I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Super Bowl Of Politics

On Sunday night, the professional sports world was rocked by the improbable Super Bowl victory of the New York Giants over the heavily favored New England Patriots. On Tuesday night, the political world saw a few improbable Super Tuesday victories with Senator Barack Obama winning more delegates than Senator Hillary Clinton, and former Governor Mike Huckabee rising out of the ashes of the campaign season and winning several states causing former Governor Mitt Romney to fall farther behind Senator John McCain.

Huckabee has been an afterthought for the past several weeks since his big win in Iowa. After Iowa, it has been all about McCain and Romney, with both sides claiming to be the true conservative. McCain and Romney then proceeded to split the next 7 state primaries with McCain gaining the edge by claiming Florida at the end of January. Before Tuesday, Huckabee was well behind in the delegate count. Now he still trails Romney and McCain, but his deficit has closed considerably behind Romney. He now trails the former Massachusetts Governor by less than 100 delegates. McCain still leads all Republican candidates by more than 400 delegates.

Last week, I wrote that I believed that McCain would squeak out of Super Tuesday as a clear winner over Romney. I must admit that I never expected Mike Huckabee to be the main reason that McCain emerged with a commanding lead in the delegate count. McCain needs just 484 more delegates to reach 1191 to claim the Republican nomination for President. I believe the resurgence of Huckabee in the south has all but given the nomination to McCain. I believe that the majority of those voting for Huckabee would have gone for Romney if Mike were not in the race. I don’t believe that Romney would have emerged as the leader on Tuesday, but it would be a lot closer than it currently is. As a result of his seemingly insurmountable delegate deficit, Romney decided today to bring an end to his campaign.

Obama and Clinton have been trading states since the Iowa caucuses, but Hillary has clearly been the expected nominee. On Tuesday the results from 22 different states showed that Barack Obama is a force with which to be reckoned. He claimed victory in 13 states gaining about 845 delegates, while Clinton won 9 states wining about 836 states. Some estimates show Obama with the delegate lead, and others show Clinton with the overall lead. It doesn’t matter whose numbers that you tend to agree with, the margin between the 2 candidates is very close. This race is going to be a long drawn out affair, with no clear winner for a few weeks to come. To make matters worse for the Clinton campaign, they are evidently short on money. So short that Hillary had to personally loan $5 million to her own campaign. No one, except for maybe Obama, would have ever thought that the Clinton campaign would be short on cash and still running hard to try to wrap up the nomination after Super Tuesday.


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