Monday, February 11, 2008

Barack Cleans Up

Another weekend, and another set of primaries and caucuses. It's a very interesting season for those of us who are political junkies. Barack Obama won all four contests over the weekend, picking up a healthy set of delegates. He won 69 more delegates for Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington, and has potential for picking up another 8-10 from Maine when all the votes are counted. Three caucuses (Maine, Nebraska, Washington) and one primary (Louisiana) have all gone Obama's way.

Mike Huckabee made a strong showing over the weekend, winning in Kansas and Louisiana. While important wins for Huckabee, he is still far behind the prohibitive front runner, Senator John McCain. McCain can't have liked seeing the populist evangelical former governor take Louisiana and Kansas, but seemingly doesn't have much to worry about at this point.

The Democratic race on the other hand is a complete toss-up. Obama is surging in the popular vote and racking up pledged delegates at a faster clip than Senator Clinton. The delegate count has swung his way as result of this past weekend's victories (943 for Obama and 895 for Clinton). Remember however, there are a significant number of 'Super-Delegates' slanted towards Hillary's way and that the total mentioned above doesn't include the votes from Michigan or Florida, who had their delegates stripped as a consequence of moving their primaries up. Clinton has been making noise about how the delegates/votes in Michigan and Florida should now count, and I think it's unlikely that the party leadership will allow this.

Obama has momentum. It's going to be very interesting over the next 20 primaries to see how this shapes out. Howard Dean, former governor from Vermont, and now head of the Democratic National Committee has said he believes there will be a nominee sometime in April. With big contests coming up in March in Ohio and Texas, the numbers could tighten up further as these are generally favorable toward Senator Clinton. It's going to be close, and some level of discussion among the candidates may ensue and one may withdraw in favor of the other. I see a ticket perhaps of Clinton/Obama. I don't see a Obama/Clinton ticket. I don't think Hillary would take the 2nd chair, although I could be wrong. If Obama is nominated I think he wins the general election. I don't think Hillary has another chance if that's the case, and it wouldn't be a bad thing for Hillary to be the first woman Vice President in US History.

Tell me what you think.

regards,
Dennis

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