Here’s a chart to help keep track of what’s occurred in which states. I’ll keep updating it as the night goes.
I see down in comments and elsewhere, there’s shock at Huckabee’s strong showing across the South. He’s doing it without money, and the question is how? This is the same question that popped up after Huckabee won Iowa, and I think I have the answer to it. First, he has the mega and medium church network I’ve mentioned before. We’ve all underestimated the power of that network, which doesn’t cost a dime to tap into. It’s all word of mouth from one church or parachurch group to another. Second, his phone banks are all virtual. Shortly before the Florida primary there were reports that he had pulled his people out of that state. That was true to some extent, but it didn’t matter, because the Huckabee campaign relies for much of its non-robo phone work on volunteers who dial in from their own home, wherever they happen to be located, and make calls that are targeted to whichever states the campaign feels like it needs to hit. So he’s running a very lean, almost word-of-mouth operation that’s proving itself to be beyond the usual political radar of ads and such but quite strong in states that are receptive to his mix of social conservatism and populism.
Update: I’ll be on the Rusty Humphries show shortly to talk about the night.
Update: First results are coming in from CA. Hillary and McCain lead.
Update: Here’s how the Super Tuesday votes broke down by state/region. It’s clear to me that Huckabee is very much a regional candidate, but his region happens to be the GOP’s stronghold states in the South. It’s not unreasonable to expect him to take Mississippi and Texas to hold the entire old South minus Louisiana. And at least he has a region. McCain won in all the major winner-take-all states; Romney is a man without a region, essentially.
Update: McCain sums up the state of the race after tonight.
Update: Looking strictly at the maps, McCain would be strengthened in the South by picking up Huckabee or another prominent Southern conservative as a running mate. McCain is weak in the South and weak among conservatives. Phil Gramm would be a likely choice, being born in Georgia but serving in the Senate from Texas and with a nearly unmatched economic conservative pedigree. Where is Gramm on immigration? About where McCain is, making Huckabee arguably the more conservative choice on that issue. Who else does that leave us? TX Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who has a much weaker social and economics pedigree but a pretty solid national security record. She did vote against shamnesty, so she’s to McCain’s and Huckabee’s and Gramm’s right on that. And the woman factor might offset some of the Democrats’ historic ticket’s built-in advantages. Who else? A prominent Southern governor who has been successful — which brings us back to Huckabee. The problem with Huckabee is that beyond the South and evangelicals, he doesn’t bring much to the ticket and the GOP ought to hold advantages in the South and among evangelicals without Huck on the ticket. It’s hard to come up with a rationale for Romney getting on the ticket, from an electoral map point of view. It’s clear that he’s weakest in the South, not sure he can put anything up North in play. I guess one argument in his favor would be that he might help out in the North, but that’s assuming that the South stays with McCain and no Southerner on the ticket. I’m not so sure that that’s the case. Romney would make a great Secretary of the Treasury. McCain might be silly enough to put his friend Chuck Hagel on the ticket. It would be a massive mistake to do that, but it wouldn’t shock me if he did.
On the Dem side, it’s still a fight but Obama won where the Democrats aren’t likely to win in the fall. Hillary won traditional Democrat strongholds, and in a more broad-based fashion than Obama for the most part. A Clinton-Obama ticket carries a lot of history, but would be a regionalized, two-Senator ticket. Michelle called her pick, assuming Clinton becomes the nominee, for Wesley Clark. That seems likely as things stand now. None of the Dems’ other candidates would bring to the ticket what Clark would in terms of perceived gravitas. I said, perceived gravitas.
Update: Alaska is finally starting to report in on the GOP side. Romney has the early lead.
Update: Flip goes the extra mile on number crunching, with prettier charts than mine. I never claimed to be an HTML god… And yes, I realize that my Dem map has NM for Clinton when it hasn’t been called yet. It was called, erroneously, last night. Right now it’s trending Obama and I have that map ready once it’s official.