When it came time to draw cards, Barack Obama had all the luck.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but it appears according to several websites that Obama actually won the delegate count, getting 13 to Clinton’s 12. How does that work? You got me. But here’s a link to the stories that I’m drawing my information from, so you can see if you can figure it out: MSNBC.com and BBC.co.uk.
Part of the reason may be that card draw. Appropriately for Nevada, instead of a coin flip to break a tie, a card is drawn in the caucuses to decide who wins. In both places where a card was drawn, Obama came up the winner.
Because this is a caucus (explained here), the winner of the popular vote isn’t the straightforward winner. Clinton is being touted as the winner but still has yet to take a clear majority of the delegates in any state. Obama got the majority only by one in Iowa, and appears to have the majority of delegates here and a tie in New Hampshire.
This caucus process is even more screwy than the electoral college.
John Edwards finished way back with only 5% of the Nevada vote, but he’s looking ahead to South Carolina, where he won in 2004.
On the Republican side, there were two contests on Saturday the 19th: Nevada and South Carolina. Mitt Romney took the Republican caucuses in Nevada easily, while John McCain defeated second-place Mike Huckabee in South Carolina. Romney had pulled his ads from South Carolina to focus on Nevada, and it seems to have paid off. Despite McCain being from neighborhing Arizona, it was Ron Paul who took 13% of the Nevada caucuses to be in second place there.
McCain did well in South Carolina, though, where he was defeated in 2000 by George W. Bush. Some nasty push-polling was blamed in part for his loss back then, with insinuations that his adopted Bangladeshi daughter was in fact an illegitimate multiracial child. You can guess what kind of voters those polls appealed to.
Is Mike Huckabee finished? This seems to be the biggest question. Fred Thompson may be as well. And Rudy Giuliani has yet to “compete,” though many have pointed out that he spent plenty of money in the states that have voted thus far.
Next up for Democrats is South Carolina, my home state and the place I spent my Christmas break. Look out later this week for a story of my time on the campaign trail. South Carolina will be the first real test of the Democratic candidates among a large percentage of African-American voters. Republicans are looking ahead to Florida, where Giuliani is expected to make his first real showing.
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