DEMOCRAT RACE IS TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Hillary Clinton did better than her team had begun to fear. Some of the polls giving, for example, Barack Obama's big leads in California were way out wrong. Senator Clinton's victory in California was a particular relief and her win in Massachusetts a delicious victory over Kennedy and Kerry - who couldn't even deliver their home state to Obama. There's a great quote in the Boston Globe on why Clinton prevailed in Ma: "The workhorses beat the show horses. Clinton won. In fact, that's probably an accurate description of the national Clinton/Obama battle, too."
The overall delegates count is close, however with Clinton leading Obama by just 900 to 824. Obama claims he won more delegates last night. Only a fool would predict who will eventually win this race. Rasmussen markets has Obama with a 49% chance of winning his party's nomination and Hillary Clinton a 51% chance. (The same source gives McCain a 93% chance of securing the GOP nod).
All the way to the Convention is a real possibility. Who will that favour? It will favour the Democrats if they win 75% of media coverage from now until then but the GOP could start benefiting if it starts getting ugly again between the two Senators. At the moment, says Washington Wire, the two parties are sharing media attention: "Overall Democrats were the focus of 46% of the election stories last week, while Republicans were close behind at 42%."
OBAMA DOES HAVE GEOGRAPHIC REACH
Last night's wins for Obama in GOP states like Kansas, Idaho, Utah and North Dakota, in the bellwether state of Missouri and last week's South Carolina primary underline his credentials as a candidate able to compete across the whole nation.
John Derbyshire notes its arrival: "I have just logged (here) a third occurrence, in about 24 hours, of the phrase "suicide voters" — i.e. people who will vote Democrat in November to prevent a McCain presidency. It's not an original idea, of course, but I don't recall it from previous campaigns. It's not very tasteful, either; but in the age of South Park Conservatism, that probably won't stop its spread, if it's going to spread."
LAST NIGHT'S VICTORY SPEECH FROM JOHN McCAIN WASN'T TO THE WHOLE NATION BUT TO CONSERVATIVE AMERICANS
“I am a Republican because, like you, I want to relieve the American people of the heavy hand of a government,” he said. “I am a Republican because, like you, I believe government must defend our nation’s security wisely and effectively…I am a Republican because I believe, like you, that government should tax us no more than necessary, spend no more than necessary… I am a Republican because I believe the judges we appoint to the federal bench must understand that enforcing our laws, not making them, is their only responsibility…” Byron York at National Review has more.
HUCKABEE MAY BE HURTING McCAIN MORE THAN ROMNEY?
Some things get repeated often enough that they become conventional wisdom. That doesn't mean that they're true. Exit polling data casts doubt on the now popular theory that Huckabee is hurting Romney. Here's Gallup Guru's view: "McCain wins over Romney as the second choice of Huckabee voters by more than a 2 to 1 margin, 64% to 28%. Indeed, McCain beats Romney 42% to 24% with Huckabee in the race (Huckabee gets 18% of the vote, Ron Paul gets 5%, and Alan Keyes gets 2%). With a narrowed-down ballot focused just on McCain and Romney (forcing Huckabee voters to choose between the two front-runners), McCain wins 53% to 30% -- a slightly expanded margin." Gallup Guru is a great site btw.
Toby Harnden reports that Barack Obama's daughters aren't that keen on a move to Washington DC but the Illinois Senator has promised to buy them a dog if his presidential bid is successful.