The pundits were wrong. Well there’s a surprise! Huckabee is not dead. I loved it that they were surprised to see him win West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama (all of which he wasn’t leading according to the latest polls). He also won Arkansas convincingly which isn’t a surprise.
McCain barely beat him in Missouri and in Oklahoma. Had Huckabee won those two states, it would have been a three-way tie with each candidate winning seven a piece.
McCain won 9 states: California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Missouri, Arizona, Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Delaware.
Romney won: Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota, Montana, and Alaska.
Here is the thing… Romney came in third in every southern state. Those states are crucial to the GOP. Kevin Tracy had a good post on that topic here. If a GOP candidate loses a southern state he is toast, and it was obvious that their first choice is Huckabee, and then their second choice is McCain. They do not want a Romney nomination.
Super Tuesday Delegate Count:
1. McCain – 604 2. Romney – 167 3. Huckabee – 147
1. McCain – 697 2. Romney – 244 3. Huckabee – 187
(Courtesy of Real Clear Politics)
Some thoughts – if Huckabee were not treated as though he were dead, he may have done better. Romney did not prove his front runner status by winning key red states, and even though he won two more states than Huckabee on Tuesday, he only won 20 more delegates.
Looking ahead … Next states that vote Louisiana (2/9), Washington (2/9), Kansas (2/9), Maryland (2/12), Virginia (2/12), and the District of Columbia (2/12). I see Mike Huckabee being very strong in Louisiana and Virginia. He should also be competitive in Kansas and possibly Maryland. I don’t know where else Romney can win this Saturday and next week Tuesday… maybe Washington, but more likely that will go to McCain. If there are any Republicans in the District of Columbia it is unlikely they will vote for Romney either.
Then later on comes Texas (3/4) where Huckabee has been very strong. He could also do very well in Mississippi (3/10), North Carolina (5/6), Indiana (5/6), and Kentucky (5/20). I think he will also be competitive in Wisconsin (2/19)… does anybody know if Governor Tommy Thompson has endorsed anybody yet? Nebraska (5/13), and South Dakota (6/3).
I think the only states that Romney has a shot at winning are Vermont (3/4), but they will likely go for McCain. Wisconsin (2/19) he will be competitive and I think he led the latest polls there. Coming up I think the only state left that will likely be a Romney lock is Idaho (5/27). Not looking good for him.
A McCain nomination looks pretty certain, but I think really the two man race rhetoric should mention McCain and Huckabee. Romney has pretty much done all that he will be able to do, and who knows why Ron Paul is still in this with only 14 delegates to his name. Should Romney get out of the race that should sway social conservatives Huckabee’s way. And he should before he bankrupts his personal fortune. It is amazing to me how much money has produced so few results.
Update: I called it last night saying Mitt Romney was done and today he officially withdrew from the race.