Sunday, February 10. 2008
Senator John McCain's tenure as the de facto GOP presidential nominee ran into a little stormy weather in Kansas on Saturday. Huckabee won 60 percent of the vote, to McCain's 24, with Ron Paul third at 11. McCain had the support of both Kansas senators, and had ex-Senator Bob Dole lobbying for him in the national press. One thing the news reports didn't dwell on is the raw numbers: the Republican caucuses drew about half as many voters as the Democratic caucuses did. Weather? The Republicans met on a Saturday morning of a 60-degree day. The Democrats met in the middle of a blizzard. I suppose McCain can take some solace in the thought that it wasn't just him: nobody much gave a shit about any of the Republican candidates. They just cared a lot less about him than the others. But it's also true that the GOP regulars in Kansas have grown so dependent on the Christian right for their grass roots support they don't know how to get their old crowd out. Part of the problem is that the right have been calling any and all Republicans with anything resembling moderate views RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). It's gotten so annoying a lot of them aren't even that any more.
McCain also lost in Louisiana to Huckabee. And he was losing Washington until the GOP honchos rounded up enough McCain votes to squeeze into a temporary lead, then decided to stop counting and go home. Last known margin there was 26% to 24%, which itself smells pretty funny. Talk about buyer remorse.
Meanwhile, Obama's won five of five states since Super Tuesday. Won a Grammy too. Maybe it is his year.
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