Potomac Primary Postmortem And Wednesday Open Thread

Here’s how things seem to look one day after the vote in Virginia, Maryland and D.C.


If there was ever going to be a chance to stop John McCain, or force a brokered convention, it was here, specifically in Virginia. For part of the night, it looked like Mike Huckabee might actually pull it off but, as I expected, Northern Virginia came back heavy for McCain and he took the state, and all 63 delegates, by 9 percentage points.

McCain now stands just under 350 delegates short of clinching the nomination, and he’ll get it by March 4th.

Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul ? It’s over, guys.


Not only did Barack Obama sweep the Potomac Primary, he did so decisively and, in Virginia, beat Clinton in almost every demographic category. That would seem to bode well for states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. More importantly, he’s ahead in the delegate count and, as Howard Fineman argued last night on MSNBC, there’s almost no way that Hillary can win based on the pledged delegates alone:

That leaves this nomination up to two things — how the DNC treats Michigan and Florida, and what the superdelegates do.

Questions For The Future

As we head into the third act of this campaign, this seems to be what people will be talking about

  1. How will the DNC handle the fact that Michigan and Florida were stripped of their delegates ?
  2. Will the Democratic superdelegates go against the popular vote
  3. Who’s in the running for McCain’s Veep ?
  4. Will there be a big third-party run ?

Plenty to talk about, I would think.

  • gins

    Obama is on a racism roll with the black vote; if Hillary Clinton doesn’t get the nomination, she should run Independent.

  • soverighn

    “Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul ? It’s over, guys”

    So the GOP wants to have a guy that when is standing in the sun, his shadow is a hospital bed…
    This guy will more likely be on a ventilator before 2009 is here, I for 1 will vote Obama b4 Mcinsane…

  • austin

    You forget about the Edwards delegates which I believe have not been released.

  • http://publiusendures.blogspot.com Mark

    The answer to each of your questions is likely “it depends.” But my best guesses at the moment are:

    1. Florida winds up getting half its delegation seated while Michigan is re-voted in a caucus. (This assumes Obama winds up with a final lead in pledged delegates of less than about 150; it’s also a complete guess, but I don’t think anyone really has an idea how this will play out).
    2. Some will, some won’t. If Obama’s lead in the pledged delegate count is over 100 (after the Michigan/Florida debacle is straightened out), then I suspect enough Super Delegates will stick with Obama to give him the nomination. Anything less than that, and Hillary probably gets it, but is forced to offer Obama the VP slot. If she somehow ties or wins the pledged delegate count (doubtful), then of course none of this matters.
    3. I’ve blogged for months that Huckabee or at least another hard-core evangelical makes the most sense. I don’t think McCain has to win over the talk show hosts so much as he has to win over the religious base of the party. Mark Sanford is probably on the short list as well, though there’s been some buzz lately about Pawlenty from Minnesota (about whom I know exactly nothing).
    4. Much less likely today than it was a month ago, or even two weeks ago. I suspect that Obama’s run of success has made a Bloomberg run unlikely since I doubt Bloomberg would run against Obama and he can’t afford to wait much longer to declare if he’s waiting to see who wins the Dem nomination. As much as I would love to see a prominent libertarian run, it’s tough to see who would fit that role right now. Meanwhile, Huckabee’s success combined with his good relationship with McCain has eliminated any possibility of an evangelical third party run.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    If anyone has played the race card, it’s the Clintons

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    What about McCain-Romney? I still wouldn’t vote for it, but I can see it as a way that McCain could bolster his ticket with a more business-friendly second-in-command. And I think he’d more readily take to the “VP attack dog” mentality quicker than jokester Huckabee.