Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Potomac Primaries

Today, the great citizens of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia will cast votes in their respective primaries. If you listen to the press, the races are already over.

We here at the Grand Old Party blog would rather listen to Yogi Berra. "It ain't over 'til it's over."

Truth be told, the races have identified clear front runners. Senator McCain has more than a 3x delegate lead over ex-Governor Huckabee. Senator Obama has his mojo working, and momentum is obviously in his favor against Senator Clinton. What's interesting with today's series of votes will be the messages delivered by the voters. Let's take a look at each party's potential messages, starting alphabetically.

According to the polls and press, DC is going for Obama. I would expect Obama to win by a 2:1 margin. I don't think there's much we'll learn from this primary (unless Clinton wins, and then we'll be looking at lawsuits on voter fraud, I'm sure).

The real races to watch are Maryland and Virginia. If Obama wins these states by 10 points or less, it indicates that the race is still on, and Clinton has a serious chance at capturing the nomination. In this scenario, Texas and Ohio become the all-important states in this race (see your local TV listings for March 4). If Obama wins Maryland and Virginia by more than 20 points, we will declare this race over. Clinton's fundraising channels will dry up faster than a Kennedy in rehab (the only difference being that the fundraising issue will be permanent).

In case you're wondering, no, I didn't ignore the 11 to 19 point range for Obama. This range would simply not tell us anything, as the polls indicate that Obama will win Maryland and Virginia by something within this range. The media will probably declare Clinton dead, given their infatuation with Obama, but I wouldn't write off a Clinton unless Virginia and Maryland go "big" for Obama.

My call? I think the end is near for the Hillraisers. I see Obama with victories of more than 20 points in each race. And a raging love affair with the press continues...

I still find it hard to believe that Huckabee is the last serious challenger to McCain. Romney is a much better test for McCain, to see if McCain can unite and energize a constituency that he will need to win in November, but alas, Romney did what he thought was best for the Party. And we're left with Huckabee as the alternative. Anyway, I'm way off topic.

The potential messages today: "We accept you as the leader, Senator McCain"; "We don't want you, Senator McCain"; and "I'd rather vote for my dog than you, Senator McCain".

I expect it to be an awkward man-hug in Virginia, and a hearty handshake in Maryland.

Should be a fun evening tonight.

-- Submitted by R Wellesley

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