Skip to comments.McCain Wraps It Up (Mike Huckabee Drops Out!)
Posted on 03/04/2008 7:56:00 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
CBS News projects Republican Sen. John McCain has clinched the Republican nomination for president. Click here for the state-by-state tally.
McCain will win Republican primaries Tuesday in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island, CBS News projects. McCain's last Republican rival, Mike Huckabee, dropped out of the race after the results came in.
"The most important race begins," McCain said. "It's a very humbling thing, and I say that with all sincerity."
McCain will travel to the White House tomorrow where he will receive the endorsement of President Bush. The president and McCain will have lunch and then appear together in the Rose Garden.
CBS News reports that Barack Obama called McCain from his San Antonio hotel room. The chat was cordial and brief.
"This clears the path for McCain to begin his general election process in earnest," said CBSNews.com Senior Political Editor Vaughn Ververs. "With a possible protracted battle on the Democratic side that could continue for weeks, it's a luxury Republicans need as they enter into a difficult road towards November."
In the Democratic contest, Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are battling it out in the crucial states of Ohio and Texas.
CBS News projects that the two Democratic contenders will split the New England states voting today -- Obama will win in Vermont and Clinton will win in Rhode Island.
In all there were 370 Democratic delegates at stake in Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio and Texas, which uses an unusual primary-caucus system.
According to CBS News early exit polls, the economy was the top issue for Democratic voters in all four states voting today. Large majorities of Democrats in all four states think the economy is in bad shape.
The economy was of most concern to Ohio Democratic voters. In Vermont, however, the economy nearly tied with Iraq as the most important issue.
Ohio Democratic voters hold mostly negative views on U.S. trade with other countries, according to the early exit polls. Eight in ten say trade takes jobs away from their state. In Texas, however, a lower number -- 58 percent -- say trade takes jobs away. In fact, in Texas, a quarter say U.S. trade with other countries creates jobs.
According to the exit polls, 32 percent of Texas Democratic primary voters are Hispanic -- up from the 24 percent in 2004. In Ohio, 20 percent are African American, compared to 14 percent in 2004. Eighteen percent of Texas primary voters today are black, compared to 21 percent in 2004.
After 11 straight victories, Obama had the momentum and the lead in the delegate chase. Going into tonight, Obama had a 1,390-1,276 lead in the CBS News count. See the latest CBS News state-by-state delegate tally.
Clinton in desperate need of a comeback with time running out - if it hadn't already.
"Hillary Clinton, if you believe the polls, and that's always a danger, seems to have made her move in the last couple of days," CBS News senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield said. "I think part of that may have to do with her pounding away on the fact that Barack Obama doesn't have the experience - that so-called 3:00 a.m. ad." Read more about the ad.
CBS News anchor Katie Couric spoke Tuesday with Clinton in Columbus, asking her about the near-impossibility she faces in catching up to Obama in elected delegates.
"We're just working hard today to get all the votes that we possibly can get," Clinton said. "And, remember, this is a long journey. My husband didn't get the nomination until June of 1992 and I have every confidence that we're going to continue to pick up delegates as we go."
"So you're counting on super delegates?" Couric asked. "Are you concerned they'll be under considerable pressure to reflect the views of voters nationwide?"
"Well, you know, I think that superdelegates have a purpose in the process, which is to exercise independent judgment: who they think would be the best president and who they believe would have the best chance of winning. If you look at the states that I've won, these are the states a Democrat has to win," Clinton said. "You know, with all due respect, a number of the states that Sen. Obama has won, which are part of the process and therefore certainly their delegates will count, but these are not likely to be states that a Democrat will win unless there is a tidal wave in our favor."
Some of her supporters, her husband, the former president among them, said she needed to outpoll Obama in both Texas and Ohio to sustain her candidacy.
Without conceding anything, Obama's allies said even that wouldn't be enough, given his lead in the delegate count and party rules that virtually assure primary losers a significant share of the spoils.
Couric asked Obama Tuesday if he would personally ask Clinton to get out of the race if it is, in fact, mathematically impossible for her to catch up in elected delegates.
"No. I mean, obviously this is going to be Sen. Clinton's decision to make," Obama told CBS News. "She is a tough competitor, she has been tenacious and is continuing to raise boat loads of money and I'm happy to continue to compete state by state until we get to the convention."
In appearances Tuesday, Clinton sounded like she might continue her campaign if she only won Ohio, and Obama sounded almost resigned to an extension of the nomination battle.
"You don't get to the White House as a Democrat without winning Ohio," Clinton said in Houston.
In San Antonio, Obama called Clinton "a tenacious and determined candidate" and predicted little shift in his delegate lead no matter who won Texas and Ohio, "which means that either way, we'll go on through Mississippi and Wyoming next week." Pennsylvania, the biggest single prize left, follows on April 22.
"All those states coming up are going to make a difference," he said. "What we want to do is make sure we're competing in every single state."
It takes 2,025 delegates to win the Democratic nomination, and slightly more than 600 remained to be picked in the 10 states that vote after Tuesday.
The Democratic marathon was in contrast to a Republican race that was fierce while it lasted, but long since settled.
McCain, the Arizona senator, began the night with 991 delegates, out of 1,191 needed for the nomination at the party convention next summer in St. Paul, Minn. There were 256 Republican delegates at stake in the four states on the night's ballot.
McCain's sole major remaining rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had 215 delegates, and posed no threat.
It was McCain's second run at the nomination, after his loss to George W. Bush in 2000. Once the front-runner, his campaign nearly imploded last summer. But he regrouped, reassuming the underdog role that he relishes, and methodically dispatched one rival after another in a string of primaries in January and early February.
In the other half of the most wide-open presidential campaign in a half-century, Obama looked for the knockout blow, while Clinton sought a revival.
As before, he outspent her in television commercials, an advantage padded by unions working in his behalf.
Rhode Island and Vermont received little attention from either of the candidates, who devoted most of their time to Ohio and Texas. They debated once in each big state, and stressed issues that varied from one to the other.
In Ohio, a new powerful voting bloc may be asserting its dominance: blue-collar white males. Couric reports that men who work industrial jobs - on assembly lines and steel mills - make up 20 percent of the voting population.
One Cleveland blue-collar worker, John Myers, told CBS News: "I am not ready to back a lady president; I just can't go there."
NAFTA was a focus of the Ohio race.
Obama sent out mass mailings that said Clinton had supported the free trade agreement when it was passed during her husband's administration, and that he had opposed it. She angrily accused him of distorting her record.
But roles were reversed in the campaign's final hours after a memo surfaced in which a Canadian official described a meeting in which Obama's senior economic adviser said the Illinois senator's criticisms of the trade agreement were political positioning. Clinton said Obama had given a "wink-wink" to Canada on the issue.
Obama said, "Nobody reached out to the Canadians to try to assure them of anything."
The Texas campaign revolved more around readiness to serve as commander in chief.
Clinton aired a television commercial that showed children asleep in their beds. "It's 3 a.m. and your children are safely asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?" the announcer said.
Obama wasn't mentioned, but responded quickly.
He told reporters that Clinton had already had her "red phone moment" -- and voted for the Iraq war.
He launched his own ad, with sleeping children and a telephone ringing ominously.
"In a dangerous world, it's judgment that matters," the announcer said.
Couric asked Obama if he's now having trouble countering attacks by Clinton on his national security experience - and how he would handle similar attacks by McCain come fall.
"I don't think we've had difficulty countering them. That's why we won 11 contests straight. Sen. Clinton's has been making this argument since the beginning of this campaign and the American people, I think, have recognized that what we need in national security is judgment, a judgment that Senator Clinton and John McCain both failed to show."
Brush up on your Spanish
Huckabee dropped out ping!
Whither is a good word for his campaign.
This is a sad excuse for a Republican Candidate. I am honestly sick. Not sure what is happening next for us here!!
Should I leave the Republican Party tomorrow or wait until it is official? He doesn’t have enough pledged delegates yet to overcome a blow up in the next six months. However, with Huckabee out, he is the only one left.
Mike Huckabee was a strong candidate and would have served well in the White House. He’s a little too easy to poke fun at but, on the serious side, I don’t think anyone altered the course of the campaign as much as he has. I salute a worthy opponent and a Great American. God Bless, Mike Huckabee. Fair winds and following seas.
“This is a sad excuse for a Republican Candidate. I am honestly sick. Not sure what is happening next for us here!!”
True, but he is the only show in town and he knows it. A third party vote would be a waste and would just ensure that Obama or Clinton would win. With all his warts, I would take McCain over Clinton and most definitely over Obama. At the end of the day, pragmatism rules. McCain knows most will see things this way (although I would have preferred a social conservative)....it’s the old lesser of two evils situation again.
I trust McCain on military and foreign policy over either democrat...so what else is one to do?
I hope he whithers on the vine.
I agree. His speech was a good one. I would prefer him to McCain any day of the week.
And kiss another 30% of your paycheck goodbye to pay for McCain's amnesty!
With three members of my family currently serving in the Armed Forces (one in Iraq right now, one will be going for a second tour - my son, and one we don’t yet know about) there is only one choice IMHO. I’m voting for McCain.
I'm starting to feel like one of the Jews who refuses to be a ghetto-guard.
You're not alone, man...you're not alone.
Pretty sure he already has re the GOP. Next, his turd party candidacy announcement.
Wow. I thought after reading the headline that this article was about McCain. I guess the MSM’s obsession with the Demos is all encompassing.
McCain had an absolutely wonderful speech. I liked the nod to homeschooling. I wish I could trust that he would vote like his speech. But his track record says otherwise.
We'd better be prepared, though. When he gets into office and tries to shove amnesty down our throats again, the same schmucks that voted for him in the primary will come crying to those of us who actually pay attention and killed it last time, begging us to stop the damn thing again.
This is a sad day for America.
I'm biding my time on that one. For my own part, I'm interested in seeing how many "independent activists" donate their time and money to push McRINO through. My guess is that it'll be none. And I know that no self-respecting conservatives will be shilling for that liberal Democrat who's going to be running on the Republican ticket. All told, I suspect it's going to be a large no-show for McCain in November.
And then we'll be seeing those liberals and RINOs purged en masse with their "big tent" poles shoved up where the sun never shines. Roundabout that time we'll see the GOP rediscover its moral compass in time to retake Congress in 2010.
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