Why was the Republican party so quick to declare John McCain the winner of Saturday night's primary election in Washington State? With 13% of the votes yet to be tallied, the call went for McCain, who was ahead of insurgent rival Mike Huckabee by just 1.8% of the votes cast.
By the time they awaited the results of the Washington contest, the American people had already learned some shocking news. Huckabee had destroyed McCain in Kansas and was projected the winner in Louisiana. A win in Washington would make it an embarrassing clean sweep over the party's newly-anointed leader. Did this factor into the decision to prematurely call the race for McCain?
On Meet the Press, Huckabee called described the chain of events this way:
Josh Marshall and the TPM crew have been all over this one. So far, the most compelling rationale they've unearthed to explain the quick declaration is that the State's Republican Party chair, Luke Esser, just got really excited. Let's see what Huckabee's legal team can find out.
Huckabee's pressure has forced the state to resume counting the rest of the ballots. Don't expect a concession speech until the last vote is tallied, and maybe not even then.
Now check out Huckabee talking to CNN today. He's got a damn good point.
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