Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday Liveblogging Part IV

By Rick Morris

This will be my final post of the evening and I will be revising my previous assessment, at least on the Republican side. While I still think the race will go on for at least another few weeks, McCain comes out of tonight extending his already strong lead having just won California and Missouri. Also, at the time of my last post, I confess that I had not seen some of the internal numbers in the polling down South -- Romney, who was being propped up by so many right-wing "opinion leaders," ran in third place across wide swaths of Dixie. His enablers will cry anti-Mormon racism, I'll retort that those voters just know a slick Northern Yankee phony when they see one, but regardless, a candidate trying so hard to be Goldwater 2K8 cannot afford to be repudiated so soundly by such a significant part of the base. So my prediction in the last liveblog installment was wrong; McCain comes out of today much stronger, Romney is weaker and Huckabee is in better shape but still a distant third and almost completely a regional candidate. And the Mitt-Bot meme about McCain only winning states dominated by Northeastern fru-fru elites (I never understood how South Carolina and Florida fit into that narrative?) -- well, McCain wins Illinois and Missouri among other states. How do you like them apples, Chowds?

The Democratic picture is still quite muddled. Obama's going to come out of the night with more states won, but Hillary just won the Big Casino, California. That Clinton win proved a bit disquieting for Claire McCaskill ... at least from the looks of her creepy, wrinkled Oompa Loompa visage.

Late note from MSNBC: Team Mittens is having "frank discussions about the future" on Wednesday. Turn out the lights, Dandy Don, the party's over.


Mmatters said...

Interesting take on delegates -- but I think it's just as weak to base it on number of states won.

The determination of # of dels is interesting. It appears to be based on the party vote in each state, and not the total pop in each state.

The parties can do what they want (and they do), but I have a problem with winner-take-alls, even though that's helping McCain.

The one thing I LIKE about how most states are doing it is that if your guy wins a given small area (however defined), he gets that delegate, regardless of what others in the state do. On the Dem side, that's causing an incredible chasm to be quite visible.

Hillary and Obama are each winning states by 20% or more. In those cases, as you're seeing on the GOP side, you would expect the winner to take all or almost all of the dels. Yet the Dem delegates won are pretty close, even in the blowout states.

This means that there's a HUGE B/W divide, and a HUGE urban v. suburbs/rural divide. The Dems are in reality much more fractured at the moment than the GOP, and that's a difficult feat.

Rick Morris said...

I see some logic in what you are saying as well as from Jason's post below this (which I believe is the one you are addressing). I think Jason's point (as somebody who is open to BOTH Obama and McCain -- his ideology is certainly more fluid than mine!) is that he was bothered by the notion of Obama winning more states but coming out behind on delegates for the night because of Hitlery swamping him in the big states.

If I'm reading Jason's point to be that a state like Wyoming should have as many delegates as Texas, disregarding population altogether, then I don't agree. I'd like to see some regard in there for population totals, though not so much as to make the small states completely irrelevant.

I don't feel nearly as strongly on the issue of "Winner-Take-All: Good or Bad?" as I do many other questions, but I'm marginally against states doing it that way and for the same reason I think the Electoral College is a good thing. General election candidates would never leave the most populous regions minus the Electoral College and primary/caucus candidates have no incentive to go outside the most heavily populated ares under winner-take-all rules.

The Democrats are more fractured at the moment, which is quite a feat when you consider all of the talk-radio simpleton hosts going into the tank for Mittens. If Obama wins the nomination, he'll pull the party together pretty well (notwithstanding any passive-aggressive stuff the Clintons try to pull, but if he wins, much of their power is gone) -- but if she wins? It's going to be bloody. Her most likely scenario is stacking the deck with the Superdelegates, a royalist tack ironically that one would associate with the Establishment-worshipping GOP (although the GOP does not actually have Superdelegates as a tool). As far back as Iowa, I was saying she can't win this without destroying Obama or blatantly winning dirty and there will be a price to be paid for that.