Politics with Zach Gallant

All The Way To The Convention! Sound familiar? It’s what Howard Dean, now a Hillary Clinton supporter who has urged the dropping out of one candidate to unify the Democratic Party, declared in his epic “YYEEEAARGH!” speech in 2004 prior to his even more epic concession to everyone’s favorite loser John Kerry. We are hearing similar words from the mouth of Former Governor Mike Huckabee, whose insurmountable lag in delegates to Senator John McCain for the Republican nomination just got more so with his losses in the Chesapeake Primaries on Tuesday. It became a two man race when Mitt Romney dropped out last week, and while McCain is the presumed nominee, he has failed to galvanize either the Fiscal Conservatives who miss Romney’s business savvy, or the Social Conservatives who have begun supporting Huckabee in greater numbers to protest McCain’s frontrunner status. When asked how he’ll overtake McCain’s lead in delegates when the numbers looked inevitable, Huckabee quipped at his press conference “I didn’t major in Math. I majored in Miracles.” John McCain will take the nomination, but he’s still going to have to fight for it, and right now Huckabee is controlling the debate. When McCain takes it, he’ll have to find someone more conservative than either of his opponents as a running mate to actually get his party out to vote in November.
On the Democratic side, the race remains tight, though the dynamics are changing. Hillary’s inevitability continues to slip as Obama’s momentum grows. On Saturday, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Washington State all came out for Obama. He took Louisiana by 11 points and he took the other two by an overwhelming 36 points. On Sunday, Maine came out to caucus. This northeastern bellwether state was predicted long ago for Hillary, but Obama’s momentum proved too much. He took the state with 59% of the vote. On Tuesday, Obama changed the odds with finality. He took the lead in every demographic in all three of the primaries, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. I’d like to take some credit for the work I did in Baltimore in the week before the election, but the fact that the city turned out in record numbers has nothing to do with the Field program we instituted and everything to do with how well his message resonated with the voters. Following Barack’s momentum and a couple shake-ups at the senior level of the Clinton campaign, Hillary’s lock on certain key demographics was crushed. Obama took over 60% of the vote in each state, ending Clinton’s lead in the delegate count.
The delegate counts are still close, and while this weekend’s Wisconsin primary is closest, the next really important elections are Ohio and Texas (register now!) who vote on March 4. If Hillary does not crush Obama in those states, states whose Democratic blocs fall overwhelmingly into categories over which she used to have a lock, pundits and insiders are saying the nomination belongs to Barack. It could still come down to the Superdelegates in the end, but I’m hoping the party is not stupid enough to play that game and disenfranchise its voters. If anyone knows how to lose an un-loseable election, it’s the Democrats. Time will tell if they can get out of their own way long enough to win the Presidency.
Whatever happens, when it’s all over, Bush is out. So let’s cling to that happy thought and I’ll be back next week for further updates and disillusionment.