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Tuesday was supposed to be a defining moment in the 2008 presidential race. With delegates from an unprecedented two dozen states up for grabs, it was the night when the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees were to be determined ” with California being the deciding factor.
But it didn’t quite turn out that way. Instead, it was a night of splintered results and a few surprises.
On the Democratic side, it was a split decision although Sen. Hillary Clinton won the big three: New York, Massachusetts and California. She also claimed victories in Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Jersey. But the returns in most of the states were too close to give the New York senator a definitive lead in the delegate count.
Meanwhile, Sen. Barack Obama won 12 states, including Illinois and several toss-up states including Connecticut, Minnesota, Utah and Colorado.
On the Republican side, it was supposed to be a definitive night for Sen. John McCain and possibly the time that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finally made his move. But, instead, one of the main stories was a comeback tale for former Gov. Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor shocked many by winning Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia in addition to his home state.
Nevertheless, McCain remained the clear GOP frontrunner, extending his commanding lead by winning six states including California, New York, Arizona, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois.
For Romney, it was a night of bitter disappointment as he won in Montana, North Dakota, Utah and Minnesota as well as Massachusetts but lost badly in the Bible Belt.
Overall, the main storyline of the day was how much wasn’t decided on the much-anticipated ‘Tsunami Tuesday.”
As former North Coast Rep. Doug Bosco told use, “Maybe California made a mistake in not having its primary in June after all. There’s no doubt that the race isn’t over.”
Maybe. As Bosco noted, “We would have seen every one of (the candidates) knocking on our doors.”
Sonoma County might have benefited from some of that retail politics.
In any event, the attention now turns to races that many thought wouldn’t matter. It begins on Saturday with the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Washington, Nebraska (for Democrats) and Kansas (for the Republicans).
The race for the presidential nominations now goes into overtime.
– Paul Gullixson