South Carolina and Nevada

A bigger night for Republicans than Democrats. The Democrats’ primary in South Carolina is next week.

The early results appear to have John McCain winning South Carolina despite a strong showing among the evangelical voters there for Mike Huckabee. It also looks like, by clear majorities, Mitt Romney won Nevada. Ron Paul seems to have come in second place in Nevada, which adds some credibility to his faltering campaign. Duncan Hunter is dropping out and has not, yet, endorsed anyone. Fred Thompson came in third in South Carolina but I don’t think that will be enough to keep him viable. But I also can’t think of a good reason why he should drop out of the race until at least February 6.

For the Democrats, it seems odd to me that Hillary Clinton is being called the winner despite Barack Obama getting one more delegate than her out of the state. John Edwards got only single-digit support in Nevada and no delegates. I think Edwards is out of steam, but I can’t think of what incentive he would have to drop out at this point — he does not want to be anyone’s running mate and has made that very clear.

I’ve updated the delegate counter to conform with CNN’s projections, which includes pledged superdelegates and similar kinds of delegate support, despite the fact that not all the delegates come directly from elections or caucuses. The overall picture is one of uncertainty — both parties would like to coalesce around a candidate, but both are unable to really decide whether or not to do that yet.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.