Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Oh, NO! 0-8!: What a MESS!..

Well the votes have been counted from Super Tuesday and the winner is...[TBA].

Well, in case you were living under your rock last night or this morning, yesterday was Super Tuesday. Big states from California to New York to Georgia to Connecticut to our Commonwealth voted yesterday. Nationwide, the results were split, three ways on the GOP side and two ways on the Dems' side.

For the GOP, McCain emerged at the undisputed frontrunner picking up big states like CA and NY. However, neither Mitt Romney, who won Mass and Utah, nor Fmr. AR Gov. Mike Huckabee, who took AR, GA, AL & more southern states, conceded defeat.

McCain's stunning surge gained him support in winner take all states like NY and proportional states like California. Between the GOP's largely winner-take-all system and the three way splits in some states, it remains difficult to gage where all of this is going. In addition Romney is crying foul over W. Virginia Caucuses, which Huckabee won when all McCain supporters joined Huckabee when it was clear the AZ Senator could not win there.

On the Democratic side, Barack Obama took more states pulling ahead particularly in Caucus states and taking, among others, home state of Illinois, GA, CT, AL, MO, and DE. Clinton held onto Massachusetts and scored Oklahoma, Tennessee, NY, NJ, AZ, and the biggest prize CALI!

For the Democrats the results are more complicated that it seems. Due to the proportionality of delegates a candidate gets to votes in each Congressional district in the Democratic races, the winning of states belies the results. Both Obama and Clinton will be delegates in every state. They will get roughly equal delegates in close states like CT, MO, NM, and oddly enough in a state that was not close, AL. Obama for example will get a nice piece of Massachusetts delegates because although he lost statewide, he got sizeable support in the Mass 1st and the Mass 8th (Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea). Of those cities Clinton only won Chelsea. The Mass 1st support is more scattered and will be tempered by Clinton victories in Pittsfield, Westfield, and W. Spfld.

Either way most estimates put Clinton ahead for the Democrats in terms of delegates. California's delegate count remains an open question. Congressional races on not denotes, but Clinton won well in LA County, Orange County, Santa Clara County, and San Diego County, all rich with Congressional districts, and thus delegates. However, this weekend, Washington and Maine hold caucuses and Louisiana hold a primary. Reports indicate that Obama will try to capitalize on his wins in the South and take LA and Clinton is not putting up a fight. This strategy is very dangerous as the other prizes either are tough to win or offer less. Maine has only a few delegates and Washington, well there is a statue to Lenin in Seattle there. Louisiana should be fought over, therefore.

Time is short, however. After this weekend, the Potomac Primary will be next Tuesday. Clinton, especially if she cannot pull a win in Washington, needs to win big here both in Virginia and in Maryland. DC is a foregone conclusion in a lot of ways, but she may find support in NW DC, the Capital's more affluent-middle class quadrant. Either way, high noon will not be next week either. Wisconsin the following week will not either. Rather, this fight will probably be decided March 4th. Ohio and TX vote then. Both delegate rich states and both Obama and Clinton could win in either one. If no clear victor is found after that, there are some big primaries left, namely PA and NC, but there may not be enough delegates left to secure a win. It could force Superdelegates to make the choice or force the DNC to allow FL and MI's delegates to be counted.

On the GOP side, the race will go on. If McCain does not get the magic number before the convention, it will be a sight to see. A floor fight is almost assured and there are no superdelegates (or not enough anyway) to change the outcome. The GOP will be weakened coming out of the gate unless it can have a smooth convention. No matter what happens in Denver to the Dems it will not be as hurtful.

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