Presidential Race: It’s on to the Mid-Atlantic!

Posted February 5, 2008 at 10:26pm

Anyone expecting Super Tuesday’s presidential primaries to deliver a knockout blow in either party will be sorely disappointed. The leading contenders in both parties on late Tuesday were vowing to continue the fight for the foreseeable future. Although some key states such as California and Missouri had yet to report final numbers as midnight approached on the East Coast on Tuesday, the results in the states that had been decided were remarkably split. In the Democratic race at this hour, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) counted victories in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arizona, Arkansas — where she served as first lady during the 1980s and early 1990s — and her home state of New York. Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has been declared the winner in his home state and in Connecticut, Delaware, Alabama, Georgia, North Dakota, Kansas, Idaho, Minnesota and Utah. Massachusetts was a particularly sweet victory for Clinton, as her two Senate colleagues from the Bay State — Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic White House nominee — cast their lot with Obama. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who worked in the Justice Department under former President Bill Clinton, also had endorsed Obama. On the Republican side, the nominal frontrunner, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), was expected to pull away from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. But even though McCain won more states and delegates than anyone else — at least before the California results had been tabulated — Huckabee showed surprising resilience and Romney also chalked up some victories. McCain has won Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oklahoma and his home state. Huckabee, lagging in third place in most national polls, chalked up wins in West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and his home state. Romney won his home state, Utah and North Dakota. Huckabee’s victory in the West Virginia GOP caucus came even though Romney finished first in the first round of balloting. But McCain forces threw their votes to Huckabee on the second ballot — a move that Romney roundly criticized. In the Democratic race in particular, the allocation of delegates remains one of the great unknowns at this point. The presidential contest now moves to the mid-Atlantic, where Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia vote on Feb. 12. — Josh Kurtz