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The Three-Way Two-Man Race

Where to begin… So Supercalifragilistic Tuesday has come and gone, and now we’re left with fewer answers than questions. For instance, Will Obama sweep Chesapeake Tuesday (stupid name, I know, but that’s what they’re calling it) and drive the nomination fight into March and beyond? Will the Republicans three-way two-man race force a convention floor fight? Or can McCain do well enough in Washington, Wisconsin, Texas and Ohio to lock it all up by mid-March?

Allahpundit at HotAir:

“What does it say that after conservative talk show hosts rail against McCain for a week, we do see a bunch of deep red states go for a candidate besides McCain… but it’s not Romney, but Huckabee?”

Well, it’s interesting that McCain won nine states, but it’s more interesting that he failed to win 11. With Romney picking up six and Huck grabbing five, there is an argument to be made that there is more momentum against J-Mac than with him. However, the GOP’s winner take all system gave McCain a sizeable lead among delegates.

It would be fascinating to see Romney and Huckabee announce a Rom/Huck ticket and combine their 434 delegates. That would at least make it close and give the conservatives something to rally behind. The only problem is whether their giant egos would be able to determine who gets top billing.

The bigger problem for the GOP, though is this:

State Dem Vote Total GOP Vote Total Differential
AL 533521 550573 -17052
AR 278764 202700 76064
GA 1040873 952474 88399
MO 820453 584618 235835
OK 401230 329843 71387
SC 530322 442918 87404
TN 612791 548783 64008

These are all states that the GOP carried in 2004, and yet, with the exception of Alabama, the Democrat turnout in those states was dramatically higher then GOP turnout. If those gaps held constant in the general, and both parties voted for their respective nominee, the Democrats would currently hold a 310 to 228 electoral advantage.

Now all of that remaining constant is unlikely. There are a lot of things that will impact turnout and voter behavior in a general election. This is likely a worst case scenario for the GOP at this point.

However, in a year with a wide open field, it doesn’t bode well for the GOP that turnout by Democrats is significantly greater. Keep in mind, the conventional wisdom says primaries and off year elections generally see higher turnout among the GOP because they tend to vote in every election, rather than just Presidential years and General elections. If the turnout among the Democrats in the primaries is that much greater, I shudder to think what sort of fight the eventual nominee is in for.

Written by Michael Turk