Yesterday saw the Nevada and South Carolina primaries. It didn't have a snappy name like Super Tuesday, so I'm calling it Kinda-Neato Saturday. And as you might expect, I have a few winners and losers from Kinda-Neato Saturday.
- Hillary Clinton. Hillary picked up another win in Nevada, making it two in a row for the former First Lady. What made this victory significant is that she was able to overcome concerns about her position on African-Americans, motivate Hispanic-Americans to vote for her (remember "No mother can be illegal"?), and pull off a win in the polls. However...
- Barack Obama. ... Barack Obama won the delegate count. (Don't ask me how because I don't understand it, either.) That's a victory for Obama because any time he gets more delegates than Hillary, it cuts into her delegate lead. Plus, the way he personally handled allegations that he was playing the race card nationally after the Clinton campaign made comments seen as demeaning to Obama and African-Americans. If the racial element of the Democratic race continues to be an issue, Obama's reaction will do more to make him look Presidential than any Democrat running.
- John McCain. Winning in South Carolina validates his position as a serious candidate. His campaign was written off as dead in the water before Iowa, and now he has two wins under his belt, which puts him one behind Mitt Romney in the total number of wins. He's still winning the more independently-minded votes for now, which continues to keep his head above water.
- Mitt Romney. He won Nevada and came in fourth in South Carolina, but time, momentum, and the delegate count are still on his side. The upcoming contests will play into Romney's strengths and undercut the very support base McCain has used to win New Hampshire and South Carolina.
- Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson. I've lumped these two together to a) save space, and b) to point out how both needed a good showing in South Carolina to remain viable. Beating Mitt Romney qualifies as a good showing in my book. Huckabee drew on the evangelical vote to take second, and Thompson picked up the rock-ribbed conservative vote to take third.
- John Edwards. Is he even competing anymore? The media are already ignoring him for the most part to focus on Hillary and Obama. The best thing he's been able to do is come out first against Obama for saying something nice about Reagan, and that wasn't anything great because people liked Reagan. It's like coming out firmly against Snoopy. Pack it in, dude. Nobody's listening anymore.
- Rudy Giuliani. Any time you're ready to start running, let me know. You're getting beaten by Ron Flipping Paul, for the love of Pete! Waiting until Florida to make your big move appears to be backfiring because people are either starting to lose interest in your campaign or don't remember you're in the race to begin with. In politics, you need to be visible, and you're not that visible right now. The only way you can get back in is to win Florida, and that's becoming less likely with each new contest and each passing day.
- CNN. I was chatting with a friend of mine who was watching the CNN coverage of the South Carolina results and she relayed to me some of the things CNN's "political experts" were saying about the race. Thompson was in cahoots with Huckabee. John McCain's win in South Carolina helps him appear to be a real contender. CNN is the most trusted name in cable news. Laughter abounded repeatedly when I saw CNN repeatedly missing the target on what's going on with the Republican field. I'm surprised they didn't project that Dennis Kucinich won Nevada. If anyone from CNN is reading this, take a moment to realize that the "political experts" you have on air have nothing but air between their ears. Hire someone who knows something about politics...like me.
Coming soon, Super Tuesday!