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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Indecisive - Daniel Politi

Here is the coverage from major papers on Super Tuesday. The latest estimates give Hilary 783 delegates and Obama 709 - t

Super Indecisive

All the papers devote most of the space on their front pages to yesterday's voting extravaganza, which involved contests in 24 states. On the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Clinton won some of the biggest prizes of the night, including California, while Sen. Barack Obama ultimately won more states. No one is really quite sure about the final tally yet, but early results suggest Clinton won a slight edge in the 1,678 pledged delegates that were at stake yesterday, but no one expects the actual difference to be very significant. So, after the biggest primary day in history, the Democratic race "emerged as it was before: deadlocked," says USA Today. Things were a bit clearer in the Republican race as Sen. John McCain won more states and will get by far the most delegates, thanks to his victories in the big-state primaries.

The Washington Post devotes a separate front-page story to the big surprise of the night: Mike Huckabee. Although many had already written him off, Huckabee managed to win five Southern states and quickly muddled the Republican field once more. This turned into bad news for Mitt Romney, who won six states but failed to cement his position as the true conservative candidate. Huckabee's victories "highlighted the discomfort social conservatives have with the field," notes the New York Times in a Page One analysis. Even though McCain became the clear Republican front-runner, there's "no sign that his rivals … would drop out soon and no sign of peace among the party's divided factions," notes the Los Angeles Times in its own front-page analysis. Assuming McCain does become the nominee, he "will have to spend time repairing relations with conservatives," warns the Wall Street Journal.

Everyone points out that Clinton's victories in "four of the five biggest prizes" (WP) helped ease fears that a late-breaking surge of support for Obama was going to cost the former first lady some states that had previously been thought of as easy wins. Particularly significant for the former first lady were her victories in Massachusetts, despite the fact that Obama had been endorsed by Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, and California, which showed her support among Latinos remains strong. Women and older voters also continued to be an important base of support for the New York senator. Obama continued to receive overwhelming support from black voters and did well with men, including a larger-than-expected number of white men in several states. The LAT says that Obama's victories in several states with negligible minority populations once again showed that many white voters are willing to pick a black candidate. "They both have bragging rights," Rep. Rahm Emanuel tells USAT. "Both won in every region of the country."

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