If you are part of the “anybody-but-McCain” coalition, don’t give up hope just yet!
The delegate count since Tuesday has been readjusted. You may have noticed that some news programs show different counts. Why is that? Some are assuming that McCain as the frontrunner will get a certain number of super delegates. The thing to remember is that the super delegates could swing the other way if McCain is not able to get a clear majority. They could either push McCain over the top or a Huckabee-Romney-Paul coalition could block his nomination by consolidating behind the second place candidate who would then be the leader.
This is how it looks as of today.
McCain – 700
Romney – 279
Huckabee – 187
Paul – 14
Total chosen – 1,180
Needed to win – 1,191
Yet to be chosen – 1,008
Simple math tell us that McCain just needs to win 491 more delegates to have the majority. But it is actually more complicated than that.
There are also a certain number of uncommitted or super delegates that are not counted here. This is why some conservative talk show hosts are pleading with Huckabee to drop out of the race and throw his support to Romney. After Tuesday, the “Anybody-but-McCain” coalition should be pleading with Romney to drop out of primaries that Huckabee has a good chance of winning.
Why would this help?
There are many states in which Romney can do no better than third that could easily go to Huckabee if he were to throw his support behind him. If we look at the upcoming southern primaries it’s possible that the remaining 1,008 delegates could be split with a plurality going to Huckabee and not McCain or Romney. At that point, it would be more advantageous for the “anybody-but-McCain” coalition to plead with voters in the southern states to throw their support behind Huckabee.
To pull this off Huckabee needs to take the “winner-take-all” state of Virginia and also win in Louisiana, Kansas, Maryland, Mississipi, Nebraska, North Carolina and Kentucky.
This is more than possible. The polls were indicating on Monday that Huckabee would do no better than place second in some states and win only Arkansas, his home state. But he pulled off victories in five states and almost won Missouri. How did he do this with only a small fraction of the money of Romney and McCain?
The answer is simple.
Christian political activists organized a grassroots effort through phone and emails. Huckabee also continues to resonate with evangelical conservatives and is still drawing huge enthusiastic crowds throughout the south. He won by appealing to people who are passionate about his message. “Huck’s Army” did more effective campaigning for him than Romney and McCain could muster with millions in cold hard cash. What is really amazing is how Huckabee was able to almost run the table in the south with just one week between Florida and Super Tuesday. While I was guardedly optimistic about the results, I did not expect to see this level of Huckabee surge that came out of nowhere.
Seeing how well Huckabee did in several states bordering the upcoming southern contests, it is possible he could run the table and take Virginia, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississipi, Nebraska, North Carolina and Kentucky.
It’s also possible that Romney could win Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland, Idaho, and South Dakota.
And Ron Paul will still pull in some delegates in caucuses.
There are still a lot of voters who will think, “Anybody but McCain!”
If Huckabee and McCain win these states by decisive margins, then this is how it might look come convention time. The following is just an estimation. I am also assuming the 100 or so super delegates (already assigned to McCain by the liberal media pundits) would swing the other way.
McCain – 700 + 376 = 1,076
Huckabee – 187 + 474 = 661
Romney – 279 + 196 = 475
Paul – 14 + 20 = 34
Let’s look at what happens when we combine the numbers of the three trailing candidates.
Anybody but McCain = 1,170
Yes, the “Anybody-but McCain” coalition could have 1,170 delegates between them. That’s well within striking distance. Since 1,181 are needed to win, it’s possible that a deal could be cut to combine a ticket with a more conservative philosophy. When the uncommitted super delegates are then counted to give sway anything could happen.
So it is possible at least mathematically for McCain to be blocked. Huckabee needs to tie or best him from here on out. A few surprises need to occur. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney need to siphon away enough votes to block McCain from having a clear majority.
Here is what’s left if you want to break it down for yourself.
State – Date – Delegate number
W: Winner take all
C: Closed primary
Louisiana – 02/09 – 47 C
Washington – 02/09 – 40
Kansas – 02/09 – 39 C
Virginia – 02/12 – 63 W
Maryland – 02/12 – 37 C
District of Columbia – 02/12 – 19 W C
Wisconsin – 02/19 – 40
Texas – 03/04 -140
Ohio – 03/04 – 88
Rhode Island – 03/04 – 20
Vermont – 03/04 – 17 W
Mississippi – 03/10 – 39
Pennsylvania – 04/22 – 74 C
North Carolina – 05/06 – 69
Indiana – 05/06 – 57
Nebraska – 05/13 – 33
Hawaii – 05/16 – 20 C
Kentucky – 05/20 – 45 C
Oregon – 05/20 – 30 C
Idaho – 05/27 – 32
New Mexico – 06/03 – 32 C
South Dakota – 06/03 – 27 C
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