Republicans have posted 83.1 percent of precincts and guess what the results are:
McCain 25.6 percent
Huckabee: 23.8 percent
Paul: 21 percent
Romney: 16.3 percent
Other: 1 percent
Uncommitted: 12.2 percent
You might be wondering: How is it possible, for example, to advance delegates for a candidate who has suspended his campaign (Romney)? Or how do you advance a delegate for “Other” and “Uncommitted”? Or, simply, why is it that McCain is dominating nationally, yet didn’t post a decisive win in Washington’s caucuses?
All very good questions.
In short, every precinct can advance whoever they want. (Precinct is a fancy-sounding word that basically means a neighborhood that someone traced around with a marker and slapped a number on. Some have two people show, others have 20.)
On the McCain question, some people suggested that, since he has such a strong lead, his supporters wouldn’t bother showing. That may or may not have been the case, but Republicans enjoyed record turnout, meaning someone showed up.
I also saw a few tables that started out divided but ended up supporting whatever candidate a few vocal members endorsed. That’s the way caucuses work — and that’s why, if you bring a like-minded neighbor, you stand a pretty good chance of changing your precinct’s vote.
On the Romney question, there were people out today who sincerely wanted Romney for president, regardless of whether he suspended his campaign or not.
As for Ron Paul, who posted double-digit numbers here, I can only tell you what I saw: Converts. At two different tables, I saw voters who brought position papers, read them to their neighbors and actually converted them into Paul supporters.