Super Tuesday Preview

The big day is tomorrow, and I’m going to give you guys as much coverage as I possibly can, so be sure to keep popping by.  I may have to take a break around the middle of the day, but at the very latest, I should be back up and running around the time polls close in California, so all is of the good.

So what’s going to happen tomorrow?  Hold on, let me get my crystal ball…

Ah…  There we go.  Damn, my daughters must have got to it, there are little crayon drawings all over…  aw… I think that’s supposed to be a picture of me.  Or maybe a broke down mustang.  Hmmm…  could go either way.  And damn, no more crystal ball until we can figure out how to move these drawings to the refrigerator door.

It’s okay, I don’t need it.

Let’s talk about some Republicans first.  If polls are any indication at all, McCain is looking to clean up tomorrow.  In fact, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility at this point for McCain to deliver the knock out punch tomorrow.  There are a few things to take into consideration here.

First, Huck’s still playing (miraculously) in some states, and that’s not going to hurt McCain nearly as much as Romney who needs to make up ground, and he now has only a matter of hours to do it.

Second, unlike with we Dems, many of the Republican contests tomorrow will be all or nothing.  Thus, there’s no prize for coming in second, and no delegates awarded.  So, whereas Obama can keep Hillary in spitting distance on the delegate race by racking up a lot of close seconds, Romney can continue to rack up close seconds and just watch his presidential aspirations slip further and further away.

Third, California is looking to be Romney’s last stand as some polls actually have him doing better than McCain.  Unfortunately, the trends have the two candidates too close to call.  If Romney can win California, that could give him at least a tourniquet to staunch the delegate-loss, and possibly allow him to limp on to later contests, but it’s really going to be a matter of how the rest of the states go.

So, things are looking bleak for both Romney and Huckabee (but… shhhhh… don’t tell him, he hasn’t figured it out yet) and while I don’t think McCain is going to come out of California with the necessary number of delegates, I think his lead is going to be insurmountable without some sort of miracle.

This brings us to the Democrats where the race has only tightened in contrast to the Republican race which has gotten kind of lopsided lately.  For the state by state break down, I’m going to defer to Mark whose methodology I’ve been following and find more than reasonable.  I’m going to break from Mark on two single points though.

The first point is that he puts the maximum delegate difference tomorrow at about a hundred delegates (not counting already awarded delegates from previous contests).  Now I’m a bit of a pessimist, so I’m going to widen that out to about a hundred and fifty delegate lead that Hillary might walk away with.

To counteract the pessimism, I will say that I don’t think California is out of Obama’s reach tomorrow, even with the absentee ballots coming heavy in his favor.  One thing I’ve noticed is that California has probably been home to one of the biggest momentum shifts this race in Obama’s favor, so we’ll have to see about that.  Same goes with Jersey.  I think at least one of the two may come out with Obama on top.

But even if not, it doesn’t matter.  With California, if Obama manages to win the vote if you discount absentee ballots, it’s going to be a major story (that is, it took the absentee ballots to put Hillary over the top), and tying her for delegates there is going to result in a major story.

All in all, I’m with just about everyone else, Hillary isn’t going to get her knock out punch tomorrow, and neither will Obama.  But even though he’s behind in delegates and in the polls, Obama has the advantage.  He doesn’t have to win.  He just has to have a strong showing.

A strong showing is going to really get his grassroots organization energized for the later states, and it’s going to keep his momentum moving in the right direction.  Plus, after tomorrow, we’re back to retail politics where Obama will have the ability to going back to the townhall settings that he’s known for being good in.

Thus, even if Hillary wins tomorrow, Barack wins if he can just finish in a position that allows him to make a come back in the months to follow.  And he can.  Yes, he can.

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