Posted: February 5, 2008 7:33 PM
High Turnout for GOP Field Expected in Midwest
Despite gloomy skies and calls for snow, elections officials across the Midwest predicted healthy turnouts for contests in their states, where GOP candidates were hoping to get a foothold in the race. Missouri, in particular, grabbed national attention because it nearly always picks the winner in the general election.
Missouri election officials projected a higher turnout for this year’s contest than in 2004, according to the Kansas City Star. Most polls, including those from Reuters/C-span/Zogby and Rasmussen, showed Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the lead going into the winner-take-all Republican primary in Missouri, where 58 delegates are at stake.
“What [McCain] really needs to prove…is whether he can put concerns to rest on whether he is a true conservative,” noted Amy Walter of the National Journal’s Hotline on Tuesday’s NewsHour.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, was favored to win on his home turf. Thirty-one delegates are up for grabs there.
Leading up to Super Tuesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney concentrated his efforts in Western and Midwestern states, including Minnesota, where evening caucuses will determine where its 41 delegates are assigned. Polls there suggest McCain could deal Romney a “staggering blow,” reported the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune (login required).