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The Delegate Races
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Well, all the shakeout from Superdupercalifragilistic Tuesday finally seems to have shaken itself out. The delegate count as it now stands:

DEMOCRAT (2025 needed)
Clinton: 823
Obama: 741

REPUBLICAN (1191 needed)
McCain: 680
Romney: 270
Huckabee: 176
Paul: 16

Clinton and Obama are, for all intents and purposes, in a dead heat. A couple of things have gotten clearer, though, about the Democratic race as a result of the action yesterday.

1. Clinton wins blue states. Obama wins red states. The vast majority of the remaining contests are red state contests, although Washington state comes up in 3 days. This may be good news for Obama.

2. There is clearly a Bradley Effect when it comes to Obama. McQ and I have touched on this a few times in the podcast. Essentially, Obama polls better than the actual election results. When it comes to Obama, pollsters might as well be asking, "Will you vote for the black guy, or should we just go ahead and fit you for your robes and hood right now?" People respond differently in public than they do in the privacy of the polling booth. I think this also explains why Obama does so much better in caucus states than voting states. It is also an interesting commentary on the state of racial matters in America, as well, but that really goes beyond the scope of our discussion here.

3. Absentee voting matters. Early voters are not affected by late surges like the one Obama seems to have enjoyed recently. Those votes reflect the electorate's state of mind at a time other than election day. And they may matter a lot, especially in a state like California, where something like 2 million absentee ballots were cast. One really has to wonder how the election might have turned out if there was no early voting.

On the Republican side, McCain is now more than halfway to the nomination. How close is the race to actually being over? Well, let me put it this way: Hugh Hewitt's first post today explains to all of us, in detail, why we need to get behind John McCain come fall. In about 12 1/2 hours, Hewitt has gone from "McCain can't be considered a frontrunner by any conventional standard" to "Senator McCain has a clear path to the nomination." In a later post, Mr. Hewitt relegates Romney's role as a candidate to helping "the frontrunner Senator McCain calibrate his message." When you've lost Hugh Hewitt, it's really time to turn out the lights. Unless, of course, keeping them on can help John McCain.

Hugh Hewitt is a very strong supporter of John McCain.

Unsurprisingly, I think Mr. Hewitt is wrong. Not in supporting John McCain—although I certainly don't—but in his estimate of the good it does for McCain to keep having to fight off Huckabee and Romney in their losing bids. It seems to me that a far better use of that time and money would be for Mr. McCain to hammer on both Obama and Clinton—and the Democrats in general—for whatever sins he thinks he can lay at their feet.

It's really hard to see how either Romney or Huckabee lay out a convincing path to nomination for their supporters, other than to needle Mr. McCain so mercilessly that it goads him into attempting to publicly throttle them in a fit of apoplexy. Outside of that, it's hard to see what either of those two gentlemen offer their supporters in terms of eventual victory at the Convention.

An interesting rumor, by the way, is that McCain is eying Joe Lieberman (D-CT) as his running mate.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Correction: Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
"When you’ve lost Hugh Hewitt, it’s really time to turn out the lights"

Hmmm, that only works if one is a Republican first and a conservative second...

A vote for McCain is NO different than a vote for the Democrats...
Written By: juandos
A vote for McCain is NO different than a vote for the Democrats...
Complete and utter nonsense. But I’ve already beaten it to death on other threads.
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
I might vote for McCain (let’s face it if you are worried about fiscal sanity, the large size of government, or your personal rights there are no good candidates left. -leave Dr. Paul out of this).

It will totally depend on who his running mate is. Because of his age.
If he picks a sane, younger, fiscal conservative. Then I will support him. but he probably cannot win.

Its going to be interesting if the Dems win. And like the Chinese proverb, it is not a blessing to live in interesting times.
Written By: kyleN
Woohoo Lieberman for VP. That will sure go a long way toward reassuring conservatives.

A President that probably wont go 2 terms and then we have Lieberman in as President if something happens to McCain in office so we have a Dem President.

Way to go John. Slide that knife in there REALLY DEEP.
Written By: retired military
URL: http://
He’s not going to pick Lieberman. That gets him nothing. It scares off even more conservatives, and will not pick up any liberals (who don’t like Lieberman anyway).

I am concerned about McCain’s running mate, though. I’m more afraid it will be Huckabee.
Written By: kevin r
URL: http://
How is McCain going to hammer the Democrats on anything but their stance on the Iraq war or the WoT in general? His domestic agenda doesn’t differ enough from liberal dems for him to gain any traction in doing so.
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
How is McCain going to hammer the Democrats on anything but their stance on the Iraq war or the WoT in general? His domestic agenda doesn’t differ enough from liberal dems for him to gain any traction in doing so.
I’m hearing this constantly but it’s still ridiculous. This site tracks all sorts of information about candidates/elected officials. Try looking at McCain’s voting record and comparing it with Clinton or Obama’s. McCain is far from an ideal candidate from a conservative perspective. But he’s still way better than Clinton or Obama on almost every issue.
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
It seems some peoples complaints are that he’s not a perfect conservative.

There Ain’t No Such Thing, as a perfect conservative. Pick your issue, and some conservatives are likely to have differing views.

Now, I’ve detailed before that McCain is the least conservative Republican based on his ACU score. At the same time he is by leaps and bounds far more conservative then Hillary or Obama.

So saying there isn’t any difference between McCain and the Democrats is just plain WRONG. It’s simply a character assassination.

I’m no big fan of McCain. I’ve differences with him on some of his policies. Far fewer differences then I have with the Clintons or Obama.
Written By: Keith_Indy

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