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Huckabee takes Kansas, CNN projects

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will win the Kansas Republican caucuses, CNN projects.

With 76 percent of precincts reporting, Huckabee had 62 percent of the vote, compared with 22 percent for Arizona Sen. John McCain and 11 percent for Texas. Rep. Ron Paul.

Kansas has 36 delegates at stake Saturday.

Saturday’s Republican contests in Kansas, Louisiana and Washington could predict whether the party will line up behind McCain as their candidate or provide Huckabee with an opportunity to zing the presumptive nominee.

I know the pundits, and I know what they say: The math doesn’t work out, Huckabee said Saturday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Well, I didn’t major in math, I majored in miracles. And I still believe in those, too.

Huckabee scored wins in the Southern states of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and his native Arkansas on Super Tuesday, and social conservatives in Louisiana might mobilize behind him and send a message to McCain.

Huckabee pulled off a stunning win in the Iowa caucuses, the product of a grass-roots movement, and both Kansas and Washington are caucus states.

Huckabee said Saturday that the $250,000 his campaign had raised online in 24 hours was a sign of the health of his presidential effort.

Louisiana, still suffering from Hurricane Katrina, could be a key political state this year — something not lost on both Democratic campaigns as they drum up last-minute votes.

If you look at Louisiana the last two elections, if we’d gone the other way in either election, George Bush wouldn’t be president, said Clancy Dubos, a columnist with the Gambit Weekly — an alternative newspaper in the state.

For Louisianans, their choice in a candidate will be based not only on national issues, but also on the local issue of rebuilding after the hurricane.

Voters in New Orleans are especially desperate to hear the candidates’ plans for a city still on the brink and a state in desperate need.

People are concerned with coastal restoration and flood protection, said political analyst Jeff Croueree. One disappointing thing about this race is these issues have been pretty much forgotten.

The candidates are talking about Iraq and health care, but recovery and rebuilding the Gulf Coast is off the radar screen, and I think a lot of people in Louisiana are disappointed by that, Croueree added.

Louisiana is among several contests being held this weekend.

At stake are 182 Democratic delegates and 92 Republican delegates.

Sen. Barack Obama has also done well in caucus states — he won in Iowa — because he has been able to generate enthusiastic crowds and volunteers. He also picked up the endorsement of Washington’s governor, Christine Gregoire, on Friday.

Support for Obama could come from some of the upscale areas around Seattle, which have favored reform-minded candidates, but Sen. Hillary Clinton might be favored in some of the more blue-collar areas, where she has been favored in earlier contests.

The large African-American population in Louisiana could also provide Obama a win. African-Americans played a huge role in his wins in South Carolina two weeks ago and in Alabama and Georgia on Super Tuesday. Black voters made up 46 percent of Democratic voters in the 2004 Louisiana primary.

Clinton attended town hall meetings in Tacoma and Spokane, Washington, on Friday. Obama, meanwhile, took part in a rally in Seattle. Watch the Democratic candidates campaign

On the Republican side, Huckabee was in Kansas on Friday. He attended rallies in Olathe, Wichita, Topeka and Garden City.

McCain, meanwhile, held a national security roundtable in Norfolk, Virginia, and later traveled to Wichita, Kansas. Afterward, it was off to Seattle.

CNN has compiled a list of states and territories holding contests this weekend.

February 9

Guam Republican caucuses

Delegates: 6 unpledged delegates at stake

Kansas Republican caucuses

Participation: Closed (registered Republicans only)

Delegates: 36 pledged delegates at stake

Louisiana Republican and Democratic primaries

Republican participation: Closed primary

Delegates: 20 pledged delegates possibly at stake

Democratic participation: Closed primary

Delegates: 56 pledged delegates at stake

Nebraska Democratic caucuses

Participation: Closed. Any voter can, however, register as a Democrat at the caucus.

Delegates: 24 pledged delegates at stake

Virgin Islands Republican caucuses

Delegates: 6 unpledged delegates at stake

Washington State Democratic, Republican caucuses

Democratic participation: Open caucuses, in which any voter can participate, but must declare that he or she is a Democrat.

Delegates: 78 pledged delegates at stake.

The February 19 Washington State primary is a nonbinding beauty contest for Democrats.

Republican participation: Open, so any voter can participate, but must sign a declaration indicating that he or she is a member of the Republican Party and has or will not participate in the 2008 precinct caucus or convention system of any other party.

Delegates: 18 pledged delegates at stake.

Northern Mariana Islands Republican caucuses

Delegates: 6 unpledged delegates at stake.

February 10

Maine Democratic caucuses

Participation: Democrats hold closed primaries. New voters, as well as voters not registered in a political party, may register as Democrats at the caucus.

Republicans and Green Party members must become registered Democrats by January 26 in order to participate in the Democratic caucus.

Delegates: 24 pledged delegates at stake.
Huckabee takes Kansas, CNN projects – found here.

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February 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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