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.

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