February 13, 2008
Obama, McCain sweep Potomac Primaries
Barack Obama and John McCain easily won primaries last night in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. solidifying their front runner status and bringing both candidates much closer to the nomination of their respective parties:
This is the eighth straight victory for Obama, who is increasingly taking on the mantle of Democratic frontrunner.For the Republicans, Huckabee made a game of it in Virginia with a powerful surge the last 72 hours, gathering disaffected conservatives in an effort to ruin McCain's otherwise big night. In the end, McCain won the conservative vote and carried independents by a wide margin.
"Today, the change we seek swept through the Chesapeake and over the Potomac. We won the state of Maryland. We won the Commonwealth of Virginia. And though we won in Washington D.C., this movement won't stop until there's change in Washington," Obama told supporters at a rally in Madison, Wisc. last night.
"We are bringing together Democrats and Independents and Republicans; blacks and whites; Latinos and Asians; small states and big states; Red States and Blue States into a United States of America," Obama said.
"This is the new American majority."
On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, won primaries in Maryland and Washington, D.C. and battled back insurgent candidate Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, in a Virginia primary made close by a high turnout of conservatives and Christian evangelicals.
What to do about Huckabee, the man who refuses to realize he is dead? Apparently, the McCain campaign will ignore the former Arkansas governor and start positioning himself for the general election. Whispers from the McCain camp indicate they are none too pleased with Huckabee, feeling that he should get with the program and line up behind the certain nominee of the party. But as long as Huckster can keep showing strength among conservatives as he did in Virginia, he will probably stay in until McCain has it mathematically wrapped up.
Whither Hillary? Her faltering campaign is going nowhere fast. Obama didn't just beat Clinton last night, he slaughtered her. He won Maryland and Virginia by nearly 3-1 margins and the D.C. primary by 4-1. The last 8 contests Hillary hasn't even been close.
She says her "firewall" will be Texas and Ohio. Her only play left is to convince the overwhelming number of Super Delegates yet to pledge one side or the other that her ability to win big states proves that she is more electable than Obama whose primary wins have mostly come in states Democrats are not expected to carry.
But Obama's counter argument will be that he has received the most votes and won the most primaries and that it would be undemocratic to give the nomination to a second place finisher based on the quirk of that candidate being able to attract more Super Delegates.
Next week's race in Wisconsin may not be close either. It will be at that point that Clinton will have to decide what her chances are realistically - especially if the Super Delegates begin to break Obama's way.