Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
John McCain lost more states than he won on Super Tuesday, the day he nonetheless became the presumptive Republican nominee. On Saturday, Huckabee wiped the floor with him in Kansas and fought him to a draw in Louisiana and Washington.
Can anyone remember a frontrunner doing this badly after achieving what appears to be almost a mathematical guarantee of winning the nomination?
In none of Saturday's states did McCain get anywhere near 50 percent of the vote. Even following his media and presidential anoinment as the party's presumed candidate, he's still struggling in some places to break the 25 percent mark in support.
It was entirely predictable that he'd get booed on immigration at CPAC, but McCain's performance in recent days lends credence to the notion that it's not just a few disgruntled talk radio hosts who can't stand him (or, more charitably, can't stand the idea of him as party standard-bearer). Needless to say, this doesn't bode well, at the outset, for McCain's ability to rally the apparently dispirited GOP troops for the fall.
We'll see how he does locally tomorrow.
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