McCain Wins Big, Primaries to Continue
By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 6, 2008 8:00PM
John McCain won big in last night's Republican primaries, winning nine states and pushing his delegate count up to 559--not enough to win the nomination, but big enough to secure his standing as the front runner. Mike Huckabee got a boost last night as well, winning a string of upsets in the Southern states, enough to justify his continued candidacy. Mitt Romney, however, has bigger problems, winning only a handful of states, and with Huckabee still in, he won't get the one-on-one race he so desperately wanted.
Less decisive was the Democratic race. Hillary Clinton won the delegate count last night, pushing her total up to 803, with final results from California still being tallied. Barack Obama won more states overall, 13 to Clinton's eight, but lags behind her in the delegate count, with 742. Clinton's strong showing in key states like Massachusetts, New Jersey and California give her the edge as the potential front runner. Her victories in traditionally red states like Oklahoma and Tennessee also strengthen her position as the "electable" candidate. Obama's narrow victory in Missouri, traditionally a bell weather state, illustrates his broad national appeal and bolsters his case that he can unite the nation.
Last night's vote also illustrated the candidates' strengths and weaknesses. Obama did well in Idaho and Utah, both whiter-than-Iowa states, and it appears he carried the white vote in California. Clinton continued to do well among Latino voters and women. Her wins last night put her at over 40 percent of the delegates needed to win the nomination. Obama has about 35 percent. That keeps Clinton in the running as the Democrat to beat for the nomination. As the Democratic candidates head into the next round of primaries (Nebraska, Louisiana and Washington on February 9, and Maine on February 10), Obama has the edge. The longer he stays in the primaries, the less credible Clinton's "inevitability" looks. Wins in those states could give him momentum heading into next Tuesdays Potomac Primary, when DC, Maryland and Virginia will vote.
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