Friday, February 29, 2008

Bloomberg "I'm not running for President..."

After months of speculation and toying with the idea New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially declared that he will not be running for President of the United States. For the last several months evidence was mounting that he would launch an Independent run for the White House. He had begun expansive state by state research on the viability of his candidacy, as well as what it would take to get on each ballot. His access to unlimited recourses fueled speculation that he would be willing to spend upwards of one billion dollars on the campaign. Yesterday he was featured in an opinion editorial in the New York Times to end rumors of his possible Presidential candidacy.
Bloomberg, however, did not leave himself completely out of the race. He did change his mind about endorsing a candidate stating that this race is too important to stay out of and, “If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach — and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy — I’ll join others in helping that candidate win the White House.”

The one-time Democrat, one-time Republican turned Independent has also been mentioned as a good Vice Presidential pick for both McCain and Obama.

Click to read the entire piece in the New York Times

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

McCain's VP Pick

Now that Senator John McCain has all but secured the Republican nomination, the next important question turns to who will be chosen as his running mate? While logic dictates that he look to someone with the skills to balance his perceived weaknesses, would the best candidate be someone with strong economic policy experience given the uncertain economic times we currently live in? Or will his priorities be centered on a running mate who is trusted by the noisy conservative wing of the GOP to shore up the doubts they have about his candidacy? Perhaps the best choice will be a person whose age balances McCain’s or whose ideology appeals to the middle where most American’s gravitate. And let’s not forget about those Independents that are being so successfully courted by Senator Obama these days. With their numbers and importance growing the choice of the right running mate could well be the key to the outcome of this pivotal national election.

Nary has a day passed when another potential VP candidate is rumored. We’ve all heard about Secretary of State Condelezza Rice, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX.), and 47 year old Governors Tim Pawlenty (MN) and Mark Sanford (SC). Rob Portman, the 52 year old former Office of Management and Budget Director, U.S. Trade Representative and Congressman from Ohio, Senator Mel Martinez (FL) and Governor Charlie Christ also of Florida are more names heard frequently.

While it is clear there is abundant talent within the GOP to choose from, it is equally clear that Senator McCain must select a running mate that has the widest possible appeal to the majority of his Party and to the moderate factions of the electorate, no matter their affiliation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

McCain Wins in Washington, Wisconsin

Senator John McCain won handily yesterday in primaries in Washington State and Wisconsin. In Washington, McCain got 49% of the vote, compared to Mike Huckabee's 22%. Mitt Romney, who has dropped out of the race, got 20% of the vote there. In Wisconsin, McCain beat Huckabee 55%-37%.

Huckabee will continue on in the race. There are several weeks now until the next set of primaries, which will be delegate-rich states like Ohio and Texas on March 4th.

On the Democratic side, Obama won in Washington and Wisconsin, along with Hawaii, where only the Democrats competed. This gives Obama ten straight wins over Senator Clinton.

To read the full transcript of McCain's remarks following his victories, click here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Washington State, Wisconsin Primaries Today

Voters in Washington State and Wisconsin are underway today in holding Presidential primary contests. Though Senator John McCain nearly has the GOP nod locked up, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is still vying for votes.

In total, 56 delegates are at stake today; 37 in Wisconsin and 19 in Washington. On February 9th, Washington State held caucuses which were determined 18 delegates to the National Convention. These delegates, however, will go to the Convention Unpledged, meaning their votes are not tied to any one candidate.

In both Washington and Wisconsin, the type of primary held will be an open primary, meaning that both Independents and Republicans can vote. As we witnessed in earlier states such as New Hampshire, this process benefits Senator McCain who has the ability to bring in Independents to the Republican Party.

With this weekend’s endorsement of Senator McCain by former President George H.W. Bush, Republican support seems to be coalescing around his candidacy.

Governor Huckabee spent time this past weekend campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has stated that he is staying in the race to rally the Republican base, implying the far-right wing of the Republican Party.

To date, McCain has gained 830 delegates compared to Huckabee’s 217. Governor Mitt Romney, who recently dropped out of the race, asked his delegates to switch their support to Senator McCain. Because they are not required to make the automatic shift, McCain’s 830 total does not reflect Romney’s potentially additional 286 delegates.

President George H.W. Bush Endorses McCain

At a press conference in Houston on Monday, former President George H.W. Bush endored John McCain for president.

From his statement:

"Today we are living in a time of war, a new and vastly more complex time
of war. We also have more important challenges at home, chief among them, we
clearly need to address those parts of our economy that demand attention. And at
this critical time in history, the key point I want to make is the United States
of America cannot be permitted to falter. Part of our Republican creed is a
prevailing sense of duty. In the coming election, we do not have the luxury of
taking a pass on our unique role and responsibilities in the world. And the
indisputable fact that unites the greatest number of Republicans, most
independents and many good Democrats is the fact that no one is better prepared
to lead our nation at these trying times than Senator John McCain.

"As someone who also helped lead our great Party at the RNC and later as President, I believe now is the right time for me to help John in his effort to start building the broad-based coalition it will take for our conservative values to carry the White House this fall. His character was forged in the crucible of war. His commitment to America is beyond any doubt. But most importantly, he has the right values and experience to guide our nation forward at this historic moment. So I am very proud to endorse John McCain for the presidency for the United States of America. Few men walking among us have sacrificed so much in the cause of human freedom, and I am happy to help this remarkable patriot carry our Party's banner forward."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

McCain Sweeps Potomac Primaries; Gilchrest Loses in MD

Senator McCain won all three primaries yesterday-- DC, Maryland and Virginia. This pushes McCain's delegate count total to 812 compared to Huckabee's approximate 217. Huckabee will stay in the race.

Political pundits were shocked that the Virginia race took so long to call. What that implies is that conservatives by and large voted for Huckabee, still unable to see McCain as a 'true conservative'.

In the Maryland Congressional race, incumbent moderate Wayne Gilchrest was defeated by far-right candidate Andy Harris. This is a huge loss to moderates across the nation as Congressman Gilchrest has always been an independent thinker and not one who was afraid to stand up for principle. Though the First District is generally a Republican District, the vote totals from last night prove otherwise. Democrats came out to vote in droves.

Some interesting figures:
Republicans Total Votes: 68,775
Democrats Total Votes: 65,541

Gilchrest Votes: 23,342
Harris Votes: 30,853

It is certain that many Gilchrest voters, who are not comfrotable with Harris' extreme positions, will choose to vote Democrat in the Fall. Could this be yet another district handed over to the Democrats?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Maryland's Gilchrest Faces Primary Today

Residents in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia will cast their ballot in the presidential primary today. Voters in Maryland's 1st District will also have the opportunity to vote for Congressman Wayne Gilchrest in his Congressional primary.

Senator McCain is expected to sweep all three locations, athought Governor Mike Huckabee has steadily been gaining in Virginia. The more interesting of the races will be on the Democratic side. Senator Barack Obama has a strong lead in the 3 locations; Senator Clinton has downplayed the races and lowered expectations of how well she will do today.

Congressman Gilchrest faces two far-right primary challengers. Gilchrest has been a strong common sense conservative for his district and has been an adamant supporter of environmental conservation, perhaps the most important issue for residents of his District. Unlike what most elected officials face in the rest of the nation, Congressman Gilchrest has been criticized for not being conservative enough. He has separated from the conservative wing of the GOP on some issues, such as the Iraq War, yet has received the endorsement of President Bush and other notable Republicans.

Gilchrest's opponents do not have the knowledge of the District nor the experience and background that Congressman Gilchrest does. Please continue to check back on updates on this election and the results of the presidential primaries today.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Huckabee Wins in Kansas, Louisiana; McCain Takes Washington State

Voters in Louisiana and Kansas held primary contests on Saturday. By a margin of 60%-24%, Mike Huckabee won in the Kansas caucuses and won in Louisiana by a margin of 43%-42% for Senator McCain. In Washington state, McCain defeated Huckabee 26%-24% with Ron Paul coming in at 21%.

Despite Huckabee's wins in Kansas, Louisiana and other more conservative states, Senator McCain has a sizable lead over him in delegates. Estimates stand that McCain has about 723 delegates compared to Huckabee's 217.

The 'Potomac Primaries' take place tomorrow, when Virginia, Maryland and the District will all hold their presidential contests.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Romney Suspends Presidential Bid

Mitt Romney announced the suspension of his bid for the presidential
nomination today at the CPAC Conference. This move virtually hands over
the nomination to John McCain, who swept many of the Super Tuesday primary
states earlier this week.

In his statement, Romney said,
"In this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror. This is not an easy decision. I hate to lose. If this were only about me, I'd go on. But it's never been only about me. I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, in this time of war I feel I have to
now stand aside for our party and for our country."
Romney secured just 175 delegates on Tuesday, a disappointing showing for the former Governor of Massachusetts who poured millions of his own dollars into the campaign. Each state GOP is allowed to determination how they will reallocate his delegates.

McCain Attempts to Unite GOP

In a statement made yesterday, Senator John McCain appears to be reaching out to all factions within the GOP to bring unity to a divided Party. McCain has recognized his status as the Presidential front-runner and is clearly aware of the fact that he cannot win the general election without the support of moderate Republicans and Independent voters.

From the AP:
“I think they’ve made their case against me pretty eloquently,” he said,
adding wryly, “if that’s the right word.” He asserted that the pundits’
conservative hero Ronald Reagan — and his — reached across the aisle to
Democrats just like he wants to do as president.
“I do hope that at some point we would just calm down a little bit and see if there are areas that we can agree on for the good of the party and for the good of the country,” he said.
Today McCain and Romney both address the annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee) Conference, where McCain is expected to make his case of why the far-right conservative wing of the GOP should support him.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Updated Delegate Allocation

We're still waiting on complete allocation numbers from several states-- the largest being California, though the state was called for McCain who brought in 42% of the vote. Please visit the presidential spotlight section for more details.

McCain – 559 total (including early primary states)
Alabama: 13
Alaska: 3
Arizona: 53
California: processing…
Connecticut: 27
Delaware: 18
Georgia: 3
Massachusetts: 17
Illinois: 55
Missouri: 58
New Jersey: 52
New York: 101
North Dakota: 6
Oklahoma: 32
Tennessee: 15

Romney – 265 total (including early primary states)
Alaska: 12
Colorado: 22
Illinois: 3
Massachusetts: 22
Minnesota: 38
Montana: 25
North Dakota: 8
Tennessee: 9
Utah: 36
West Virginia: 1

Huckabee – 169 total (including early primary states)
Alabama: 14
Arkansas: 25
Georgia: 45
North Dakota: 5
Oklahoma: 6
Tennessee: 21
West Virginia: 18

Paul – 16 total (including early primary states)
Alaska: 5
North Dakota: 5

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

California Called for McCain

California was called for Senator McCain; the exact delegate count is still unknown. California allocates its delegates on a winner-take-all system by Congressional district, as opposed to by the entire state. This means that although McCain won the most delegates, his opponents may have won their fair share of the 170 delegates available today.

The current delegate count stands at:

McCain – 475 total (including early primary states)
Arizona: 53
California: 11 (still processing…)
Connecticut: 27
Delaware: 18
Illinois: processing...
Missouri: 58
New Jersey: 52
New York: 101
Oklahoma: 29

Romney – 151 total (including early primary states)
Colorado: processing…
Massachusetts: 21
Montana: processing…
North Dakota: processing…
Utah: 36

Huckabee – 93 total (including early primary states)
Alabama: processing…
Arkansas: 10
Georgia: 33
Oklahoma: 6
Tennessee: processing…
West Virginia: 18

Paul – 6 total (including early primary states)

More States Polls Closed; Results Called

Mitt Romney just finished speaking in Massachusetts, one of only 3 states he's won tonight. He vowed to stay in the race and delivered an uplighting speech despite his 'failure' thus far tonight.

McCain – 383 total (including early primary states)
Arizona: 53
Connecticut: 27
Delaware: 18
Illinois: processing...
Missouri: processing...
New Jersey: 52
New York: 101
Oklahoma: 23

Romney – 135 total (including early primary states)
Colorado: processing...
Massachusetts: 5
North Dakota: processing…
Utah: 36

Huckabee – 54 total (including early primary states)
Alabama: processing…
Arkansas: 10
Georgia: processing...
Tennessee: processing…
West Virginia: 18

Paul – 6 total (including early primary states)

New York, Delaware Called for McCain

New York, a hugely delegate-rich state, has been called for McCain. He adds 101 delegates to his total. Delaware was also called for McCain, with 18 delegates.

Total Delegates to Date:
McCain – 208 total (including early primary states)
Connecticut: 27Delaware: 18
Illinois: processing..
New Jersey: 52
New York: 101

Romney – 99 total (including early primary states)
Massachusetts: 5

Huckabee – 54 total (including early primary states)
Arkansas: 7
West Virginia: 18

Paul – 6 (including early primary states)

Arkansas Called for Huckabee

The state of Arkansas has been called for Mike Huckabee. Delegate allocation is still being processed. The current counts stands at:

McCain – 190 total (including early primary states)
Connecticut: 27
Illinois: processing..
New Jersey: 52

Huckabee – 54 total (including early primary states)
Alabama: processing..
Arkansas: 7
West Virginia: 18

Romney – 99 total (including early primary states)
Massachusetts: 5

Georgia has become a three way race between Huckabee, McCain and Romney. The crucial area comes down to the Atlanta suburbs.

Several States Called in GOP Primary

Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey have been called for John McCain. Alabama has been called for Huckabee. Massachusetts was called for Mitt Romney.

Georgia, one of the more conservative states participating in a primary today, is still too close to call. McCain and Huckabee are just points apart there. Stay tuned for more...

Huckabee Declared Winner in West Virginia

Mike Huckabee has been named the winner in the West Virginia caucuses this afternoon. West Virginia is a winner-take-all state, so Huckabee will pick up 18 delegates, bringing his grand total to 47 delegates.

The current delegate standing is:
John McCain: 111
Mitt Romney: 94
Mike Huckabee: 47

1st Round of WV Caucuses Complete

The first round of caucuses in West Virginia is complete. Because there was not a clear majority, voters will enter a second round of caucuses.

The results of the first round of delegate apportionment were:

Mitt Romney: 40
Mike Huckabee: 33
John McCain: 15

Stay tuned for results from the second round of votes.

Today is Super Tuesday!

Twenty-one states will hold GOP Presidential contests today. With over 1,000 delegates at stake, we may see a nominee by the night's end.

California is being reported as one of the states to watch closely--John McCain and Mitt Romney are running neck and neck in polls there. California is expecting an unprecedented turnout today. Last week Senator McCain scored the endorsement of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger-- a factor that may prove to benefit him today. What is even more interesting about the California primary is that voters will be using paper ballots. It may not be until late into the night or early tomorrow that we have an official result. Polls close at 8pm local time in the state. 173 delegates in total are up for grabs in California alone.

Stay tuned to this blog throughout today and tonight for up-to-the-minute news from around the country. The presidential spotlight page of our site has current polls, primary processes and more. Please check it out!