Search This Blog


LA primaries keep McCain rolling, Dems up in the air

The results of the Democrat primary in Louisiana yielded no surprise, but a mild upset almost emerged on the Republican side.

Sen. Barack Obama pulled in numbers pretty close to what I predicted a few days back and he will very likely then win the majority of popularly-elected delegates when the party state central committee meets May 3. But given that Sen. Hillary Clinton will get the nod of almost all of the “superdelegates,” at best Obama will win a narrow majority of the state’s delegates. This means overall at this juncture Clinton was the real winner, since the dynamics of future primaries plus the large advantage she will hold in superdelegates when the dust settles means Obama needed to put as much space as possible as he could between him and her and he got little.

For Republicans, the expectation was that the suspension of his campaign by former Gov. Mitt Romney would discourage enough people from voting for him that it could allow Sen. John McCain to claim the 50 percent plus one vote needed to ensure that elected Republican delegates become pledges to him, about half of the total to be decided next weekend. Instead, support in north Louisiana for former Gov. Mike Huckabee thrust him into the position of potentially eclipsing the absolute majority statewide needed to capture these delegates.

All night as votes were counted, Huckabee cruised in the upper forty percent of the vote, However, since several candidates unlike Romney had withdrawn rather than suspended their campaigns, their votes were thrown out of the calculations to compute a winner, with those candidates getting about 2 percent of the overall vote. Thus, Huckabee’s effective overall percentage need to get the delegates was only about 49 percent.

In the end, Romney’s decision not to withdraw may have led to Huckabee’s inability to crest over the magic mark. Assuming those voters would not have voted or of those who did at least half voted for Huckabee, the 6 percent Romney did pick up was enough to deny him. And a vote for many for Romney could have bee purely intentional, even knowing effectively he was out of the race – a show of defiance against McCain for lacking too many core conservative beliefs, against Huckabee for his desire to tax and spend, and against Rep. Ron Paul (who Romey still outdistanced) for his inability to understand optimal foreign policy. Thus, the actual distribution of delegates will be decided next Satruday.

So in the end, the Republican version had little meaning bearing on a McCain progression to the nomination, while the Democrat exercise helped keep the competition going between Clinton and Obama without any substantial advantage to either side.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As someone who was a delegate to the GOP Convention, the whole process was a farce. All delegates to the national convention were hand picked by the GOP central committee based on their support for McCain and their unthinking support for the GOP leadership. The primary was meaningless and the caucuses were rigged by changing the deadlines to register as a candidate for delegate. I am a lifelong republican and the process was rotten