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Super Tuesday Live Blog Postgame

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11:22 p.m. On the Republican side, nearly all networks, especially Fox News and MSNBC, are writing the political obituary for Mitt Romney's 2008 campaign, echoing Mike Huckabee's speech tonight that the GOP race is a "two-person race" with Huckabee in it. NBC News' Tom Brokaw began to contemplate whether Romney would run again in 2012, and that, if he did, he would need to shake his image of being a "conservative of convenience." The media is struggling tonight balancing Huckabee's excellent performance in the South with McCain's big delegate count. Regarding the expectation game, however, McCain seems to have lost more states than he was expected to do. Having won the big race in California, however, seems to have erased that fact. When all is said and done, it looks like McCain will have won 9 states, Romney 6 states, and Huckabee 5 states (Alaska pending).

11:39 p.m. The coverage tonight has been equally curious on the Democratic side. Clinton's performance has largely been characterized as a success, even though she did not win any states she was projected to lose, and lost more "toss-ups" (Missouri, Alabama, Connecticut, Deleware, Georgia) than she won (California). Obama has won 13 of 21 contests, with New Mexico the only state that has yet to be called.

11:49 p.m. MSNBC analyst Chuck Todd estimates the final delegate count tonight will be 841 for Obama and 837 for Clinton with a "margin of error of 10 either way." It was a "split decision" tonight, says Todd.

11:54 p.m. Fox News' Britt Hume says Hillary Clinton had a "pretty big night," and commentator Fred Barnes agreed. The question is: how many states would Clinton have had to lose to have a night which would be characterized as disappointing? It appears that because Clinton won the two big states on the coasts, California and New York, that the media views her Super Tuesday as a success. That said, Barack Obama is probably sleeping very well tonight.

12:29 a.m. CNN's Jeffrey Toobin characterized Mitt Romney's performance today as an "absolute disaster." CNN analyst David Gergen then praised Obama's performance by having won 6 caucuses tonight, indicating that he therefore has demonstrated good organization on the ground. Interesting, as Romney himself won 4 of 5 caucuses tonight (with a likely victory in Alaska forthcoming), and his victories have been characterized as "consolation prizes" in "small states." That said, Romney's campaign has stated they will have "frank discussions" about his campaign on Wednesday, so perhaps he will be exiting the race despite winning 7 states.

1:22 a.m. The delegate count remains to be tallied, as the results from California's congressional districts still come in, but here is the number of victories for each candidate by states won in the 2008 campaign:

Republicans
McCain = 12
Romney = 11
Huckabee = 6

Democrats
Obama = 15
Clinton = 10
* Note: does not include the Florida or Michigan primaries, which will not seat delegates at the DNC, nor New Mexico, which is still too close to call.

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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