First, the Super Tuesday numbers. The soul-crushing, eye-glazing, existential-crisis-inducing numbers: 13, 9, 56 roughly 840, about 830, and approximately 70. Keep in mind, those are just the Democrats.
What does Super Tuesday and all its projections mean for you? It means your primary vote on February 12 is actually going to mean something.
Super Tuesday’s primaries in 24 states may have cemented John McCain as the Republican frontrunner, but they did little to sort out the two-candidate Democratic field of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. While Clinton carried the biggest states on Tuesday, New York and California among them, Obama won more states (13 to Clinton’s eight). Moreover, NBC News reported that Obama appears to have won somewhere around 840 delegates, about 10 more than Clinton’s projected 830.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are still neck and neck after Super Tuesday.
The first Democratic candidate to reach 2,025 delegates is the winner and will likely take on McCain in the national election. While Obama came into Super Tuesday trailing Clinton, only about 70 delegates now separate them in a primary race that is one of the closest in the last 25 years.
This all makes the three February 12 primaries very interesting. Maryland and Washignton, D.C. have 99 and 34 delegates respectively. Virginia is the biggest February 12 prize, with 103 delegates at stake.
But before so-called Chesapeake Tuesday, four states (plus the Virgin Islands) will hold their Democratic primaries over the weekend. Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington and Maine have 229 combined delegates up for grabs.
Both Clinton and Obama had strong showings in the South, with Clinton kicking ass in Arkansas and Tennessee and Obama returning the favor in Georgia and Alabama and Missouri. However, Clinton showed more muscle in the Northeast, winning her home state of New York, along with New Jersey and Massachusetts, though Obama picked up Connecticut, a state in Clinton’s backyard.
All of this means that nobody knows what the hell is going to happen in the next month or two. And that makes Virginia a hot spot for both campaigns. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported today that both Clinton and Obama are gearing up for trips to Virginia in efforts to shore up support.v On the Republican side of the ballot (you know, that other party running on a platform of change), a Washington Post headline said it all: "McCain wins big states; Huckabee, Romney live." The Arizona senator won 13 states, while both Huckabee and Romney won enough smaller states to cling to the roof’s edge of relevancy.
But Super Tuesday did one things for the Republican field that it couldn’t do for the Democrats—define a clear-cut leader.
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