Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January 19: Nevada caucuses

Clinton 51
Obama 45
Edwards 4
Romney 51
Paul 14
McCain 13
Huckabee 8
Thompson 8
Giuliani 4

In contrast to Michigan, the Democratic outcome was more important in Nevada. Let's get the Republican results out of the way:

With McCain, Huckabee, and Thompson fighting to win South Carolina, Romney was free to concentrate on Nevada. His wide margin of victory is a small feather in his cap. Ron Paul came in second; he won only 6,000 votes, but few people expected him to come ahead of both McCain and Huckabee. Rudy Giuliani continues not to win votes; only Duncan Hunter did worse.

The Democratic primary has evolved into a contest between one candidate with mass appeal and another candidate who is playing Democratic identity politics-as-usual. At least Nevada's caucus-goers did not split the vote for change; Edwards received a paltry 4%, extinguishing the dying embers of his campaign. As it stands, Hillary prevailed by a slight margin, but Obama actually earned one more delegate (Hillary prevailed in and near Las Vegas, but Obama won more regions of the state than Hillary).

Barack Obama must win South Carolina this Saturday to keep himself afloat. If he succeeds, the Democratic outcome is anybody's guess.

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