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Liveblogging the Potomac Primaries
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bang: 7pm, polls closed and Obama is declared the winner in VA.

However, the Republican race, which is supposed to be over, is too close to call - you see, conservatives are not voting for John McCain.

Fox is saying Obama got 90% of the black vote and split the white vote. It wasn't clear whether that is true of only VA or for all three primaries.

Maryland: the vote is going to be extended for 90 more minutes (until 9:30) due to weather and roads.

7:48 - VA 17% of the vote in and Obama is at 62% and Clinton at 37%. Huckabee and McCain are at 47% and 45% respectively.

8:00 - Exit poll stuff: Interesting. McCain is usually very strong among vets, and VA has quite a large vet population. While he won them, it wasn't overwhelming - McCain 46%, Huckabee 44%.

The Talk Radio factor - 66% of VA GOP voters say they listen to talk radio and for the most part agree with the hosts about McCain. 50% of those voters went for Huckabee. 38% for McCain.

66% of the voters also call themselves conservative and 52% say McCain isn't conservative enough while 42% said he's about right. 55% voted for Huckabee while 32% went for McCain.

All that said, 75% said McCain was acceptable should he win the nomination and probably had the best chance of any nominee to beat the Democratic field. Sounds like a protest vote going on in VA.

8:15 - NBC is projecting Obama the winner in DC. I don't think that comes as a particular surprise.

Clinton, meantime, is in Texas, a firewall state for her. FYI, I'm not sure she should be counting on it as much as she is as I wrote about earlier today.

8:20 - For the first time tonight in VA, McCain has taken a slim lead although percentage-wise they're tied. 36% of the vote is in.

MD Exit Polls show about the same trends for Obama - 90% of the black vote and a split with Clinton among whites (with Clinton taking 49% and Obama taking 47%). The shocker comes among women in MD - 58% for Obama, 39% for Clinton. That group is a key group for Clinton. Another supposed core Clinton group is seniors and Obama is winning there 51% to 44%.

On the GOP side, not a rerun for McCain. In MD he's taking 46% of the Conservative vote while Huckabee gets 37%. Evangelicals are going 58% to 32% for Huckabee (33% of MD GOP voters).

The Talk Radio factor? Not a factor. 42% of MD talk radio listeners go for McCain, 35% for Huckabee. And MD Republicans also agree that McCain is the most electable Republican.

8:30 - Fox projects McCain the winner in VA.

8:50 - Obama isn't just beating Clinton in VA, he's crushing her. 62% to 37% (with 65% in), VA, at least, is telling the Democrats they don't want another Clinton presidency.

Another observation - the Democratic vote apparently swamped the Republican vote in terms of voters at the polls. Again, not a good omen for Republicans in November.

More Exit Poll info - VA GOP, for those GOP voters where the Iraq war was the top issue, 53% McCain, 40% Huckabee. Here's an interesting one, for those concerned about the economy, 35% for McCain, 30% for Huckabee and 25% for Romney. Romney?

Best commander in chief? 61% McCain, 24% Huckabee.

The reason McCain won? "Moderate" voters, who make up 27% of those who voted today. Among moderates, McCain took 64%, Huckabee 30%.

9:15 - We're kind of on hold until the MD polls close at 9:30, but it looks like a big night for Obama. And it also looks like McCain might pull a trifecta as well.

9:25 - Given the outcome tonight, can you see a renewed effort on the part of the Clinton campaign to seat the delegates from FL and MI?

9:30 - Fox projects McCain and Obama the winners in MD.

9:32 (Dale): Maryland must be an absolute Obama blowout. We've got no reported results from anywhere in the state, and everybody is calling it the second the polls closed. It must be an even worse drubbing than Virginia. And next week, Clinton expects to lose in Hawaii and Wisconsin. That "firewall strategy" for Texas and Ohio ain't lookin' like the wisest strategy at the moment.

9:45 - AP exit poll info.

9:52 (Dale): Hillary who? Barack Obama's speech tonight in Wisconsin is devoid of references to Obama's good friend Hillary Clinton. Apparently she no longer exists. It's all about McCain. Good strategy. As far as Obama is concerned, Clinton should become a non-person. He should imply that he's already the nominee, and the remaining primaries are a necessary, if inconvenient, bit of administrative fluff that has to be taken care of before beginning the fall contest.


Anyone who thinks the Clinton campaign isn't in trouble, they need to consider the fact that within the last two weeks, coming out of Super Tuesday, Obama has swept 7 primaries and caucuses. And he's won big in all of them. If Ms. Clinton thinks that winning Ohio or Texas or both is going to stop that trend, I think she's badly mistaken, and I'm becoming more and more convinced that she's more likely to lose them than win them now.

On the GOP side, eh - it's McCain. Live with it. McCain has a rough road ahead, because success in Iraq puts his strength in national defense on the second tier of issues important to the nation at this time. How he can successfully put that issue on the front burner again remains to be seen. So he's going to have to focus on alternatives to the Democrat's issues and policies. And, frankly, I'm not sure how well those will be received by the electorate. He's going to have to challenge the Democratic nominee and pressure them to be specific about their intentions. Only then does he have a chance of pointing out the problems and cost their ideas will bring to the nation. That is if he doesn't agree with them, for the most part. He can't co-sponsor bills with Ted Kennedy as a president, but unfortunately, he can sign them.

UPDATE [Dale]: Tonight also makes Obama the official front-runner, not only in perception, but in delegate counts as well.

Barack Obama
Pledged: 1059
Superdelegates: 156
Total: 1,215

Hillary Clinton
Pledged: 956
Superdelegates: 234
Total: 1,190
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Previous Comments to this Post 

you see, conservatives are not voting for John McCain.
Then who is?
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Pogue - you may or may not have figured it out by now, but not all Republicans are conservatives and McCain and independents have this thing going. What I’m implying is that we may be seeing a bit of a protest vote by conservatives by going for Huckabee.
Written By: McQ
Heh. So conservatives feel their protest votes should go for Huckabee!?


Didn’t anyone tell them that there are more choices on the ballot?

I mean, as far as protest votes go.
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Pogue - I did for one. I couldn’t decide whether to vote for Obama to spite Hillary, or vote for McCain to spite the Huckster. When I saw the polls yesterday I decided stopping the Huckster was more important for now. I’ll worry about how I vote in November after that fraud is out of the race.
Written By: John
As John points out, there are all kinds of protest votes going on in VA. This is an open primary. There was a local DC radio talk show discussing that Republicans should vote in the Dem primary to help choose their preferred competition.

I for one swallowed hard and voted for Hillary (A wasted vote it seems). My intent was to help push the Dems to a brokered convention. It would be fascinating to watch and likely seriously damage their chances to remain cohesive for November.

McCain bothers me a lot. But the possibility of Obama or Hillary as President with a Democrat controlled Congress and a filibuster proof Dem majority in the Senate is really scary.

McCain can’t possibly do more damage to this country than that scenario.
Written By: GBW
URL: http://
9:25 - Given the outcome tonight, can you see a renewed effort on the part of the Clinton campaign to seat the delegates from FL and MI?
My guess is that Obama will agree not to oppose the seating of MI and FL, if they hold new elections, and, here’s the kicker, they are caucuses.
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Pogue - you may or may not have figured it out by now, but not all Republicans are conservatives
What, exactly, is a conservative? McCain is convinced he is one, and I think he’s right.
Written By: Scott Erb
I don’t think it matters now whether McCain is conservative enough to get the Republican nomination, but I do think Broom One is in a very steep dive and I don’t think the pilot can pull it out.
Written By: vnjagvet
What, exactly, is a conservative? McCain is convinced he is one, and I think he’s right.
Two very questionable sources...
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
What, exactly, is a conservative? McCain is convinced he is one, and I think he’s right.
Prof. Erb - You also claim, repeatedly, that the surge hasn’t worked and the Iraq War is a failure.

A lot of your game is defining things to suit your purposes. In this case the majority of McCain’s votes are conservative, therefore you call him a conservative. However, whenever the surge or Iraq come up, unless they have completely succeeded in all objectives now, you say they have failed.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://

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