Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Huckabee Can Win the Nomination

As I write this, VA was just called, and MD, and DC have not been called.  [Update: McCain just won MD, which is assumed in the calculation below anyway.] [Update 2/15/08: Romney has endorsed McCain, so assuming his delegates will support McCain it is now extremely difficult to see how Huckabee could win.  This does not take away from the point of my post: the press said a Huckabee win was impossible, when it was not.] [Final update: Huckabee has now conceded.  Of course the point of this post was never that he would win, but that the press said it was impossible when it was not.]

I am not a fan of Huckabee.  In fact, I find some of his rhetoric very troubling.  But I am sick and tired of the media trying to decide the race.  They were wrong about Obama for the longest time, tacitly assuming Clinton would inevitably be the winner.
Obviously it is still mathematically possible for Huckabee to win the Republican nomination.  In fact, it is not at all unreasonable.  Consider the following scenario.

As of now (not including MD & DC, VA's 63 added in), Huckabee has 241 delegates, and McCain has 729+63=791 delegates. Suppose that McCain wins all the remaining blue states (less conservative states) and Huckabee wins all the remaining red and purple states (more conservative states).   Let's also give Huckabee Guam, American Samoa or the Virgin Islands, which have 9 delegates each.  That is, 
McCain wins MD,DC,RI,VT,HI,OR, for 143 delegates, giving him a total of 935 delegates.
Huckabee wins OH,TX,WI,MS,PA,IN,NC,KY,ID,NM,SD,NE, Guam, American Samoa,Virgin Islands, for 703 delegates, giving him a total of 944 delegates.

Huckabee would have a plurality of delegates.  Neither of them would have a majority, so it would be up to Romney delegates to decide.  Would they really pick McCain over Huckabee?  I doubt it.

So, while perhaps unlikely, it is certainly NOT mathematically impossible for Huckabee to win the nomination.
And if he did win, the press, which is always so eager to pick the winner, would haven been proven wrong once again.  So, dear reader, if you are a member of the press, I urge you not to jump to conclusions.

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