In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2008 / 3 Nissan 5768

John McCain Was One Lucky Guy in Primary Race With Romney

By Michael Barone

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | John McCain was one lucky guy. That has been my conclusion as we watched him beat Mike Huckabee in South Carolina January 19 by 33 percent to 30 percent, beat Mitt Romney in Florida January 29 by 36 percent to 31 percent, and then make a huge delegate sweep by winning all the winner-take-all states on Super Tuesday, February 5, including Missouri by a 33 percent-to-32 percent-to-29 percent margin over Huckabee and Romney. In California, which awarded 11 delegates to the statewide winner and three each to the winner in each congressional district, McCain beat Romney statewide 42 percent to 35 percent and carried 48 of 53 congressional districts (it appeared to be 50 of 53 before California finally counted all the votes).

Using Dave Leip's Election Atlas and the Green Papers, I calculated the delegate count if McCain's share of the vote had been exactly 3 percent less in each primary on January 19 and 26 and February 5 and if Romney's share of the vote had been exactly 3 percent more. After all, those results would have been just about as plausible, given the way the campaign and polling were going, as the actual results.

This 3 percent switch wouldn't have affected the delegate count in South Carolina, where McCain would still have beaten Huckabee 30.15 percent to 29.84 percent. And it wouldn't have affected it in most of the Super Tuesday primaries. It might have moved a couple of delegates in Massachusetts and Tennessee. (In Massachusetts, Leip has McCain carrying and winning 2-to-1 delegate advantages in the First, Fourth, Eighth, and Ninth Congressional Districts; the official state report to which he links has McCain carrying only the Eighth District, and by a margin that vanishes if you switch 3 percent of the vote from McCain to Romney. I can't find the Tennessee results by congressional district.)

But the 3 percent switch has a huge effect on the delegate count in four states. A 3 percent switch would have left Romney leading Huckabee by 33.92 percent to 33.17 percent and ahead of McCain in Georgia. This would have given him 33 additional delegates for winning statewide, yet (astonishingly) no additional delegates from any congressional district, at least as I read the two websites cited. In Florida, a 3 percent switch transforms McCain's 36 percent-to-31 percent victory to a 34 percent-to-33 percent victory for Romney. Florida was allotted 57 delegates on a winner-take-all basis, and that would have switched all 57 from McCain to Romney. Missouri on Super Tuesday was the closest three-way race, with Romney by a narrow margin in third place. But the 3 percent switch puts Romney in the lead, with 32.27 percent of the votes to 31.53 percent for Huckabee and 29.95 percent for McCain. In this scenario, Missouri's 58 winner-take-all delegation would have gone to Romney rather than to McCain.

Then there's California. A 3 percent switch wouldn't have given Romney the statewide lead and the 11 delegates awarded to the statewide winner. But it would have increased the number of congressional districts he carried from five to 18. Instead of 15 delegates, he would have had 54.

Let's put the results down in a table.

From a 255-delegate lead for McCain in these states to a 77-delegate lead for Romney. A 3 percent switch can make a big difference in winner-take-all systems.

After Super Tuesday, McCain had 516 delegates by one delegate count, with 207 to Romney and 142 for Huckabee. (I don't regard these numbers as definitive, but they're probably not very far off.) The 3 percent switch would have changed this to 362 for McCain, 385 for Romney, and 109 for Huckabee. Instead of McCain taking a huge delegate lead out of Super Tuesday, he'd have been a little behind. When you're behind as Romney was after Super Tuesday, you could see that even in a winner-take-all system, you'd have to win practically everything to overcome McCain's lead. Since Romney was in a position where he'd have to mostly self-finance any further campaigning, he was being asked to bet something like $30 million on very unfavorable odds.

Romney made his fortune reading numbers, and he probably realized, if only intuitively, that something like a 3 percent switch would have left him in a very different position. In that case, there was no way he would have gotten out of the race. The Potomac primary was coming up February 12. Romney could hope that with Huckabee still in the race (He had no reason to get out: His campaign cost him virtually nothing, and he was enjoying it), Romney might have carried Virginia (63 delegates winner-take-all) and maybe Maryland (34 delegates winner-take-all), even if one concedes D.C. (16 delegates winner-take-all) to McCain. Wins in the two states and a loss in D.C. would have given Romney 482 delegates to McCain's 378 — a triple-digit margin. (I'm ignoring the caucus states here, but Romney generally did better in caucuses than in primaries.) Momentum might have carried Romney to a win February 19 in Wisconsin. One or two weeks of TV time would eat up considerably less than $30 million, and if Romney had been ahead after Wisconsin, he might have found conservative money coming in for him in time to contest Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont on March 4. And if he had still been ahead after these contests, would McCain have stayed in until the Pennsylvania primary on April 22?

(Some readers may remember that the Republican National Committee deprived Florida of half its 114 delegates because it scheduled its primary too early, and that if Florida had had 114 delegates, it would have elected them mostly by winner-take-all in each of its 25 congressional districts. If a 3 percent switch had occurred, would Romney then have called for the full Florida delegation to be seated, as Hillary Clinton has done? Absolutely not. McCain carried 20 of the 25 districts, and even a 3 percent switch would have given Romney only 12 districts to McCain's 13. That means that in a 114-delegate delegation, Romney would have had 75 delegates and McCain 39. That's a smaller delegate lead than Romney would have gotten out of a 57-0 split.)

It didn't take Romney long to read the numbers. A 516-to-207 delegate count meant he had to get out, as he did, quite gracefully, at the CPAC convention February 7, two days after Super Tuesday. A 3 percent switch would have given us an entirely different Republican race and might have made Mitt Romney the Republican nominee. A nominee who was, before Super Tuesday, notably weaker in polls against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama than John McCain was then and is now. John McCain is one lucky guy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

The New Americans  

Now, more than ever, the melting pot must be used to keep America great. Barone attacks multiculturalism and anti-American apologists--but he also rejects proposals for building a wall to keep immigrants out, or rounding up millions of illegals to send back home. Rather, the melting pot must be allowed to work (as it has for centuries) to teach new Americans the values, history, and unique spirit of America so they, too, can enjoy the American dream.. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.

Michael Barone Archives

© 2006, US News & World Report