Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Early observations on Super Tuesday

Scattered election notes, in no particular order...
  • Alabama has done its part for Barack Obama. The Illinois senator leads Hillary Clinton 56 percent to 41 percent with 70 percent of precincts reporting. Though he dropped out late last month, John Edwards has more than 5,500 votes.
  • The national media sure moved quickly in calling Alabama for Mike Huckabee, doing so even before the Obama projection. For a while there, John McCain was up by several points despite the check mark by Huckabee's name. But the former Arkansas governor has begun to pull away, leading 41 percent to 38 percent with 69 percent reporting.
  • It's been a better than expected day for Huckabee, who has claimed Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia and is running close in several other Southern states. Mitt Romney has taken Massachusetts and Utah, but unless he gets a sizable win in California, it's hard to see how he can hope to stay in the race given the high hopes with which he entered the day. As I suggested a few weeks ago, it's probably down to McCain and Huckabee for the GOP, with a McCain nomination now looking all but inevitable.
  • Barring a serious mistake by one side or the other, there's a real chance the Clinton-Obama race could go all the way to the convention, with the so-called "super-delegates" (a concept that should be abolished) anointing one of them in a decision that would enrage half of the party base.
  • Bill Richardson has responded to the disappointment of his failed presidential bid in much the same way Al Gore did: by growing an ultra-scraggly beard.
  • Huckabee earned points with me by issuing forth a "Roll Tide Roll" during his victory speech in Arkansas. Seconds later, he lost them back and then some by suggesting he'd like to sing "Rocky Top." Pick a side, Mike.
More thoughts to come later.

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