The fat lady has not sungNearly everyone who is following the presidential campaign knows the Democratic race isn't over, but the press is doing all they can to convince people the Republican nomination is sewn up:
Sen. John McCain awoke Wednesday with a commanding lead in the race for Republican delegates while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney plans to meet with aides after a disappointing Super Tuesday showing.
In spite of John McCain's very strong lead, however, the nominating contests are not over:
While everyone is proclaiming McCain the presumptive nominee after Romney’s exit, the GOP race still isn’t over. And do remember that McCain has never been a good front-runner -- he has always seemed to trip up when in that position. Huckabee is still in the race, and his last stand is Virginia. He may not say it, but it's pretty obvious when one looks at the potential Republican electorate. Should many indies and moderate Republicans decide their vote is better spent in the Dem primary, then Huckabee's passionate evangelical supporters could be enough to keep things close.As often as I fault the press for the way that they cover our electoral process (that was one of the prime reasons that this blog was started), I do understand that the media is largely playing delegate math, and the reality is that Mike Huckabee will need to do better than expected-and probably win 75% of all remaining primaries and caucuses-to actually win the nomination. However, the process isn't over until the last primary, or the last remaining trailing candidate drops out of the race-and neither of those things have happened so far today.
If the press engages in a coronation of McCain as the GOP nominee before the process is complete (which it appears they are doing) the news media stands to be the party that could be primarily responsible for depressing voter turnout in remaining contests, including Louisiana on Saturday and in the Chesapeake Bay next Tuesday. As long as the nomination is not officially clinched, the press ought to behave as though the race is not over so as to encourage voter participation-unless the mainstream press doesn't want people voting in Republican primaries.