In voting today, Mike Huckabee won big with nearly 60% of the vote in the Kansas caucus
. Huckabee barnstormed yesterday; John McCain did not campaign there. In early returns
, McCain also is trailing Huckabee in Louisiana and, remarkably, in Washington
as well, where it appears that very few votes are being cast. (There was an issue in which thosuands of ballots were invalidated
due to voters’ failure to sign the ballot “oath” identifying themselves as either Democrat or Republican.)
In the CPAC
the straw poll, 24% of which occurred before Mitt Romney dropped out, McCain came in a point behind Romney (34-35%) while Mike Huckabee took 12%.(Once Romney dropped out McCain led in the straw poll voting 37%-32%.) McCain is likely pleased that the result wasn’t far worse from a group in which 57% believe we should withdraw from the U.N. and 80% back a policy which says we should follow existing laws even if it means deporting illegal aliens. Looking ahead to Tuesday, McCain has 30+
point leads in Maryland and Virginia. It seems that, despite a poor Saturday showing, he is on track to reach his magic delegate number of 1191.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Barack Obama won big in Nebraska, Washington and Louisiana. In both Red and Blue states he is racking up impressive wins. Once again, the saving grace for Hillary Clinton is the proportional voting system. Nevertheless, the ground may be shifting and Obama may lead in the delegate count after Tuesday. (He leads in Virginia and Maryland by 20 points.) It could be that the Democratic race has reached its tipping point.
UPDATE: Huckabee edged out McCain 43% to 42% in Louisiana. (Since neither candidate got 50% of the vote, no one receives the delegates that were at stake.) In Washington with 83% of the vote counted, McCain holds a narrow lead. McCain will no doubt hope to get back on track with Tuesday’s primaries.