One of Saturday’s three Republican presidential caucuses stirred up some controversy, an unfortunate occurrence that needlessly poured fuel onto the Huckabee campaign’s conspiratorial fire, with his chairman reviving memories of Al Gore in Florida 2000:
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is crying foul after John McCain’s apparent victory in the Washington caucuses on Saturday.
Huckabee’s campaign released a statement Sunday saying it will be exploring all available legal options regarding the ”dubious final results.” Arizona Sen. McCain was announced as the victor in the caucuses with 26 percent of the vote to Huckabee’s 24 percent.
But Huckabee’s campaign chairman, Ed Rollins, said Luke Esser, Washington’s Republican Party chairman, chose to call the race too quickly for McCain.
Rollins said Huckabee was losing by 242 votes with 87 percent of the vote counted. He said there were another 1,500 or so votes that were apparently not counted.
”That is an outrage,” Rollins said.
Rollins said the Huckabee campaign’s lawyers will be on the ground in Washington soon to see why the count took so long, and why the vote-counting was stopped prematurely.
But as Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters this morning follows up to show the results not changing:
With 94% of the precincts now reporting, McCain still leads by about the same percentage.
And as Pudge at Sound Politics reports from the ground in Washington State, here’s how much the presidential preference results even mean:
People from all over the media, from Josh Marshall to Tim Russert, and Mike Huckabee, are talking about the party declaring a winner, whether it was too soon, and so on. But what the party said about the results literally means nothing at all….
For Huckabee to be talking about legal challenges to a completely meaningless result shows that either he has no idea what the results actually mean (nothing), or he is just doing this for show.
My guess is the latter. The former Arkansas governor has had a better run for the nomination than most analysts would have predicted, but the media oxygen is escaping from his campaign. You don’t have to be a “math major” to see he cannot win the nomination, though maybe his continued presence in the race will have some effect of sending a conservative message to the GOP’s impending nominee, John McCain.
Meanwhile, the effects of Washington state’s real election scandal of 2004 live on.