The lead story line is the lack of a lead story line.
- The big surprise is Huckabee's surge. Three weeks ago I noted the possibility of a four-candidate race for the foreseeable future. Then Huckabee faded, Giuliani disappeared and McCain started running the table. Suddenly it's very much a three-man race again. Huckabee won't get close enough to win outright, but he could be a king-maker or he could benefit from a brokered convention.
- I saw my first Ohio campaign commercial tonight. For McCain.
- Barack needed to avoid a knockout blow. He certainly has done that. The trend line so far has been Obama gaining and Clinton maintaining pace. The longer he stays in the race the better his chances become.
- Demographically Obama looks good.
- Geographically Obama looks great. Obama's great strength in a general election is broadening the map of states in play. His overwhelming victory in Georgia, and Alabama, together with a similar result in South Carolina, suggests that he can compete in the south. He may win none of those states in a general election, but by mobilizing the black vote he will force the Republicans to spend time and money there. Hillary on the other hand will have to write off pretty much anything south of the Ohio River.
- I'm not going near the delegate counts because I don't actually hold a Ph.D. in statistics. But it does look like Obama has come closer in the states he's lost than Clinton has in the states she lost.
- Ohio's primary date is the second biggest prize, and the last big prize. We go along with Texas and a couple of New England state, with 444 delegates on the line. Only 810 delegates are available after that. March 4 could well be the end of the line for someone.