Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Calling it too soon

The New York Times appears ready to call the Republican nomination for John McCain:

But after months of disarray, Republicans seemed closer to coalescing around Senator John McCain of Arizona. As Mr. McCain logged victories in populous states, including California, and added more delegates to his count, he moved nearer his goal of wrapping up his competition with Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. A third Republican candidate, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, underlined Mr. Romney’s weakness by posting a series of victories, in a performance that highlighted the discomfort social conservatives have with the field.

It can't be denied at this point that McCain is the obvious frontrunner, but a look at the vote totals in some States show us that the GOP is far from united around him. If he does become the nominee, it is well-established at this point that he does not have the trust of conservatives. He will have to rely on the reality that the Democrats continue to be divided for perhaps weeks to come. I've talked to several political operatives on both sides who all seem to believe that Hillary will still emerge as the nominee, but the longer the Democrats fight over the nomination, the more likely Republicans are to benefit.

Conversely, Democrats can expect to make use of the reality that conservatives have not rallied around John McCain and may never do so. This could be a recipe for an election that is just as close as the previous two have been, though if Obama were to pull off the Democratic nomination I would be prepared to give him the edge.

In carrying Tennessee, Mike Huckabee did extremely well in rural parts of the State, though John McCain carried several East Tennessee counties, including Hawkins, Hamblen, Sevier, Knox, and my home county of Jefferson by about four percentage points. Huckabee's strength was in Middle and West Tennessee, but he received enough East Tennessee votes that it helped propel him to victory Statewide in spite of losing most of the heavily-Republican counties in East Tennessee (though he did win Johnson and Sullivan counties).



At Wednesday, February 06, 2008 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Matt Daley said...

Huckabee did well yesterday where he has always done well -- in the South among evangelicals.

Everywhere else, among every other group, he did horribly.

As for McCain, we simply must be prepared to deal with him as the Republican nominee. According to CNN, McCain is at 559 delegates -- without California in that total -- and is just 631 shy of the total required for the nomination.

If you include his share of the 173 California delegates, he's likely to be around 550 delegates shy of the total needed.

Ohio and Texas vote on March 4. You also have Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina left, as well as Wisconsin. It's very unlikely to think that Romney or Huckabee would defeat McCain in any of those states at the current juncture, so one must assume taht McCain will get the nomination sooner rather than later.

At Wednesday, February 06, 2008 11:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, et. al.;
McCain???? Hmm ...
Who else ya got?

Quick! Go see if Ross Perot's busy!



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