BIG NIGHT FOR McCAIN-- BUT HE STILL LOST REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVES
If Willard wasn't such a worthless and detestable slithering creature, I'd almost feel sorry for the way the whole Republican Establishment is telling him they're sorry about his $60 million but that he can't buy the GOP nomination just now. The powers behind the Republican Party think their one shot-- no matter how slim-- to hold on to the White House is through fake-independent/fake maverick John McCain.
Interestingly, though, McCain won among all ideological groups except the party's dominant one: conservatives. In Florida 28% of Republicans call themselves "moderates" and a confused 11% call themselves "liberals." McCain beat Romney 40-22% among moderate Republicans and 46-25% among liberal Republicans. But among self-described conservative Republicans (62% of the Florida GOP), Willard beat McCain 37-27%. Imagine if the conservatives actually had a candidate they truly admired and felt comfortable with!
As we reported last night, Rudy Giuliani is giving up his sort of tentative race for the worthless Republican nomination. He'll be endorsing McCain and actively campaigning for him. Apparently Giuliani's not going to show up at the California debate tomorrow.
Regardless of extremist loons like Rick Santorum, conservatives would rather have McCain win than Hillary or Obama and they will rally round even someone they dislike as much as McCain. Two disgruntled elderly right-wingers were grousing on MSNBC tonight that a McCain candidacy can be summed up as less jobs and more wars. A few of the hard core and most extremist of the GOP nuts will make a last stand against McCain, but in the end, they'll all hold their noses and cast their votes for McCain in November-- not that it will make much difference. Keep in mind, in this 50/50 state-- where the Democratic primary wasn't even official-- that Hillary got 856,944 votes, compared to McCain's 693,425 votes (in a primary that was official).
UPDATE: REPUBLICAN HISPANICS WON THE FLORIDA PRIMARY FOR McCAIN
McCain's leadership role on trying to grant undocumented immigrants amnesty has paid off for him big time, making him the undisputed frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination. Ironically, he lost self identified conservative voters to Willard but Spanish language robo calls to Latino households from Senator Mel Martinez saved the day-- narrowly-- for McCain. (Willard only got 14% of the Hispanic vote.)
Immigration was the issue that many on the Right-- especially panderers like Romney-- thought would define the 2008 elections. And it was the issue that was supposed to help doom McCain among GOP voters. Instead, it was the issue that in the end probably killed Romney's last hope of getting the nomination. And the GOP will likely nominate one of the key authors of the supposedly hated comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
There is some justice that it was GOP Hispanics who delivered the death blow to Romney. McCain led Romney is a number of demographic groups, but it was Hispanics-- more than veterans or elderly voters-- who gave McCain a disproportionate number of their votes. McCain received 54% of Hispanic voters to the 14% of Hispanics who supported Romney. With Hispanics making up 12% of the GOP primary voters and that difference, doing the math, adds up almost exactly to the overall 5% McCain margin of victory in Florida.