Today we have the Potomac Primaries--Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.
Obama is likely to win all three as Virginia has a good mix of
college-educated whites (in the north) and blacks, Maryland has
plenty of college-educated voters although not as many blacks as
Virginia and D.C. has a majority black electorate. Solid wins in
all three will probably put Obama ahead in delegate totals.
Obama also has a good shot at winning student-heavy Wisconsin on Feb. 19
and is very likely to win his birth state, Hawaii, the same day.
After these, the next big event is March 4, when Texas (with a
large Latino population) and Ohio (with many older blue collar
workers) vote. These are key Clinton groups and she could get back
her momentum by big wins here. At that point it would be likely
that the nomination will be fought out at the convention, starting
with a food fight over seating the Florida and Michigan delegations.
Of course the DNC desperately wants to avoid a credentials fight.
One possible solution is to hold caucuses in Florida and Michigan
June 10, which gives them the final word. These would be sanctioned
by the party and both candidates could compete there and all the
resulting delegates would be seated with no argument.
On the Republican side, John McCain and Mike Huckabee face off
in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. as well. The Virginia primary
especially could show how deep the discontent with McCain is among
conservatives. If they rally around Huckabee as the last McCain
opponent standing, Huckabee still won't win the nomination, but
it will demonstrate the depth of McCain's problem.
CNN is keeping track of the delegates for the
and for the
Note that other sources may differ because CNN is trying to count the PLEOs (Party Leaders and
Elected Officials) and other unpledged delegates.
When different reporters call a PLEO and hear "Well, I like Hillary,
but Barack has his charms too" they may score it differently.
Here is CNN's count: