McCain Wins Florida; Giuliani & Edwards Drop Out

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There’s been quite a shift in the presidential field. John McCain won the GOP primary in Florida by the following margin:

  • McCain 36%
  • Romney 31%
  • Giuliani 15%
  • Huckabee 13%
  • Paul 3%
  • Thompson 1%

Rudy Giuliani (and the campaign that never was) has given up his run for the presidency and thrown his support behind John McCain. The Arizona Senator looks to be close to sealing up the nomination, as he is ahead in national polls leading up to Super Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton won the Florida Democratic contest, but the candidates were not supposed to campaign in the state and no delegates will be awarded for the victory. She is the front-runner in national polls, but we’ll have to see what happens on Super Tuesday.

John Edwards has dropped his bid for the presidency, stressing the problems of poverty during his exit speech:

Edwards did not endorse either Obama or Clinton in his departure, though that could change in the near future. He may not make an endorsement and hope to be chosen as a vice-presidential candidate by the party nominee.

The Obama campaign has released their fundraising figures for the month of January, topping the $32 million mark in just one month.  This shows each of these campaigns should be able to compete for months to come, if necessary.

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Obama Takes South Carolina

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This Saturday Barack Obama scored an overwhelming victory in the South Carolina Democratic primary.  The results:

  • Obama 55%
  • Clinton 27%
  • Edwards 18%

Obama received more than 291,000 votes, besting the combined totals of the top two vote-getters in the South Carolina Republican primary; McCain and Huckabee received 147,283 and 132,440 votes for a combined total of 279,723.

Dennis Kucinich has dropped his presidential bid and is shifting focus to his Congressional reelection campaign.

Up next in the primary contest is the state of Florida, where both parties are set to battle on Tuesday the 29th.  Florida is the second state in this primary contest to be stripped of its Democratic delegates, so there will be no delegates awarded in the Democratic contest.  But the Republicans will be fighting to win 57 delegates in the winner-take-all contest.

Mitt Romney and John McCain are in a statistical dead-heat in current Florida polls, while Clinton has a comfortable lead among Democrats.  Rudy Giuliani, who has based his entire campaign strategy on winning Florida, is currently polling nearly ten percentage points behind the front-runners in the contest.

One week after the Florida primary is the big day of the primary season: Super Tuesday, February 5th.  On that day, twenty-two different states from all over the country will cast their votes and we should begin to have a more concrete idea of which two candidates will proceed on to the general election.

Romney Wins Michigan; Uncommited Showing Strong

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Mitt Romney has won the third Republican primary contest, winning the thirty delegates from the state of Michigan. Here are the results:

  • Romney 39%
  • McCain 30%
  • Huckabee 16%
  • Paul 6%
  • Thompson 4%
  • Giuliani 3%
  • Uncommitted 2%

And Hillary Clinton has won the zero delegates awarded in Michigan’s Democratic contest. With only four names appearing on the ballot, the Democratic primary results were as follows:

  • Clinton 55%
  • Uncommitted 40%
  • Kucinich 4%
  • Dodd 1%
  • Gravel 0%

One might call it a Clinton victory if only her name wasn’t the most (if not the only) recognizable name on the ballot. It was expected to be an even larger landslide for Clinton in a primary contest that has no real value in the nominating process. There is a relatively strong showing of Kucinich supporters, though, considering he has to fight legal battles in order to appear in a televised debate.

On the Republican side, Ron Paul has once again received more than double the votes of Rudy Giuliani; perhaps they should consider barring Rudy from the next televised debate.

Next up in the series is the state of Nevada, set for Saturday the 19th. For those of you looking further ahead, here is a copy of the primary schedule.

The Fight Continues…

The primary season is underway. With one state under their belt, the Republican candidates squared off in another debate Saturday night on ABC. Each of the candidates still failed to grasp Ron Paul’s view of American foreign policy:

It makes you wonder if they really believe what they say. To quote Giuliani: “It has nothing to do with our foreign policy. It has to do with their ideas, their theories, the things that they have done, and the way they have perverted their religion to a hatred of us. And what’s at stake are the things that our best about us: our freedom of religion, our freedom for women, our right to vote, our free economic system. Our foreign policy is irrelevant, totally irrelevant. If you read what they write, if you bother to listen to what they say, this comes out of their own perverted thinking.”

This is a battle of good vs. evil, freedom vs. terror, Christians vs. Muslims…thanks for clearing it all up for us, Mr. Mayor. Looks like Rudy might be sipping a bit too much of his own Kool-aid, just check out his recent fearmongering commercial:

At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire (backed by “Droopy” Joe Lieberman), John McCain upped the ante on our commitment in Iraq. When asked about Bush’s talk of staying in Iraq for fifty years, McCain replied, “Make it a hundred.”

Four of the Democratic candidates also had a ‘debate’ in NH, Kucinich and Gravel once again excluded from the process. Fresh from his Iowa victory, Obama tried to stay positive. Edwards seemed to be setting himself up for a vice-presidential bid on an Obama ticket, as he continued his aggressive attack of Clinton and the ‘status quo’.

Kucinich has filed a complaint about his debate exclusion, mentioning that Disney (ABC’s parent company) has made contributions to all four of the Democratic candidates involved in the debate.

Obama, Huckabee Win Iowa Caucus

The Iowa Caucus results are in:

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Republican: (percentage of head-count received)

  • Mike Huckabee 34%
  • Mitt Romney 25%
  • Fred Thompson 13%
  • John McCain 13%
  • Ron Paul 10%
  • Rudy Giuliani 3%

Democratic: (percentage of delegates received)

  • Barack Obama 37.6%
  • John Edwards 29.8%
  • Hillary Clinton 29.5%
  • Bill Richardson 2.1%
  • Joe Biden 0.9%

Obviously the big winners are Obama and Huckabee. The results are a devastating blow to the Romney campaign, which spent nearly 17 times as much money as Huckabee did in Iowa. But can Huckabee last over the long haul?

Some may wonder about Rudy Giuliani’s showing (less than 1/3 of Ron Paul’s), as he is supposed to be the national Republican front-runner. The Giuliani campaign is essentially ignoring the smaller early states of Iowa and New Hampshire and relying on the larger, delegate-rich states like Florida, New York, and California to seal his nomination. Time will tell if that strategy pays off.

The close third-place showing for Hillary Clinton is upsetting for her campaign, though she is sure to continue to fight for the long haul. Edwards really needed a win in Iowa to build some momentum, but I have a feeling we might be seeing his name on the ticket if Obama gets the nomination. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd have both pulled out of the race due to their poor showing in Iowa.

The results for second-tier democratic candidates are a bit deceiving, though. In any one of Iowa’s 1781 caucus precinct locations, if a particular candidate did not register at least 15% support among caucus-goers, their supporters were given the option to make a second choice. So Richardson’s 2% shows that he was able to reach the 15% threshold in multiple caucus locations in order to win two percent of the total delegates available.

Mid-week Roundup 12/5

Here are some headlines rounded up from this week:

Is “Save Darfur” a PR Scam?

Drug giant Pfizer will boost outsourcing to Asia; also their Celebrex expert testifies in court without a license.

Private Contractors look to profit from domestic spying.

Hillary is quite tied up with Big Oil and defense contractors.

Guiliani’s ties to a terror shiek

Virginia primaries will demand oath of loyalty from Republican voters.

Bush Justice Department is okay with kidnapping.

100 Students walk out on former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Guantanamo heading to the Supreme Court.

The human costs of the Iraq Occupation.

Join the military, go to college… The Pentagon’s education recruitment pitch is a scam?

Iraq Vet is punished for seeking help.

US War Vets to speak publicly about war crimes this March.

Bush and Maliki agree to long-term US troop presence in Iraq.

Also, John Pilger has a new book called ‘Freedom Next Time,’ and here is a speech he gave in Chicago concerning media journalism…if you have 45 minutes to spare.