The big loser in the Florida Primary Vote is Rudy Giuliani who is coming in a tepid third place in the Republican Primary. McCain is receiving 36% of the vote to Romney at 31% to Giuliani at 15% and Huckabee at 13%. Florida is a winner take all state for the Republicans and McCain is picking up 57 delegates. This is with 94% of the vote counted.
Because Florida moved it’s Primary early against the Democratic Party rules no delegates are being awarded now although that could change at the convention. Meanwhile, despite the Democratic candidates pledge to not campaign in Florida, their names were still on the ballot and Hillary Clinton is decisively beating Obama and Edwards. She has 49.5% of the votes to Obama’s 32.9% to Edwards 14.4%.
So what does Clinton’s win in Florida mean?
Now the Democratic politically correct thing to say is that Clinton’s win doesn’t count but Obama assumes that at his peril. The media likewise discounts it. While the delegates aren’t there now, Clinton still won the vote and I believe the win is as significant as Obama’s win in South Carolina.
Voters turned out and made a choice. With national media attention and coverage of the campaigns these days, voters were well aware of who they were voting for, whether the candidates physically campaigned in the state or not.
The same goes for the Michigan Primary. Clinton’s name was on the ballot there, while Obama and Edwards were not. The national party withdrew the delegates from Michigan because they went early like Florida did. But voters had a choice and they voted. If they choose Obama or Edwards instead of Clinton, they had to vote uncommitted. Clinton won 55.3% of the Michigan Democratic vote while uncommitted received 40%.
So by my calculation, Clinton has won the vote in four states – New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada and Florida. Obama has won the vote in Iowa and South Carolina. Collectively Clinton has garnered more votes than Obama in total. A rough estimate is that Clinton has received about 1.54 million votes total to Obama’s 1.25 million votes. This is a ballpark figure only – an estimate based on a couple of extrapolations from delegate counts in Iowa and Nevada and giving Obama 2/3 of the uncommitted vote in Michigan.
All this is to say that its a close race and if votes split similarly on February 5th, and delegates likewise, we’re in for the long haul. Both candidates are running hard and no one has scored a knockout punch yet in the Democrat’s race. February 5th could change all that since Super Tuesday has over 20 states voting and over 40% of the total delegates at stake for both parties.