Gay-baiting Senator John McCain won the Florida primary yesterday. One can’t help but wonder, however, whether this win really matters. Yes, McCain took 36% of the vote, a healthy margin of victory over competitor Mitt Romney, who took 31% of the Republican tally. While the win would seem to put McCain on track for a Super Tuesday win – which our editor has renamed “Turgid Tuesday” – a closer look at the numbers show yet again that the Republican base has been fractured.
He owes his remarkable victory instead to support from Hispanics, those over 65 and independents.
Hispanic voters were only 12% of the Republican electorate, but they voted 54% for Mr McCain, with only 14% for Mr Romney, and 24% for former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Among white voters, who made up 84% of voters, Mr Romney actually beat Mr McCain narrowly by 34% to 33%.
The intriguing analysis goes on to show that more conservative voters went for Romney. The Mormon former Governor also took in more religious voters, particularly white protestants, as well as Bush supporters.
So, what does McCain’s win mean? Not that much. But don’t tell McCain, because he seems to think yesterday’s tally clinches the deal: “Our victory might not have reached landslide proportions, but it is sweet nonetheless. It shows one thing. I’m the conservative leader who can unite the party.” Not if you look at the numbers, Johnny Boy.
In fact, the only person who is really, truly effected by McCain’s win must be Rudy Giuliani, who is expected to drop out today and endorse McCain. Said Giuliani: “The responsibility of leadership doesn’t end with a single campaign, it goes on and you continue to fight for it. We ran a campaign that was uplifting.” If you call scandal-ridden uplifting, sure.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton took 50% of the Democratic votes. She receives no delegates, however, because Florida violated DNC rules and moved its primary forward, thus disqualifying the delegates. Some could say Clinton received so many votes because she ignored the party’s push and campaigned there, anyway. So much for unity…