We don’t know which Republican won in Washington quite yet, but we do know that even if John McCain wins, he lost.
With 37 percent of the precincts reporting, John McCain is winning 22 percent of the vote while the rest of his opponents run laps around him. Mike Huckabee, who has no business winning in Washington, is leading with 27 percent. But that’s not even the juiciest story line. Ron Paul is only two points behind McCain, and Mitt Romney is only five points back. In case you needed a reminder, Mitt Romney is no longer running for president.
We already knew that McCain hasn’t yet convinced conservatives that he shares their values. But that was partly because Romney was still in the race and Huckabee was playing well in the South. But now John McCain—to reiterate, the Republican nominee-to-be—can’t even pull one-quarter of his party’s vote in the Pacific Northwest. Moreover, Washington is a blue state, so McCain’s moderate stances shouldn’t scare his own party as much as it does elsewhere.
More than 67 percent of Washington residents caucused for Huckabee, Paul, or Romney tonight. But that’s not the worst of it. McCain failed so badly that 10 percent of caucus-goers showed up only to stay uncommitted. McCain, it seems, is inspiring the apathetic to stay apathetic.