Super Tuesday does not end it on the GOP side, although John McCain is clearly favored, he’s also more than 450 delegates off the required 1191. So what’s ahead for McCain, Huckabee, and Romney? Let’s take a look:
Louisiana Primary-20 Delegates
After this past Tuesday, Huckabee should be able to win here given the victory by uncommitted pro-life in Caucuses earlier this month. However, in order to have more than a symbolic victory, he needs to win 50% of the vote, otherwise this goes to the State Convention as to who the delegates will go for, which I think is the likely outcome.
Kansas Caucus: 39 Delegates:
This is a state you could argue for any candidate to win. First of all McCain has the endorsement of Senior Senator Sam Brownback as well as Kansas Political Icon Bob Dole.
On the other hand, this is a Caucus, and outside of Iowa, Mitt Romney has won those.
Finally, this is a hotbed of Evangelical Pro-Life activism unlike hardly any other state, and therefore could be Huck’s.
Whoever wins, it’s important to note, it’s Winner Take all by Congressional District and Winner Take all for the at-large delegates.
Washington: 18 Delegates
This won’t be very exciting as we won’t know who actually won delegates. Washington has a two step process. The first is similar to the Wyoming Conventions held in January where delegates are awarded without any requirement as to who they’ll be voting for at the Convention. Given the helter skelter nature of Washington, we may not know for Days who won Delegates out of this Caucus. Strong bet would be on Romney to have this one covered. But don’t count Huckabee out, Washington went for Pat Robertson in 1988.
District of Columbia-19
All these states are winner take all. It’s hard to see how McCain doesn’t take them. DC and Maryland are fairly liberal (i.e. John McCain Republicans through and through) that they’ll go for him easily. Virginia is perhaps the most pro-establishment state in the South, again favor McCain.
Washington Primary-19 Delegates
The second part of Washington’s delegate selection process is an election for the national convention. Winner of the State will get 10 delegates, 1 for each Congressional District. Romney or Huck could take 1 delegate around the Spokane area, but I see this overall going to McCain.
Wisconsin Primary-40 Delegates
If Mitt Romney wants a test case for staying in this race, Wisconsin could be it. Similar to other states he’s won in the Mid-West, it fundamentally would make sense to focus on Wisconsin comeback before trying to sink money into an Ohio or Texas bid later on. The State is winner take all for at large delegates with 24 delegates allotted by Congressional district, so John McCain also will win some.
February 23-Virgin Islands-9
February 24-Puerto Rico-23
March 1-American Samoa-9
These territorial caucuses and primaries usually go overwhelmingly to the frontrunner if there’s a vote (Bob Dole got more than 90% in Puerto Rico in 1996) or are uncommitted until the convention.
Rhode Island-20 Delegates
Liberal Rhode Island and Vermont should easily go to John McCain with their 34 delegates. Ohio is another matter. If Mitt Romney were to win in Wisconsin, he could legitimately establish himself as the candidate of the Upper Midwest and end up taking Oahio. The Statewide winner gets 31 delegates, and 3 each are up for grabs in Ohio’s Congressional districts. Mike Huckabee could pick up a few districts in the Southern Part of the State and it shouldn’t be forgotten that the state has a powerful religious conservative movement.
Texas is another matter. It features an open primary followed by a closed party caucuses to actually choose delegates, so no one’s going to grab all 140. This has to be considered Huckabee’s must-win state at this point. The campaign has done a lot with little money. Texas is a huge state both geographically and in terms of population. A win, even a narrow one establishes him as a national political force.
March 4th is the soonest that John McCain can clinch the nomination (unless Mitt drops out and throws his delegate to McCain). While he has to favored to do this eventually, if a Stop McCain movement gathers steam and someone other than McCain begins to pick up delegates, this could go far longer than any recent nominating processing. After March 4th, Mississippi votes on March 11th and then we get to April 23rd with Pennsylvania’s primary.
I’ll post another analysis of upcoming states after March 4th if necessary.