Read Spencer Ackerman. That is all.
This morning, Mitt Romney had more delegates than John McCain. Following today’s primaries, Romney’s lead has grown even larger because Nevada has more delegates than South Carolina and Romney won a larger proportion of the vote in NV than McCain got in South Carolina. Naturally, the press is declaring this a big win for McCain. I just saw Howard Fineman explain that “there is no longer any strong candidate in the race” to oppose McCain. Nobody but the guy who’s leading, that is.
I feel Hugh Hewitt’s pain.
Is there really this much pro-choice sentiment among Republican primary voters in South Carolina? You’d think that would be a very, very, very, very conservative group of people.
Well, they haven’t called the race yet, but based on the returns that have come in so far I don’t see how Mike Huckabee could possibly win. That said, McCain’s victory here clearly seems founded on Thompson and Huckabee splitting a similar constituency. Of course, that may continue to happen (Thompson and McCain are buddies, after all) in future southern primaries, in which case McCain may be in okay shape. Onward to Florida.
UPDATE: It’s official; McCain wins.
Still no result in the South Carolina primary. The exit polling on the issue landscape seems to me to look bad for John McCain — lots of concern about the economy and immigration — but it seems that Fred Thompson’s presence in the race is preventing Mike Huckabee from putting him away. Still, even if John McCain wins, he still doesn’t seem to be getting above his ceiling.
As “members of a messianic cult and Iraqi troops” continued fighting for a second day, the death toll “in two predominantly Shiite southern cities rose from 50 to at least 68“:
Iraqi authorities said at least 36 people were reported killed in Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, and at least 32 in Nasiriyah, including Iraqi security forces, civilians and gunmen. At least 10 people were reported slain in Nasiriyah Friday.
There was also “a deadly bombing in northern Iraq.” The AP describes the violence of the past two days as part of “a series of recent high-profile attacks” that are “eroding the security gains of the previous six months.”
It seems Barack Obama may have won more delegates in Nevada, although if you include super-delegates that puts Clinton back in the lead again.
UPDATE: Now there seems to be some disagreement as to whether it’s 12-13 in Clinton’s favor or 13-12 in Obama’s favor in terms of delegates allocated.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has just announced that he is dropping out of the GOP presidential race.
Chris Matthews just said it was fitting that Fred Thompson’s campaign has Bud at its South Carolina HQ because his campaign has a “clydesdale quality” to it, “slow and steady . . . traditional.”
I suppose it’s true that it’s a bit icky when Barack Obama’s opponents keep pointedly repeating the phrase “Barack Hussein Obama” in their robocalls. That said, when his campaign and his fans complain about it, that rings a bit hollow to me. After all, his exotic background is an important part of his appeal to those who find him appealing. Andrew Sullivan’s laudatory article on Obama contained this memorable passage:
Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.
If he’s going to get praised in these terms, he’s going to get knocked in them, too. That’s just how it is.