McCain’s Tops For GOP, Dems Still Split

He may not be able to call himself the “winner” of Super Tuesday, but John McCain definitely came out on top of his Republican competitors.

The Senator grabbed far more delegates than either Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee:

As of Wednesday morning, McCain won 510 delegates, Huckabee won 152 delegates and Romney won 99 delegates in Super Tuesday voting.

Overall, McCain led with 599 delegates, followed by Huckabee with 159 delegates and Romney behind with 152 delegates. 1,191 delegates are needed to secure the Republican nomination.

The delegate numbers aside, McCain no doubt felt good about talking the lead in New York, California and New Jersey, all of which carry great political cache. Mitt Romney had been hoping to win in California, but his dreams were dashed, leading a senior adviser to describe the night as “disappointing”. Imagine how we would have felt had Romney won!

Mike Huckabee had a good showing last night, winning in traditionally Democratic states and showing the GOP that he’s not as lame a duck as some would like to think. In fact, last night’s votes may give him more importance than ever, especially with regard to John McCain:

Mr. Huckabee’s relatively strong showing was both a blessing and a curse for Mr. McCain, though perhaps more of a blessing. It injected a small note of uncertainty into the Republican race, and potentially delayed the day when Mr. McCain would have the stage to himself. But Mr. Huckabee appeared to drain votes primarily away from Mr. Romney, contributing to his overall weak showing on this night.

t is hard to see how Mr. McCain can be a strong general-election candidate – particularly going up against a Democratic Party so energized – without the support of the party’s conservative wing. Assuming Mr. Huckabee is unable to wound Mr. McCain as he wounded Mr. Romney, the results on Tuesday could give Mr. McCain time now to begin trying to repair breaches.

Could a McCain/Huckabee ticket be on the horizon? Possibly, but only if Huckabee and McCain can put aside their many, many differences and strike a balance between screaming banshee conservatives and cooperative old kook.

McCain’s obviously feeling very optimistic after last night’s vote. He told supporters in Arizona:

Although I’ve never minded the role of the underdog and have relished as much as anyone come-from-behind wins, tonight I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner for the nomination.

If only the Democrats could say the same.

As we’ve been predicting for weeks, Super Tuesday turned out to be, yes, Turgid Tuesday for the Democratic party. Yes, Hillary Clinton won more delegates last night – 211 super delegates over Obama’s 128, while she has 582 total and Obama trails with 485 – but Obama took more states, which means that this Democratic race will continue running for at least another few weeks. Fresh data shows that Barack Obama took more delegates than Mrs. Clinton.

The Democratic results do indicate some interesting shifts in the Democratic voting demographics. Black voters overwhelmingly favor Barack Obama, while women are flocking to Hillary, although with a comparatively smaller surge.

Surveys of voters leaving the polls suggested a reprise of the identity politics that has so long characterized – and at times bedeviled – Democratic politics. Black voters overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama, suggesting an end to a period in which Mrs. Clinton could remain competitive with Mr. Obama for the support of that segment of the Democratic electorate.

Women went, by large margins, to Mrs. Clinton. But in one development that augurs well for Mr. Obama, white men – who had largely voted for Mr. Edwards before – appeared to be heading in his direction. And young voters also went overwhelmingly for Mr. Obama, suggesting a generational divide.

The key to determining the Democratic candidate may rest on analyzing who’s voting for whom – are there more youth votes than black? More women than youth? It’s going to be a tiresome task for the Democratic party, but it must be uplifting to know that the party has produced two sensational candidates – especially after the turds from the past two elections.

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