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February 11, 2008
Huckabee Challenges Washington State Results
Something very fishy happened during the GOP Washington State caucuses.
With about 87% of the vote counted, the state party stopped counting and declared John McCain the winner - despite the fact he was only 2% points ahead of Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee, quite rightly, challenged the outcome and now the party is continuing the count:
The results of the state Republican caucuses were called into question today after presidential candidate Mike Huckabee challenged the party's declaration that Arizona Sen. John McCain had won the delegate count. Esser's unscientific explanation for how he arrived at a McCain victory casts even more suspicions on him. He claims they looked at all the caucus sites where Huckabee was beating McCain and doubled his victory margin while taking the sites where McCain was ahead and halving his margin of victory. Somehow, they arrived at numbers that showed McCain winning. That's extremely subjective criteria to use and Huckabee is absolutely correct in demanding a complete investigation no matter what the count is.
Huckabee's campaign took issue with the fact that Washington state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser called the race Saturday night with 87 percent of the precincts counted. At that point, McCain was ahead of Huckabee by 242 delegates out of the 13,000 counted, Esser said. The Huckabee campaign contends there were another 1,500 or so delegates not counted.
In the face of the Huckabee protest, the state Republican Party quickly resumed its count today, a bit sooner than it had planned.
In a news release, Huckabee's campaign said there were "obvious irregularities" in the state's Republican caucuses and that it is sending lawyers to explore "all available legal options regarding the dubious final results."
According to the GOP's Saturday tally, Arizona Sen. John McCain won about 26 percent of delegates, Arkansas Gov. Huckabee won 24 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished with 21 percent, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has dropped out of the race, got 17 percent. Most of the rest were non-committed.