Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Potomac Fever

Barack Obama won all three of the Potomac states primaries yesterday. Here are the results for the Democrats.

John McCain won all three of the Potomac states primaries yesterday. Here are the results for the Republicans.

I spent most of the evening watching MSNBC where Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann — the Pinky and the Brain of punditry — held court with their crew and it was amusing to watch them vamp for a couple of hours early on while they waited for the actual results to come in.

What seemed to surprise most analysts wasn’t just that Mr. Obama won but that he won across the spectrum of Democratic voters, including white men in Virginia. This, according to Jonathan Weisman, indicates that there are cracks in the Clinton coalition and that doesn’t bode well for her campaign in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. If Mr. Obama is able to pull off upsets in those states, or even win in just one, Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House could be in serious trouble. And ironically that will add to the woes of the Republicans, who are stuck with John McCain in spite of the best efforts of Mike Huckabee to keep the GOP nomination out of his hands.

John McCain’s wins in the Potomac primaries were decisive; the closest Mr. Huckabee got to Sen. McCain was 11 points in Virginia. But as the exit polling noted, Mr. McCain won without the support of the right wing of the party, and a lot of independents who would normally vote Republican went for Mr. Obama. So the hardcore of the Republican base is soft on McCain, and if they don’t have Hillary Clinton to vote against, it’s hard to imagine how the GOP can muster the sound and fury to win the general election in November.