keep him at bay and to try to secure the nomination that night. If McCain (who did not receive the needed 15% to be viable) did tell his supporters to back Huckabee that would have been a very smart strategy, once Huckabee wins this state Romney is now already behind where he thought he would be on this day. I would not call this strategy (if it did occur, but I mean Come On!) devious as Romney's camp did, things like this can happen by themselves in a caucus based on the rules in a caucus, once this occurred you had a feeling that this probably wont be Mitt Romney's day. Huckabee's good day/night continued as he went on to win several Southern states including his home state Arkansas. Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama were the other states Huckabee won. This also contributed to Romney's Super Tuesday Failure because in order for him to keep up with McCain Romeny was going to have to win these southern states to keep the delegate count close. John McCain did just as well as we all thought, winning 9 states including the big delegate states of California and New York as well as the bellwether state Missouri. He now has 714 delegates and only need 1191 to secure the nomination.

All of this led to Mitt Romney suspending his campaign yesterday at the CPAC convention, a Conservative Convention where he praised heavily by all. Romney gave a great conservative speech and said he was stepping out because he wanted to give the party time to get ready for the General Election, he didn't want to "forestall the launch of a national campaign and be making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win." This has set up Mitt Romney as the Conservative Candidate for the next election. (be it 2012 if the Dems win or if McCain chooses to serve only 1 term or 2016) There has been much ballyhoo about how all of the Conservative talk radio hosts have hated on John McCain saying that he is not conservative enough for them and had been begging people to vote for Romney, these are the same people that backed candidates who had no chance at winning the nomination: Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, even Rudy Giuliani. All of these talk radio people waited too long to get behind Romney who they didn't have great things to say about earlier in this campaign and now it appears the GOP has their candidate, and he is not nearly the nominee that they had hoped for. I think this is a clear sign that these talk radio people: Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham (who introduced Romney before he spoke at CPAC) are losing their influence on the voters.

Democrats Duke it Out...Still Nothing New.

On the other side of the isle the Democratic race went exactly the way we had expected, 1600 or so delegates were handed out on Tuesday and Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split them very fairly. Obama won the majority of states however 14-8 but Clinton won the big states: California, New Jersey, and New York. Obama took many of the caucus states, where good organizations and enthusiasm is needed in order to pull off a win. Obama won Minnesota, Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota, Alaska, and Kansas on Tuesday; he also took the primaries in Georgia, Alabama, Delaware, Connecticut (on of the few surprises), and his home state of Illinois where he defeated Clinton 2-1. Clinton took her two home states of New York and Arkansas. Obama supporters have been happy to point out that Clinton's victory in New York was much closer than Obama's in Illinois which they point to as proof he is indeed winning this fight and on a roll. Hillary did take California by a sizeable margin, which defied a number of polls that came out right before Tuesday that showed Obama tied or even leading in some cases in California. Overall we still don’t know who is going to come out of this race ahead, we will know more over the weekend and into next Tuesday where Primaries will be held in the "Potomac States" of Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. on the 12th. Caucuses will be held in Washington and Nebraska. Those caucuses look to be Obama country as well as Maryland and D.C given their Black population, Hillary will have a shot at Virginia but it appears she will be holding back and putting money into Ohio and Texas who will vote on March 4th.

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