Posted: February 19, 2008 5:39 PM
McCain Works to Suppress Huckabee Resurgence in Wisconsin
Sen. John McCain, the Republican party’s presumptive nominee, has not yet shrugged off competition from rival Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas.
McCain made appearances across Wisconsin Tuesday morning, repeating his message that he is the best option for the American people, before heading to Ohio to watch results and prepare for the March 4 contest there.
“McCain took the unusual step of holding an election day rally in a Milwaukee suburb while people were going to the polls — unusual because the Arizona senator has all but wrapped up the Republican nomination and ordinarily could be expected to focus on uniting his party and preparing to run against the Democrats in the general election,” the Miami Herald reported.
Although the Arizona senator holds a healthy lead over his competition and recently nabbed endorsements from George H.W. and Jeb Bush, he still faces criticisms from right-wing Republicans who believe some of his more moderate views do not fit within the party’s ideals. McCain set out to convince voters otherwise.
Not to be deterred, Huckabee, who currently has only 245 delegates to McCain’s 903, talked to Badger State voters, reminding them that many Republicans have not yet voted and urging them to “give the conservatives not only of Wisconsin but also of America a chance to be heard,” according to the Associated Press.
Although Wisconsin officials predicted a heavy voter turnout Tuesday, some may have been deterred by frigid temperatures in some parts of the state.
“In Eau Claire, Wisconsin the temperature dropped to negative 10 degrees this morning, with a wind chill of negative 26,” according to local weather reports. “In Madison, Wisconsin, high temperatures are expected to only reach 9 degrees, with wind chills below zero all day.”
Huckabee hoped his supporters would brave the bad weather.
“If you’re going to vote for me, I don’t care if it snows another three feet, please go vote,” he said, the AP reported. “If you’re not going to vote for me, please stay home,” he quipped.
The bad weather could affect the predicted McCain victory if it prevents less enthusiastic voters from heading to the polls. Some Republicans could instead vote for a Democrat in the state’s open primary in an effort to affect the Democratic outcome and help the GOP.
“Mark Plonske, a Brookfield auto claims representative … wasn’t voting for McCain; he was going for Democratic New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, figuring she’d be the easiest for a Republican to beat in November,” the Miami Herald reported.