Sunday, February 10, 2008

February 9: Kansas, Louisiana, and Washington (R)

Kansas caucus:
Huckabee 60
McCain 24
Paul 11
Romney 3

Louisiana primary:
Huckabee 43
McCain 42
Romney 7
Paul 5

Washington caucus: *See below.

Rather late for an energetic stop-McCain campaign, isn't it? This reminds me of a failed coup d'etat in minature. It's not going to succeed because the Great Cheney Purge failed to drive out all the sane members from the Republican Party. Mike Huckabee, one of the sane people who stuck it out, has to be smiling right now: he alone is accruing all the benefits from the combined and considerable efforts of the nutty wing of his party. He rolled over McCain in Kansas's caucuses and eked out a narrow 2,000-vote victory in Louisiana.

Then there's Washington. Here's the bizarre published results:

Washington caucus (87% reporting):
McCain 26
Huckabee 24
Paul 21
Romney 16
Uncommitted 13

On the basis of the results listed above, the Washington state Republican Party chair, Luke Esser, declared McCain the "winner". Really, Mr. Esser? You've got 13% of the vote - of a closed Republican caucus, mind you - uncounted! And it's been 36 hours after the fact! Huckabee, while careful not to say anything untoward towards McCain, filed legal suit against Esser and his Washington State charlatans today.

There are peculiarities down the ballot, too. Given that Mitt Romney won 3% in Kansas and 7% in Louisiana, it's not improbable that he won 16% in Washington. (It seems like the best thing Romney could do was to drop out. Pious Mormon that he is, I wonder if he's laying awake at night thinking that if he pandered to Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh even more than he did, without moral scruples, he'd be the prospective nominee right now instead of McCain.) But the 13% for "Uncommitted" makes no sense to me. Leaving aside Michigan's Democratic primary, when both Obama and Edwards instructed their supporters to vote Uncommitted, that line has never earned more than 5%. The fishy smell is overpowering.

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