Huckabee strikes first on Super Tuesday
Interesting goings-on to begin Super Tuesday, as Mike Huckabee gained his second win of the primary season.
After trailing Mitt Romney in the West Virginia GOP caucus through the first ballot by a 41%-33% margin, Mike picked up enough votes from supporters of John McCain and Ron Paul (who were third and fourth in the balloting, respectively with 15% and 10%) to overcome the eight-point deficit and gain 52% of the second ballot. While Ron Paul was automatically eliminated with his finish, it’s apparent that McCain’s supporters also moved to the Huckabee column to deny bitter rival Mitt Romney a much-needed win to begin Super Tuesday since the Senator had just 1% of the vote in the second round.
Further, while there were 18 delegates at stake in the caucus, Huckabee picked up just 15 in the winner-take-all event. Huckabee allowed Ron Paul to claim three of his delegate slots as an apparent gesture of thanks.
In a CQ story, reporter Bob Benenson notes:
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Huckabee, who scored his first victory since the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses Jan. 3, has recently been engaged in campaign hostilities with Romney. The former Massachusetts governor has publicly suggested that longshot Huckabee drop out of the race in order to allow Romney to galvanize support among Republican conservatives. Many of those conservatives continue to express skepticism or outright opposition to McCain despite the latter’s emergence as the putative front-runner for the party’s presidential nomination. Huckabee has angrily rejected Romney’s contention as “arrogant.”
Perhaps the McCain folks decided to assist Mike Huckabee with a little payback, particularly after the initial reports of Romney leading the caucus made it out early this afternoon.
I also saw as breaking news as I write this that on the Democrat side Barack Obama is projected to win in Georgia, but that’s no surprise. I’ll be watching the Super Tuesday coverage after more of the polls close and seeing how that affects the GOP campaigns, as the Democrats will be fighting it out for at least another month or so.
Crossposted on monoblogue.