Added on February 16, 2008
Finally, the final results of the
election in New Mexico are known: Hillary Clinton won the election and 14 of
the 26 delegates. In total, she got 73,105 votes - 1709 more than Barack
Obama. In the overall race, Obama still leads in the race to the Democratic
P.S. Febraury 7, 2008
If the Republican presidential race should be decided early, this would not
necessarily be an advantage for the GOP. If the fight between Hillary
Clinton and Barack Obama should dominate the news, many politically
independent voters could simply forget the existence of John McCain, who
could end like his friend Rudy Giuliani...
Added on February 7, 2008 at 21:04 Berlin time
In opposition to his announcement
directly after Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney has withdrawn from the race to the
White House. In his speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee,
he praised John McCain, without endorsing him. At the same time, he did not
mention support for John Huckabee, who was his rival in winning the
conservative support. Huckabee announced that he would continue his bid for
the Republican presidential nomination.
Article added on February 7, 2008 at 14:35 Riga time
On Super Tuesday - February 5,
2008 - both the Democrats and the Republicans organized primaries and
caucuses in over 20 states. The Democrats have already voted for 52% of
their delegates, whereas on the Republican side, 41% of all party delegates,
who will designate the Republican presidential candidate, have been
According to CNN online on February 7, on the Democratic
side, Hillary Clinton has now won 823 delegates, Barack Obama 741 and John
Edwards, who has dropped out of the race, 26. On the Republican side, the
clear winner is Arizona senator John McCain with 680 delegates in front of
Mitt Romney with 270, Mike Huckabee with 176 and Ron Paul with 16.
As predicted by most observers, the winner takes all system on the
Republican side has brought a preliminary decision in the emergence of John
McCain as the clear frontrunner. The race is not over yet, but he will be
hard to beat.
Incidentally, the Republicans also know the system of unpledged delegates
who do not have to indicate a candidate preference. However, the majority of
them are elected like the pledged delegates. The 123 members of the
Republican National Committee become automatically unpledged delegates. Out
of a total of 2,380 delegates, 463 are unpledged delegates.
On the Democratic side, the situation is more complicated, not least because
the Democrats still have superdelegates. Some 20% of all delegates, almost
800 people, will be superdelegates.
Superdelegates are current and former office holders and party officials,
including members of the House of Representatives, the Senate, governors and
former presidents such as Bill Clinton. At the 2008 Democratic National
Convention in Denver, which will be held from August 25 to 28, the delegates
and the superdelegates will designate the Democratic presidential candidate.
Unlike the delegates, the superdelegates do not have to vote for a specific
candidate, but can change their preferences at any time.
Unlike the Republicans with their winner takes all system, the Democrats
rely on proportional representation, as long as a candidate passes a 15%
threshold. Therefore, the Democratic race remains wide open, maybe until the
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On Super Tuesday, John McCain was heavily aided by the fact that the former
Arkansas governor and ordained Southern Baptist Minister Mike Huckabee
stayed in the race, therefore taking away crucial votes from the former
Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.
In the end, Mike Huckabee managed to win five Southern states, compared to
Mitt Romney's seven states and John McCain's nine states, including the
delegate rich New York and California. Mike Huckabee's strong support from
his conservative and evangelical base could make him an ideal running mate
for John McCain, who will need their support in order to beat the Democrats,
while at the same time not alienating the centrist voters.
Both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee announced to continue their fight for the
Republican nomination, therefore mutually sinking their chances to get the
nomination. This is the best possible news for John McCain.
Democrats will have to think twice before they vote for Hillary Clinton,
because with her in the race against John McCain, the contrast between the
two candidates would not be as sharp.
Clinton is desperately looking for cash. It seems that most of her donators
have already given her the legal maximum, and she has difficulties in
finding new contributors.
Barack Obama on the other hand makes new millions every day. His previous
contributors mostly gave little money and, therefore, still can give more.
Furthermore, he has created an efficient and extremely popular movement,
which can easily bring in new money.
The immediate outlook looks bright for Barack Obama: he has excellent
chances of winning the coming primaries in Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington
and the U.S. Virgin Island (all on February 9), in Maine (February 10), the
District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (all on February 12), Hawaii and
Wisconsin (both on February 19). Hillary Clinton has currently the best
chances of winning the key states of Ohio and Texas (March 4). In Wyoming
and Mississippi, Barack Obama may have the upper hand again.
In short, the very contested Democratic nomination is as unclear as ever. It
remains to be seen whether the two candidates will inflict each other too
much pain in the coming weeks. For the Democrats, it would be best if they
could present a ticket Obama - Clinton or Clinton - Obama.
An analysis of the Super Tuesday vote offers some expected results as
well as some surprises. Again, the Democrats managed to draw much larger
crowds to the polls than the Republicans. The Democratic base is fed up with
eight years of Republican rule under President George W. Bush. This time,
they want to get it right.
On the Republican side, for the moment, no candidate really pleases the
party base. The frontrunner, John McCain, is unpopular among conservatives
and evangelicals. He draws his support from moderate Republicansindependents
and people ready to fight on in Iraq, but without torturing people. In the
end however, John McCain will not only need the independent vote, but also
the conservative vote. Republican voter turnout in November will have to be
huge in order to beat either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton managed to get the Latino vote in
California. Barack Obama will have to appeal to Latinos more than before in
order to get into the White House.
Not surprisingly, Barack Obama swept the African American vote, crucial in
the Southern states. Hillary Clinton on her hand managed to get the older,
the female, and especially the older White female vote. Her voters were
mostly looking for
Barack Obama, with his message of
“change”, is very popular among
young - male and female - voters. The real surprise however is that Barack
Obama manages to get the vote of the upper middle class, the wealthier and
higher educated Democratic voters, whereas Hillary Clinton relies more on
employees and workers.
In the 1950s, popular music singers and groups invented soul music, a
secular version of gospel music, with love and other themes instead of the
holy gospel. Barack Obama has taken the gospel from the churches into
politics, replacing the message of God by the secular message of
“change”, whereas Mike Huckabee
continues to try to introduce the religious gospel into politics,
endangering the separation of state and church.
Barack Obama is much more popular than Mike Huckabee. He draws huge crowds
to quickly sold out places. He has reached a kind of rock star status. One
wonders if these feverish crowds manage to keep a critical distance towards
their idol. Neither Mike Huckabee nor Barack Obama are very reassuring as
future American presidents.
John McCain with his war in Iraq has not the message that the majority of
the American people wants to hear. Hillary Clinton comes with Bill and all
his scandals and failed policies in her baggage. The majority has had enough
of the Clintons. In November 2008, the American people will have a difficult
decision to make.