One thing I know for sure after today's voting:
On the Dems side, John Edwards should pack it up. It's down to Obama and Hillary with Hillary a little ahead on the momentum.
Today's primary contests in Nevada and South Carolina courtesy of Brad at The Crossed Pond:
For the Republicans, Nevada was weirdly uncontested, so Romney gets crowing rights and an impression of continued viability basically handed to him by his opponents. I think part of what has left this Republican field so wide open is the terror of ALL the candidate to even compete in states that aren’t already in their pocket. So they essentially get divvied up before voting even begins. The only people even appearing to run national campaigns at this point are McCain and Huckabee, which is why they’re winning. In any event, Romney gets a boost and said impression of continued viability from Nevada, enough so that he can probably count on being the third man in the race going into February 5th.The whole analysis is here
What is missing in most of the MSM and the Pajamas Media Blogosphere coverage that Brad does talk about is Ron Paul's second place showing in Nevada and the demographics that go along with it:
It’s a little unfair for people to mitigate the showing by saying the rest of the candidates didn’t campaign there, as it’s not like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, or Fred Thompson are nobodies that have to shake a lot of hands to be viable anywhere. Ron legitimately beat them here, and now HE gets to remind dismissive interviewers that he has beaten at least once every candidate in this race, and along with a national 4th place showing, has a small but existent cache of delegates (actually, there are a lot of reports coming out from Nevada that Ron may have actually done a lot better with the delegates than with the preference polling, and though it’s not being reported, he could well walk away with half of the delegates out of Nevada, which remember has more than South Carolina; it could turn out that Ron Paul comes in third today on the delegate count), and that his support isn’t large, but it’s not shallow or regional either.Could Dr. Paul be the only man who can save
That said, it also indicates that even in a field which his opponents very publicly pass on, Ron can’t break to 20%, meaning he’s running less against his opponents than against his own glass ceiling. Of course the flipside of that is even WITH his opponents in the race he STILL gets comparable results, which is interesting in its own right. In any case, he comes out of Nevada with an underreported silver medal that nevertheless gives him bragging rights and a bit of righteous credibility from now on. His campaign is legitimately more viable than Fred Thompson’s, John Edwards’, and, I would argue, Rudy Giuliani. Which is not to say Paul is particularly viable (he’s not, for the nomination), but he is JUST as viable as those other guys.
The cross-tabs are interesting also. Ron won—outright won—the independent vote (only 12% in this race), which is what pushed him past McCain (who is no slouch among independents). The only other demographic he outright carried was those who identify as having no religion. But most interesting to me is he continues to get about 20% of the under-30 vote in every single voting state, which is providing him his engine of vote-getting. When a party that is having a lot of problems staying viable in the face of shifting demographics, and which is in large part bleeding potential support, in particular younger voters, having this fly on the wall candidate who is nevertheless able to mobilize the youth of the GOP in a way nobody else this cycle is ought to be something the Republican party pays attention to.
What will be interesting to see is who bails out on the race because of money. Fundraising comes into play with Florida and Uber-Tuesday coming up. Pretty much all of the GOP (except Romney) are going to have to pick and choose where to campaign.
Will the history of the winner of South Carolina winning the GOP nomination hold? For all that is holy in this world I hope not. I don't know what I'm going to do if McCain gets the nomination. I can't vote for him.
Rudy is still in this race, isn't he? He is going to look like either a genius or the biggest dope if Florida doesn't come through for him. According to the NYT article linked above, he's running short on cash also. Where the heck did all his money go? It doesn't seem like he's been campaigning anywhere.