With four Republican candidates still standing, despite the establishment of strong front runner status by John McCain (R-AZ), and with much heavy lifting ahead for two strong Democratic contenders, the states still in play in the 2008 presidential primary season figure to be money magnets. The good news is that the Democratic race is where the indecision is, because that also happens to be where most of the warchest cash is.
Several campaign events are taking place this weekend. Two, in Louisiana and Washington, involve both parties; two are Democrat only, in Nebraska and Maine, and one, in Kansas, is Republican only. After that there is a tidy regional primary being held in and around the White House zone itself, including Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. The District is a major market reaching parts of all three jurisdictions.
Maryland’s rated markets include Baltimore and Salisbury. Virginia, with the greatest amount of territory, includes capital Richmond, Norfolk-Newport News (the state’s largest market), Roanoke-Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, and a corner of the Bristol portion of the Tri-Cities market, which is mostly situated across the state line in Tennessee.
TVBR observation: Republicans candidates have to face a sizable lead in delegates now held by McCain, but may pin their hopes on his potential failure to gain a plurality, leading to the possibility of a brokered convention. We saw one report indicating that Mitt Romney (R-MA) may consider hanging on at least until 3/4/08 when Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont are up for grabs. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) shows no signs of dropping out, and Ron Paul (R-TX), who hasn’t been able to translate his stockpile of cash into a significant stockpile of delegates, still has plenty of money to spend.
The Democrats may wind up without a plurality as well. Both survivors are well-funded and figure to strongly contest the remaining states on the card.
|9-Feb||Kansas (R), Louisiana, Nebraska (D), Washington|
|12-Feb||District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia|
|19-Feb||Hawaii (D), Wisconsin|
|4-Mar||Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont|
|6-May||Indiana, North Carolina|
|13-May||Nebraska (R), West Virgina (D)|
|3-Jun||Montana (D), New Mexico (R), South Dakota|
Source: CQ Politics Primary Guide