McCain takes Ohio, Vermont; close to clinching nomination

To piggyback on our previous post, here is the latest update from the AP:

“McCain added first Vermont, then Ohio
to his column in the Republican race, and moved to within about 130 of
the delegate total needed to clinch the nomination. Aides readied a
giant banner bearing the magic number 1,191 to serve as a backdrop
for an anticipated victory celebration in Dallas.”

Read the complete story here.

Obama takes Vermont, Ohio still up in the air

As expected, Barack Obama won Vermont, or is expected to based on exit polling.  TV networks are not so bold about calling the race in Ohio, where it should be a lot closer.  Clinton has led all the polls there. 

The conventional wisdom is, as far as I can gather, that if Clinton takes Ohio and Texas she is back in contention, if she loses both, her campaign is sunk, and if they split (likely with Clinton taking Ohio, and Obama, Texas) we’re in for a long campaign with Obama as the front runner. 

Full story here

Election Countdown accused of partisanship

I was dreading the call, and had anticipated it enough to post the following entry back on Feb. 14. But despite any disclaimers, it was only a matter of time before we received a complaint that our blog was displaying a left-leaning slant in its coverage of the presidential nominating campaigns.

There is nothing but Democrats on your political campaign page,” said reader Diane, who identified herself as a registered Republican, in a message left on my voicemail. “It would be nice to see some coverage of the Republicans, and even independents for that matter.”

Well Diane, we appreciate your concerns. But as I mentioned before, the Republican nominating race has been locked in for a while, with Sen. John McCain able to officially capture the nomination today if he wins enough delegates in the Texas and Ohio primaries. But the Democratic race is still very much alive. After all, the term “Critical Tuesday” that has been coined for today’s Ohio and Texas contests refers to the Obama-Clinton fight. I doubt McCain is looking over his shoulder at Mike Huckabee with anything other than curious amusement.

Journalists (and the public, for that matter), like to concentrate on unfolding developments, not foregone conclusions.

That being said, if today’s races settle it for the Democrats, readers can be assured that they will be hearing a lot more from the GOP at Election Countdown as McCain ramps up his campaign against whoever ends up being his actual Democratic rival come November.

Romero stumps in Texas for Obama

Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, who represents parts of the west San Gabriel Valley, was in Texas over the weekend as a surrogate to Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Romero is a member of Obama’s National Latino Leadership Committee.

Obama’s use of Romero in Texas makes sense. She is a woman and a Latina, the two demographics that have been traditionally in Clinton’s camp but which Obama has been increasingly able to woo to his side. And it looks like his heavy targeting of Latinos is working: CNN’s latest poll has Obama with a statistically insignificant lead in Latino-heavy Texas, a must-win state with 228 delegates as stake. In fact the Longhorn State is the largest delegate prize remaining, and has been described by Clinton’s campaign as a “firewall,” along with Ohio, where the New York senator plans to stop Obama’s increasing momentum.

It is safe to say that a loss in Texas and Ohio for the former first lady pretty much ends her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.