CalifornElection

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Feb 05, 2008 5:21 PM
This will, no doubt, sound obvious -- but California is obviously very, very important tonight.  Tonight's results in CA could be the difference between forcing conservatives to coalesce around McCain starting tomorrow -- or the beginning of a conservative/Romney insurgency that could extend the campaign for weeks -- possibly, but not likely -- to the convention.

A few notes about the race in CA:  First, It's important to keep in mind that, unlike New York, for example, California is not a winner-take-all state.  There are 53 Congressional districts that each award 3 delegates (the districts, themselves, are winner-take-all).  It's very possible that (as happened for Obama in Nevada) the winner of the popular vote will receive less delegates than the loser...

Even if McCain scores more delegates tonight, if Romney wins the majority of delegates in California, it might just give his campaign enough rationale to stay in the race.  If that scenario plays out, John McCain may also regret messing around in Massachusetts so much -- when he should have been campaigning in California ...

Still, even if Romney does well in California, I think Romney may not receive as much attention as he otherwise might, simply because he is surging in a state that is on the west coast. 

This is true for two reasons:

1.  Polling locations in East Coast states will close at like 5 PM Pacific time.  If McCain is winning big, do Californians turn out for Romney?  Or are they discouraged by the results back East?

2.  And even if Romney goes on to win , McCain will get most of the buzz tonight.  Romney's California victory might not even make it into tomorrow's papers.  When most people go to bed tonight, the talk will likely be about McCain ...

Stay tuned ...