Sunday, February 10, 2008

Washington State is Not Exactly a Talking Point for Republicans

Seven hours ago Josh Marshall wrote this and it still holds:
We're starting to lose confidence that the Washington state GOP is ever going to report the last ... of the results of today's caucus. Perhaps they think if they wait long enough people will just forget they held one and they're just pretend it didn't happen ....

First thing you have to note is that 74% of caucuses showed up to vote against their all-but-certain nominee. Romney's showing a couple days after dropping out of the race is pretty impressive. And uncommitted even put in a respectable number. The truth is that beside Huckabee's feeble candidate, of the remaining three, one has officially dropped out, another has said he's shifting his focus to his congressional campaign and the third isn't even a person.

Almost anyone they put up can tally real numbers against McCain.
What's all this spin I keep hearing in the media that the strength of the GOP is that they unify around a single candidate quickly? All image, no substance.

UPDATE: At almost noon central time, the Seattle paper is still reporting that 87% of the Washington precincts have been counted, and McCain only leads Huckabee by approximately 200 votes. And yet, the Republicans declared McCain the winner at 11:00 last night. Does that seem odd to anyone else?

UPDATE: More oddity:
over night the Washington state GOP put out a press release announcing McCain the winner based on the 87% returns. Now, I think it would be borderline for a media organization to declare one candidate a winner when the margin separating first and second was 1.8% with 13% of the results still uncounted. But for the officials holding the election to declare the result on that basis is simply bizarre. But that's what they did. The release says final results are not expected to be available until Monday.

UPDATE: AP reporting that Huckabee to challenge Washington state returns:
Huckabee’s campaign chairman, Ed Rollins, said Luke Esser, Washington’s Republican Party chairman, chose to call the race too quickly for McCain.

Rollins said Huckabee was losing by 242 votes with 87 percent of the vote counted. He said there were another 1,500 or so votes that were apparently not counted.

“That is an outrage,” Rollins said.

Rollins said the Huckabee campaign’s lawyers will be on the ground in Washington soon to see why the count took so long, and why the vote-counting was stopped prematurely.

“It would be a disservice to every voter in Washington state to not pursue a full accounting of all votes cast,” Rollins said. “... As I said, we are prepared to go to court, and we are also prepared to take our case all the way to the Republican National Convention in September.”
1,500 votes remaining is a huge number compared to McCain's 250 vote lead, and not finishing the count looks suspicious to me.

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