Wishful thinking 0, reality 1

Last weekend's South Carolina primary election for the Republicans did not get any coverage here, for which I apologize. The timing was bad.

However, I did wonder if the conservative blogs who seemed to doubt if Fred Thompson was quitting after coming third in what had been described as his "firewall" weren't putting hope before realism.

Unlike Ron Paul, who has the record of standing for President on a third party ticket and has the money and the message, libertarianism, to motivate him to stick around, I had the impression that Fred Thompson was never really hungry for politics. This, of course, made him the sanest candidate if he could have somehow won.

Here's the announcement that Fred Thompson has quit and here is a post on Real Clear Politics explaining what it could all mean:
In Thompson's exit we have our first real shake up of what has been a wide open Republican race, and it comes just a week before a pivotal vote in Florida. Thompson's campaign never lived up to the promise so many Republicans had for him in this race, and while he leaves with the disappointment of those unrealized expectations, what support he has left may prove to have a significant influence on the vote in Florida, and thus perhaps on the selection of the nominee as well.

If I'm not mistaken, in our podcast last Friday, Brian Micklethwait and I touched on the Fred Thompson campaign, or lack of it. I'm pleased to say the podcast can be access thru here.

And yes, I'd say Mr Thompson would probably make a fine vice-presidential candidate. He could be very dangerous to an aggressive opponent in a televised debate.


Here's one for the Ronbots

I found a county in Nevada that voted Ron Paul ahead of the rest:

Nye County
Giuliani 33 votes 3%
Huckabee 172 votes 14%
Hunter 18 votes 1%
McCain 134 votes 11%
Paul 415 votes 34%
Romney 399 33%
Thompson 55 4%
Total 1,226 100%
33 of 33 precincts reporting
Figures from Nevada Republican Party.

Ron Paul SECOND in Nevada (98% votes counted)

This is the result of the primary season for the Ronbots. Their man is holding second position behind Mitt Romney in Nevada.

At 00:49 GMT Sunday morning:

Mitt Romney 22,629 51%
Ron Paul 6,077 14%
John McCain 5,641 13%
Mike Huckabee 3,607 8%
Fred Thompson 3,518 8%
Rudy Giuliani 1,907 4%
Duncan Hunter 890 2%
With 2% of precincts to report, so it's very unlikely to change, except possibly between Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson.

To beat Rudy Giuliani by three votes to one is one one thing, to lead John McCain is another.

However, this is clearly a great result for Romney, not just over 50% but also his rivals are nowhere near him. A quick look at turnout suggests Romney is outscoring Hillary Clinton in Nevada too. This is very bad for the Democrats, if repeated in November. Husband Bill Clinton won the state in both 1992 and 1996.

Resounding silence on Ron's performance at RealClearPolitics.

Over at Daily Kos, DHinMI writes:
And MSNBC just announced that crazy-ass Ron Paul finished second in Nevada. Thus, the top two finishers in South Carolina were unable to beat Ron Paul.

I think the point here is that none of the Republican candidates is shining at the moment. Mitt Romney seems the most effective so far, but is it down to the right states coming up early? We shall see.

Update: The Democrat votes aren't votes. Washington Post explains:
About the Nevada 2008 Democratic Caucus Results

The Nevada Democratic Party is not reporting votes for its Jan. 19 caucuses. Instead, the party will only release the number of county delegates won by each presidential candidate (or "Uncommitted"). This is the data being collected by the Associated Press and displayed on washingtonpost.com. There will be at least 10,446 delegates to the county conventions in the state's 17 counties. (More information here.)

On the Republican side, the party caucuses are essentially a straw poll. Thus, the votes reported by the party and collected by AP are actual votes. (More information here.)

My error demonstrates that the primary system is too complicated for a quick skim through of the rules, as I mentioned here and here [or will be when Brian loads our podcast!].