Super Tuesday Post-Mortem
Posted by Sal on February 6, 2008
Well, Super Tuesday has come and gone, and the results are not good. The race for the Republican Nomination is essentially over, and John McCain is the inevitable nominee. First, lets look at last night’s indicators as mentioned in my previous post.
California: This was the biggest disappointment. All polls showed momentum in Mitt’s favor, and if he had pulled this off, he would still be in this race. As it is, he received 10% less of the vote than McCain, and it was distributed widely throughout the state, so McCain won almost all of the CA delegates.
The South: Huckabee surged last night, winning 5 southern states. While it kept delgates from McCain, it also prevented Romney from a conservative foothold in the South. If Romney had won California, it would have been helpful; that, however, did not happen, and now Huckabee has the distinction of being the regional candidate from the south.
Massachusetts: Romney won by 10, but it was not enough to solidify more than a bare majority of the Massachusetts delegates. Romney won 22, McCain 17.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Arizona: McCain won all four of these must-win states for him, plus some unexpected surprises in Missouri, California, Oklahoma, and Delaware.
Delegate Count: The dust is still settling, but it looks like McCain could finish last night with around 700 delegates, while Romney would have shy of 300 and Huckabee around 175. Overall, a huge win for McCain.
With Romney essentially out (barring some improbably turn of events), the Conservative movement now must come to terms with John McCain as its nominee. Over the past few days, I’ve gone through bouts of “McCain Derangement Syndrome” and wrestled with the idea of a candidate who had given Conservatives the finger so many times being our nominee for President. I have to say, I do not like John McCain, I think he is a moderate who tries too hard to please the media and the left, someone who is more interested in sponsoring legislation with Ted Kennedy than with John Kyl. But the prospect of a She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named or Obama presidency is even worse than a McCain presidency, and so I will support McCain for President.
I do feel, however that he cannot win. Too many conservatives have an inherent distrust and disgust for John McCain, and there may be enough who decide to sit it out rather than have a RINO as President, or even some who would be foolish enough to cast a vote for the Democrat to send a message. I do worry about McCain further diluting the conservatism of the Republican party, and dread the thought of another 8 years before we get a crack at the Presidency again. However, with the war on terror, and the prospect of multiple Supreme Court vacancies, it is the best option we have. This is not an endorsement of McCain, rather it is a resigned acceptance of the inevitable and the lesser of two evils choice.
McCain now has work to do. To win, he needs the base that he has disdained for the past 8 years. He needs to unify and galvanize the base, and the best thing he can do is choose a good, conservative running mate, and make overtures to the base, to Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity. He needs to go to CPAC in with a conciliatory, unifying tone, and show conservatives convincingly how he will help advance our goals and agenda. It’s a tough road and may not be possible, but it is a must for him to win the Presidency.