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Close Races in Wisconsin (and elsewhere)

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner Ivan and I flippantly predicted clean sweeps for both parties in today’s (Tuesday’s) primaries and caucuses. Obama winning Wisconsin and Hawaii and McCain winning Wisconsin and Washington State. (Hawaii’s Republican caucus isn’t until May, and there are no delegates at stake in Washington’s Democratic Primary).

But…

In Wisconsin a few hours before the polls open, Pollster.com has Obama only up by 7.0% which is decent, but some polls show it closer, and the difference between final polls and actual results has sometimes been bigger than that this year. The trend is in Obama’s direction though, so a Hillary win would be a big upset. But the gap really isn’t that huge. It COULD happen.

But look at this!! On the Republican side McCain leads Huckabee by 9.8%… which is a decent margin… but look at the slope of Huckabee’s trend line in the data from February. That Huckabee sure is making a nuicance of himself, ain’t he? I’m not saying he will win Wisconsin, but he sure is making a race out of it.

Meanwhile, there are no recent polls in Washington state, but Huckabee came within a hair of winning the caucuses here (and he is, I think, still asking for recounts and the like). Will that translate from caucus to primary? I dunno. But with the overall message being “McCain has it wrapped up”, plus the confusion from there being both a primary and a caucus here… I wouldn’t be surprised if McCain people stayed home, and Huckabee pulled out a win.

That is just too funny.

The math is still almost impossible for Huckabee here. But there is that little sliver of “almost”. But most (if not all) of the remaining Republican contests are proportional rather than winner-takes-all. Which I think means that Huckabee could actually win every race from here on out and McCain would STILL reach the magic number for the nomination first. But wouldn’t that be fun?

Go Huckabee Go!

As for Hawaii… I haven’t seen a single poll on Hawaii, and it is a caucus state anyway, so fairly unpredictable. The one thing I heard at one point was that Hillary was trying to make a contest out of it, and don’t be so sure that because Obama lived there as a young man that he would win it. So I really have no idea there. I’m guessing Obama here… but I’m really shooting in the dark with no data and basing it on the fact that EVERYBODY seems to assume it will go Obama… but I’m not sure if the talking heads have real data here either.

Anyway, 18 hours from now I will once again be glued to CNN, watching returns come in minute by minute. Fun stuff.

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