As you’ll no doubt be reading in, oh, five seconds, the day belongs to John McCain. But Mike Huckabee has now won West Virginia, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama—a clean sweep of the Southern states. We knew he was strong in these primaries, but damn.
That’s a total of at least 94 winner-take-all delegates plus a piece of the states’ proportionally allocated delegates. Overall, he should take away more than 120 delegates. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t added a notch to his belt since Iowa.
If this shows anything, it’s that McCain needs Huckabee. Not just in the immediate sense, although indeed it’s hard to see him winning these states in a face-off against Romney. But in the general election, too: McCain would have a hard time finding a VP with more Southern appeal than Huck. And after tonight, McCain owes him.
"They say this is a two-man race," Huckabee said in his partial victory speech. "And guess what: It is! And we’re in it!" He could be right, but not the way he means it.