Tsunami Tuesday results

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So far this evening, all but three of my predictions have been borne out: McCain won in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, New York. Huckabee won in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Romney won in Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah. (Romney appears to have also won non-binding straw polls at caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota.)

McCain appears to have won by a very slim margin in winner-take-all Missouri. With 3355 of 3371 precincts reporting according to the Missouri elections website, McCain has an 8,000-vote lead. In percentages, McCain 32.9, Huckabee 31.6, Romney 29.3. Talk about a situation that cries out for Instant Runoff Voting! Suppose the other 9 candidates had not been on the ballot -- depending on where their voters went, you could have had any possible order of finish among the top three.

McCain also won here in Oklahoma, 36.7% to 33.4% for Huckabee and 24.78% for Romney with 2194 of 2220 precincts reporting. It's close enough that it's possible that Huckabee won one or two of the congressional districts, but we can't tell because, unusually, the Oklahoma State Election Board has only posted statewide totals. Normally they show returns by county, which lets you know which parts of the state have reported and which have yet to come in.

At this point, I'd like to say, "See, I told you so." Huckabee had the best shot of beating McCain here. He had a base from which to start, while Romney had been in single digits here until Thompson left the race. Romney was not going to be able to peel off enthusiastic supporters who had been with Huckabee since before Iowa.

The national conservative commentariat boosted Romney's numbers in the South with the mantra, "A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain," but only enough to make it close for Huckabee where he won and to cost him Missouri and Oklahoma.

Here's how effective that slogan was: Someone I know who lives in Arkansas and who is a Huckabee fan and supporter wrote to say she'd voted for Romney because "a vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain." Huckabee won Arkansas with over 60% of the vote.

Someone who heard me on the radio Tuesday morning, whom I won't embarrass by naming -- although I reserve the right to publish, with name and e-mail address, any especially funny hate mail you send me -- wrote me this note about my explanation of the state-by-state situation and the importance of tactical voting:

Your logic for voting for Huckebee makes about as much sense as voting for Satin. I have been an avid listener of KFAQ for years now and have always agreed with you but after hearing the crap I heard this morning from both you and Chris Medlock appalled me as a conservative. Yeah, let's give as many delegates to Huckebee, the candidate that has a snow balls chance in hell of winning the nomination!! You should be encouraging voters to vote for the only candidate that has a chance of winning the nomination! Instead you & Chris encourage the voters to vote for the likes of Huckebee and give all the delegates from OK to Huckebee instead of rallying behind a candidate that has a true chance of beating McCain. I am seriously thinking of turning my radio off in the morning to KFAQ and go back to 740 at least while the morning show is on!!!!!! Because after the CRAP I heard this morning it makes me really question listening to KFAQ's morning show!!!

You might want to read the below transcript from Rush Limbaugh - YOU and CHRIS could learn something from HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow!!!!!111!!eleventyone!! I'd vote for satin, but only if silk wasn't also on the ballot.

I wrote back:

In my opinion, Romney has too much ground to make up in order to win in Oklahoma. The latest SurveyUSA poll, taken over the weekend, had McCain at 37, Huckabee at 32, and Romney far back at 23. So Huckabee only needs to make up 5 points to win Oklahoma and deny those delegates to McCain, while Romney would have to make up 14 points. Huckabee has a certain core support in the state which has been fairly constant, and while Romney has gained some ground since Thompson left the race, I don't think he's likely to cut into Huckabee's base enough to overtake McCain. Instead, Romney would just succeed in splitting the conservative vote and letting McCain squeak by with a tiny plurality.

That SurveyUSA poll was almost dead on. Locally-based Sooner Poll, which had McCain at 41 and Huckabee and Romney far back at 19 and 17, needs to recalibrate.

Another oddity about the Oklahoma vote -- John Edwards gets 10%. Dissatisfaction with the field? Are these DINOs who always vote for the GOP candidate in November?

California polls haven't been closed long. Nearly all of the delegates will be allocated based on congressional district results, but so far, McCain is leading in every single district. What's curious is that Giuliani is winning 10 to 15% of the vote in nearly every district. Most likely this is an artifact of early voting. Remember that Giuliani was leading here until he dropped out after Florida. Here's another case where Instant Runoff Voting would have helped; it would have allowed early voters who liked Giuliani to still have a say in the choice between McCain and Romney.

There are a few California districts -- and it's early yet -- where Huckabee may have cost Romney some delegates.

One more thing about Oklahoma: I read on NRO's Corner that the South's support for Huckabee is because of a large number of evangelicals who could never vote for a Mormon. It's worth pointing out that just two years ago, Oklahoma Republicans gave a Mormon the nomination for governor, with a clear majority of the vote in a race against two well-qualified opponents (one an evangelical and one a Catholic). The difference between Ernest Istook and Mitt Romney for Oklahoma conservatives: Istook was a consistent conservative from his days in talk radio to his years in Congress. There were no flip-flops or conveniently-timed conversions.

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4 Comments

See-Dubya said:

I'd vote for satin, but only if silk wasn't also on the ballot.

A VOTE FOR BROCADE IS A VOTE FOR LINEN!

And which candidate can best protect us from the muslin?

Dan Paden said:

Another oddity about the Oklahoma vote -- John Edwards gets 10%. Dissatisfaction with the field? Are these DINOs who always vote for the GOP candidate in November?

There are so many weird things about politics. My oldest son--aka "Evil Conservative" registered Democrat because he thinks it'll give him more of an opportunity to vote out judges, and he votes for whom he perceives to be the weakest Democratic candidate in any race. Then, in the general election, he votes Republican. Another male relative does the same thing.

How many people across Oklahoma do the same kinds of things? It really makes you wonder about some of these numbers.

webworm Author Profile Page said:

Paden's slant is nothing new. My parents, staunch conservatives from the '20's on, were always registered Democrats. In this way, they had a voice in local politics, because there were few Republicans available until the late '50's. After I got out of the military in 1958, I went to the courthouse in Midland, Texas, to register. After paying the poll tax, I was asked my party affiliation. When I answered, "Republican", the room suddenly got very quiet. None of these people had ever seen a live Republican before! I voted for Goldwater, and every Republican since then.

David V Author Profile Page said:

In my observation, the strategy almost worked.

The only problem was that Romney came back to Oklahoma City last weekend and ran his numbers up, in that Congressional district, at Huckabee's expense.

If Huckabee would have carried OKC, he'd have won the state.

Huckabee did win Tulsa and everything to the East. But because of OKC, Huckabee only won 6 delegates instead of 29.

Nationally, the "Stop McaCain" strategy came very close to effectiveness. Huckabee only failed to carry Missouri by 1%. Romney, however, was polling very high in California. If he'd actually performed out there as he was expected to do, The McaCain momentum would have been stalled.

To sum it up; if Romney would have gone to California instead of St. Louis and OKC last week, we might be seeing a different outlook and delegate count.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 5, 2008 11:48 PM.

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