Saturday, February 09, 2008

Obama prevails in WA and NE

Barack Obama easily defeated Hillary Clinton in both the Washington state and Nebraska caucuses. According to CNN early exit polls show Obama leading slightly in the Louisiana primary.

(Washington caucus tally)

10:10PM UPDATE: CNN just called Louisiana for Obama. He's leading Clinton 54-38% with about a third of the parishes reporting.

10:46PM UPDATE: AP reports that Obama won the US Virgin Islands caucus today. That makes it a CLEAN SWEEP for Barack today. On to Maine tomorrow!

10:58PM UPDATE: It looks like Mike Huckabee, the winner in Kansas, has small leads and may also take Nebraska and Louisiana. This would be bad news for McCain, because after Super Tuesday he was almost conceded the nomination. But with Romney dropped out, it gives the "Anyone But McCain" conservatives a single candidate to focus upon. The Romney withdrawal may be the worst thing that could have happened to McCain at this time.

11:33PM UPDATE: McCain has a scant 2% lead in Washington with 78% of the precincts reporting. So there's a reasonable chance that Huckster won't pull that one out. Which is a shame. I really want to see a knock-down drag-em-out battle for the Republican nomination.

Other news: There are widespread reports from Louisiana of Democratic voters being disenfranchised. When showing up to vote, they are incorrectly listed as "independent" or unregistered. Under state law, each voter may request a provisional ballot so they can vote, then later their case will be reviewed and if it has merit, their vote will be counted. But many voters are unaware of the option and are simply turning away.

The good thing about the tremendous interest in the primaries this election cycle is the opportunity for many voters to find out the status of their registration and correct it in time for the national election. It also allows time for states to address their policies and systems and see if there are ways to better serve the voters.

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