February 19, 2008
McCain Wins, Huckabee barely beating Romney

John McCain's victory in the Washington State Presidential Primary tonight should surprise no one. His thrashing of Mike Huckabee, however, and the latter's poor overall showing, is a fascinating storyline.

McCain's win in another non-Southern state tonight was likewise anti-climatic, though thanks to the meaningful and competitive Democratic primary in Wisconsin there was actually an exit poll conducted for the dissection of political junkies. It showed Mike Huckabee getting pounded among non-Evangelicals, losing to McCain 67% - 24%. Those voters comprised 62% of Wisconsin voters casting GOP ballots. That's a pathetic showing in a two-man race.

Alas, there is no exit poll in Washington, but we can be assured based on the results thus far that Huckabee is getting shelled. As of 9:20 tonight, when most counties had reported their one tally for the evening and after initial tallies from King and Pierce (with more poll votes coming), Huckabee was barely beating Mitt Romney in the statewide vote count, 21.15% to 20.48%, with over 363,000 votes counted. Furthermore, Huckabee was actually running 3rd behind McCain and Romney in fourteen counties.

That's amazing. Romney dropped out of the race twelve days ago and Huckabee is still losing to him in that many locales, including larger counties such as Benton, King, and Spokane. Moreover, Huckabee leads Romney by only small margins in a couple significant suburban counties, Clark (1.55%) and Kitsap (1.25%). Given all that, early absentees alone can't account for Romney's totals. And even considering the fact those margins will probably move in Huckabee's favor with later absentee/mail-in votes it's still a serious embarrassment.

It's simply more proof Huckabee doesn't sell well outside the Evangelical community, especially when contests move beyond the South. It's been a two-man race for two weeks and this is apparently the best Huckabee can muster outside of that core constituency.

Maybe comparing the Washington State GOP to the Soviet Union in the days after the caucuses wasn't the best move after all?

Posted by Eric Earling at February 19, 2008 10:10 PM | Email This
1. I can understand why McCain won. In the past week or two I have gotten many robo-calls from the McCain campaign. I have gotten maybe two but for sure one from Huckleberry. I work at home so I feel that I got a pretty good representation of what was happening all around the state.

Most voters, at this point at least, really aren't paying attention so a few robo-calls would put your name in their heads. McCain made the effort, he won.

Posted by: G Jiggy on February 19, 2008 10:16 PM
2. I am glad that Huckaphony did so poorly in our state. He is a "preacher" but can more accurately be described as a wolf in sheep's clothing. He is on Judicial Watch's list of Top Ten Most Corrupt Politicians of 2007, there is animal cruelty in his family www.newsweek.com/id/78241, Huckabee had a part in the paroling of a rapist who then raped and killed two more women, and the list goes on. Huckaphony needs to get a clue, voters have spoken and he IS NOT THE ONE!

I voted for Mitt Romney because he was the best candidate in this election.

Posted by: Shelby on February 19, 2008 11:28 PM
3. Eric

One thing you forgot to point out...Huckabee's numbers since Romney dropped out are in part due to crossover Romney voters who want to "stick it" to McCain. They've actually done a pretty good job.

What is also fascinating about WA is the fact that conservatives, without a candidate to vote for (Suckabee is hardly a conservative except on one or two issues) STILL voted for Romney who was amazingly still on the ballot even though he's been out for so long. This 21% does NOT bode well for McCain. Not only has McCain not gotten Suckabee's votes, he's gotten precious few of Romney's. If I were McCain, I'd be very nervous about the General Election in November...

Posted by: levotb on February 19, 2008 11:31 PM
4. Fascinating. McCain could really use Romney on the ticket in November. His fans are passionate even now.

Passion is what it will take to beat Democrats in November!

Posted by: Jed Merrill, ConservativeRepublicans.com on February 20, 2008 12:44 AM
5. Republicans getting a little of buyers' remorse yet?

In Texas early voting, the Ds are outvoting Rs by at least 2 to 1 as has been happening throughout the country.

Laura Ingraham mused about whether McCain, a red state, could even take Texas. These thought have been mine also. Are the Ds looking at a sweep, and if so, would McCain step down near the convention and get someone more electable.

I think those early polls showing McCain as the one to beat Clinton and to keep it close with Obama were just that- too early. I hope those Rs in the rest of the country didn't use that as a reason to vote McCain.

I hear a lot of moaning that Rs didn't pick up on Romney a little earlier. His inexperience at a national election hurt him early on, but he sure came on strong, but too late.

Buyers' remorse anyone?

Posted by: swatter on February 20, 2008 06:58 AM
6. Amazing to see Romney's numbers. He still resonates with a lot of people.

Posted by: Katrina on February 20, 2008 07:47 AM
7. Anyone know how many of the Romney votes were by mail in ballot vs. walk in on tuesday votes?

Posted by: CK on February 20, 2008 08:14 AM
8. At the caucuses on the 9th, Romney did well too, even though he was already out of the race. He clearly would have won all the delegates in my precinct had he still been in it, but they settled on 1 delegate as a protest vote.

40% of those in attendance were supporting Ron Paul, but he still didn't get a single delegate. Hmmm.

Huckabee came away with 2 delegates, though most of those who cast a vote for him cast begrudging anti-McCain votes. There were only a few present who had Huckabee as an actual preference.

Posted by: Carol on February 20, 2008 08:16 AM
9. McCain is practically an independent candidate.

He didn't get any help from anyone.

He won on sheer force as an individual.

He doesn't "owe" anyone a VP slot or anything else.

He is probably the cleanest candidate we could have for President this year.

Posted by: John Bailo on February 20, 2008 10:09 AM
10. "He is probably the cleanest candidate we could have for President this year."

John Bailo, HGH?

Have you even researched this guy? He stinks to high heaven and that is being nice about it.

He has the stink of personal scandal of Rudy, the photogenic age of Fred, the REAL flip-floppings that Romney was accused of, the ability to say crazy things like the Huckster, the ability to lie about someone to their face like Sam Brownback, and the ability to repeat moot points like Ron Paul. He is everything everyone in the GOP did not want wrapped up into one person.

I wish that if he really is an Independant that he would run as one and step aside from the GOP and let us get on with reclaiming our party.

Posted by: KH on February 20, 2008 11:26 AM
11. It just shows how a good candidate can be like Mitt Romney to still receive that much attention. I hope he'll run in 2012 because by then, many people will understand him better. Better yet, he'll be even more clearer of where stands in some of the issues. The funny thing is that after all the attacks on Mitt, McCain and Huckabee are now the most flip-floppers and dirtiest candidates. They are the real hypocrites.

Posted by: Savea7 on February 20, 2008 12:05 PM
12. Romney should have stayed in. McCain is really a side-effect of anti-Mormonism.

Posted by: Steven Rinehart on February 20, 2008 12:37 PM
13. A vote for Romney was a vote for McCain.

Posted by: Truth Unites... and Divides on February 20, 2008 06:46 PM
14. Poor analysis.

If McCain wins more liberal votes, what does it mean?

There will be 2 liberal candidates in NOV and so the "real" DEM one will win not McCain.

McCain is bad news for the GOP.

Posted by: reuel on February 23, 2008 08:44 PM
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