Media talk on the day of the “Chesapeake primaries,” in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, focused on the momentum of Obama, who was expected to win these states, as was McCain. Both did win, though Huckabee continues to do a lot better in the primaries than expected. Media talk going forward is likely now to focus on Hillary Clinton as if she's some sort of wounded deer, leaving a trail of blood on her way to the March 4 primary states, including Texas, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Because reporters and other political junkies are always interested in campaign strategy and tactics, the focus now on the Democratic side of the election will likely be Hillary Clinton and her supposedly weakened campaign. The recent firing of Clinton's campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, got wide coverage. Now her deputy campaign manager has left, too, freeing new campaign manager Maggie Williams to form a new team.
None of this is to say that Clinton won't still win the nomination – can't forget she won New Hampshire despite days of growing Obama-mania by the media prior to that primary. But the storyline will indubitably be: Can Clinton regain lost ground in the March 4 primaries, despite endless parsing of demographic data from the Virginia and Maryland primaries showing she may not have as much of an advantage over with women and working-class voters as previously believed.
On the Republican side, meanwhile, McCain has been generating more and more support from the Republican establishment, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and evangelical leader Gary Bauer. Huckabee continues on despite questions of “why?”. Yes, he continues to be a long shot, but he has argued against stopping his campaign when he continues to post occasionally decent results, as he did yesterday in Virginia. Why bow to party leadership concerns about creating a picture of disharmony within the Republican Party when voters clearly want a choice at the polls, Huckabee argues.
Texas is a conservative state, for example, and he could post a strong showing there with help from organized evangelical voters. More cynically, though, some people speculate Huckabee remains in the race simply to boost his chances of being chosen for the VP slot.
Elsewhere on the trail…
Romney campaign revealed anti-Mormonism, Salt Lake Tribune writes.
Whither the Libertarian Party, given Ron Paul won't win?
Campaign staffers make more now than ever.
Will Solis Doyle's departure hinder Clinton's Latino outreach?
Both Obama and Clinton seek Edwards' endorsement.