Early Observations from Super Tuesday
1. It would appear that both the Democratic and Republican Parties are suffering through the same problem: there is no clear-cut leader in the Presidential primaries. Clinton and Obama are virtually tied in delegates after Super Tuesday, so we look forward to even more lavish praise from the press on how one or the other is overcoming odds to stay afloat, grab victory from the jaws of defeat, etc (three cheers for whomever invented the Mute button). The Republicans appear to have a front-runner (at last) in McCain, but it's not an insurmountable lead by any stretch of the imagination. And McCain is winning many states with a minority of the votes being cast (33-38%).
2. Mike Huckabee shocked many pundits with his victories yesterday. Given up for dead due to limited appeal and funding problems, he managed to eek out victories in the South. Although, even though he gets credit for winning WV, the real victor in that caucus was "Not Romney".
3. Mitt Romney's machine works wonders in caucus states, but the man hasn't been able to move the needle with the electorate. Whether it's his apparent policy swings (moderate in '94 to conservative in '08), his religion, or his personal fortune, the populace isn't connecting with him.
4. (Caution: Forward-looking statement follows!) Huckabee's victories last night will ultimately spell victory for McCain. The Anti-McCain vote will still be split between Huckabee and Romney, allowing McCain to win additional states with only 35-38% of the votes cast.
5. If McCain wants to win this quickly, he needs to make a beeline to the right to start smoothing over all the ruffled feathers he's left behind. I do believe that he'll hold out an olive branch over the next few days, but I don't expect that McCain will go far enough to appease the Conservative establishment. I don't feel as if the Conservatives will be able to gather enough strength to stop McCain now (with Huckabee continuing on), but the longer the diviseness goes on, the less likely we'll see another 4 years of a Republican in the White House.
6. There's a major, palpable difference in the two races. The Democratic race, in part due to the favorable press (and, let's be honest, the amount of time the Press spends drooling over Obama and Clinton has gone from ridiculous to downright insane), has galvanized millions across the country, and has attracted record turnout in the primaries. Apparently, a choice between "the devil you know" and "the devil you don't" is too alluring for the masochistic leftists, but that's a topic for another day.
The Republican races, though, seem to be sapped from electricity. It's been the most divisive Republican election than I've seen in a long time (much moreso than Bush-McCain '00), and the electorate just doesn't seem to embrace any of the Republican candidates so far.
7. With the Democratically-controlled Congress already in place, are the Republicans getting comfortable with Democrats controlling Congress and the White House as we start to see Supreme Court justice appointments over the next 4 years?
-- Submitted by R Wellesley