Three down and three up
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Well, that certainly cleared things up. Three major GOP contests, three winners heading into Saturday’s critical South Carolina contest. Good news for Mitt Romney – still, the biggest momentum out of Michigan may not go to the winner, but to the story of an election eve comment from third-place Mike Huckabee, still resonating as the contest moves south.
"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God,” Huckabee told a Warren, Michigan audience Monday night, “and that's what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards, rather than try to change God's standards."
That comment may have been music to the ears of the state’s Christian conservatives, but despite the jump in evangelical turnout, Huckabee failed to attract the same level of support he received from this voting bloc in Iowa. Evangelicals showed up – but despite a huge push by pro-Huckabee organizers, they were just as likely to support Romney as they were the former Baptist minister.
And there’s another big story out of the Republican results that has little to do with Romney: the campaign of Fred Thompson, who has largely avoided taking shots at close friend John McCain, took aim at the Michigan runner-up in an election-night press release that included attacks on Huckabee and, almost as an afterthought, Mitt Romney too.
For the Democrats, last night brought a mild face-off in Las Vegas, where the biggest drama was the last-minute legal maneuvers over Dennis Kucinich’s appearance on stage with the rest of the field.
More interesting developments came off-stage, where Barack Obama received the backing of the Las Vegas Review-Journal – not the Democratic base’s favorite read, perhaps, but the largest paper in the state.
But the biggest news for the Obama campaign last night may have come out of Michigan, where roughly 70 percent of the state’s African-American Democrats chose the “uncommitted” option over Hillary Clinton, the only major candidate to appear on the ballot – and about three-quarters said they would have cast votes for Obama if his name had appeared on the ballot.
– CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand