Monday, February 11, 2008

Edwards in Question, Huckabee still a lock

So, with John Edwards having temporarily suspended his presidential campaign, it's becoming hard to see how he'll end up as the candidate. His nomination was always predicated on one of Senators Clinton and Obama dropping out of the race and endorsing him to spite the other -- as they're tied, and Edwards has enough delegates to make up the difference, this is still possible. But, the scenario gets a little more strained every day.

However, this?
Despite McCain's role as the all-but-official Republican nominee, Mike Huckabee was the big winner this weekend with victories in two of Saturday's three contests. Huckabee won Kansas and Louisiana, and barely lost Washington state. Huckabee's campaign is challenging the Washington results, noting that officials declared McCain the winner when there was less than a 2 percent difference between the two candidates and only 87 percent of precincts had been counted. Although no one thinks Huckabee stands a chance to catch up to McCain in delegates, Huckabee's weekend victories highlight the problems McCain continues to face with the GOP's conservative base.
It's nonsense. We can talk about Washington State for a second -- you've heard repeatedly that McCain was 1.8 % ahead with 13 % of caucus voters left to count. But, maybe you haven't heard that this was the first time McCain had been ahead. They'd been counting and counting, and Huckabee had been winning. When McCain pulled ahead, they stopped counting. This is like our deciding to play several rounds of Rummy or Scrabble, and deciding to quit when I'm ahead. This is actually how I prefer to play multiround games, many of which lay unfinished. And it's how the Washington GOP does elections.

You can follow the numbers at RealClearPolitics, or, as I recommend, you can take my word for it. Senator McCain is 467 delegates from securing the nomination, and Governor Huckabee is 490 points behind him. Governor Romney, who has dropped out, and Representative Paul, who has other priorities, have 285 and 14 delegates respectively. So, McCain would have to win 167 delegates in states and get both non-Huckabee delegate holders to endorse him, and even with Romney's "givin' it to McCain" speech, it's not clear he can do any of those three things.

McCain's won some contests because Romney looked (a) more viable than Huckabee and (b) an obvious liar. So, the GOP base either stayed home or held their noses and voted. But, now that Romney's out and the MSM is calling McCain the 'presumptive nominee,' they know they've got to get out there and stop him.

If Governor Huckabee is reading this? I just want to ask that you forgive all the people who rallied behind Romney and then McCain when you were running. We don't need more vindictiveness in the White House. Forgive them! They know not what they do!

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