BREAKING: McCain Wins Pennsylvania

With nearly half of precincts reporting, Trailhead is prepared to cautiously call the Republican primary for John McCain, who currently leads the state with 72 percent of the vote against one man who dropped out 49 days ago and another who rarely tops 6 percent in national polls.    

Former candidate Mike Huckabee, who still appeared on the ballot even though he dropped out after McCain clinched a majority of delegates after the March 4 primaries, is pulling down 12 percent of the vote, while libertarian-minded candidate Ron Paul is drawing about 16 percent. For a few sweet moments, it appeared that Armstrong County would come through for Paul, whose small but ardent base has made him a significant presence on the Internet, if not in the polls. But that light-pink blip on CNN’s county-by-county map quickly evaporated as more results registered.

Candidates like McCain with no mathematical chance of losing the election are naturally less likely to draw hordes of supporters to the ballot booth, while Paul’s supporters are a determined bunch who seem indefatigable. The one in eight people who still showed up to vote for Huckabee are more puzzling and perhaps do not bode well for McCain’s odds in Pennsylvania in the general election. Then again, Pennsylvania, while not overwhelmingly blue, hasn’t elected a Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988.