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Oh, What A Night, But Who Will Prevail?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The much anticipated Super Tuesday has come and gone. Surprisingly, it did little to reveal who the next President of the United States may be. Nor do the results clearly anticipate a winner for the Democratic nomination. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) won delegate-rich New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona and Tennessee, among others. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) also did well, securing Illinois, Connecticut, Georgia, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Alabama, among others. I expected Obama to win in Massachusetts after he received a resounding endorsement from many prominent members of the Kennedy clan but the Clinton machine overwhelmed him and took the State by a margin of 15%.


After last night's vote Clinton has 783 delegates to Obama's 709. No one can predict who eventually will secure the Democratic nomination but many are predicting that the longer the race drags on the better Obama's chances are of besting Clinton. This seems plausible. I suspect that people will become weary of Clinton, her rhetoric and her political baggage if the contest between her and Obama continues as close as it is. Obama's message of "change," although short on details, appears to resonate with more voters than Clinton's tired tears and health-care mantra.

Among Republicans, Senator John S. McCain III (R-AZ) has a very comfortable lead. While it is too early for him to rest on his laurels, it will take a great effort for former Governors Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee to surpass him. Romney won Massachusetts, Utah, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana, which is better than the political pundits in the mainstream media suggested. Huckabee won Arkansas, Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama. The problem with Romney and Huckabee is that they have split the conservative vote. Many conservatives in the Republican Party have long distrusted McCain yet there is no clear candidate around whom they are rallying. Consequently, unless Huckabee were to withdraw soon, very likely McCain would be the Republican nominee for President.


The next month may resolve the uncertainty surrounding the Presidential campaign. The Democratic campaigns are focused upon this Saturday's Louisiana Primary and Nebraska and Washington Caucuses, Sunday's Maine Caucuses and the so-called Potomac Primaries in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia next Tuesday. On February 19 Wisconsin will hold its primary. On March 4 voters in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont will head to the polls, followed by those in Pennsylvania on April 22.

Republicans in Louisiana and Kansas will vote this Saturday, followed by the Potomac Primaries next Tuesday, Washington and Wisconsin on February 19, and Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont on March 4. The last primaries will not be held until June so there are many ballots to be cast. It is too early to declare with finality that any particular candidate is a winner for his or her party's nomination, let alone the general election. Those of us, myself included, who once assumed that Clinton would coast to victory as the Democratic nominee in the general election must change our tune. She has a very difficult road ahead.



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