Super Tuesday votes are in, so what now? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
John McCain and Barack Obama should be feeling good today. McCain's way out in front with a delegate total of 613, Mitt Romney 269, Mike Huckabee 190.
About 1,200 delegates are needed to win the Republican nomination. So at this point, John McCain is more than halfway there with some friendly primaries coming up. So he's in good shape.
On the Democratic side, it's a tie with some Obama-friendly primaries coming up next Tuesday in D.C., Virginia and Maryland. So he has momentum. But Senator Clinton's certainly in the hunt.
The Associated Press reports that Senator Clinton has 845 delegates, Barack Obama 765. But Obama's camp says their man has more delegates. Let's just call it a dead heat.
Now here's the map of states Clinton and Obama have won: Hillary's in green, Obama blue. From exit polling last night we know that black Americans are going big for Obama, and Hispanic-Americans are largely supporting Senator Clinton.
On the Republican side, McCain's red, Romney yellow, Huckabee white. The Northeast and California have put McCain into the lead, while the South is Huckabee territory and the West is generally Romney country.
For Hillary Clinton, the Texas primary on March 4 is her firewall. With Obama raising more money than Hillary — and the media openly rooting for him — it's hard to see how Obama will be slowed until Texas if he doesn't do well there.
Thirty-two percent of voters in Texas are Hispanic. Just 11 percent are black. So Senator Clinton might win the Lone Star State. If she does not, Obama will likely get the nomination.
On the same day, Ohio votes as well. Another huge state for both Democrats. Same with Pennsylvania on April 22.
Not since 1952 have the Democrats gone to a convention without a known nominee, but certainly that could happen this year. If Obama has more delegates, he has to get the nod because there would be chaos if they did not give it to him. If Hillary is ahead in delegates, she could make a deal with Obama to put him on the ticket as VP, which I believe he would accept.
On the Republican side, John McCain will select a VP with solid conservative credentials. He has to. If Condoleezza Rice wants the job, Senator McCain might consider her, or as we sit here, Mitt Romney.
So there you have it. No-Spin analysis on where we are right this second. McCain is likely the man. Obama and Clinton tied.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
I, your humble correspondent, am the patriot tonight. I know that doesn't sound humble, but hear me out.
For the past few years, the Scripps Howard news agency has run an article where famous people pick the Super Bowl winner. Right now, I have the longest running streak in the country: five straight picked correctly.
So in the Super Bowl predicting category, I'm a patriot. I just wish I could pick political races as well.
On the pinhead front, we're on the road again with Willie Nelson. The 74-year-old singer counts himself among the 9/11 conspiracy nuts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX JONES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What's your take on 9/11? Do you question the official story?
WILLIE NELSON, MUSICIAN: I certainly do. And I saw those towers fall, and I've seen an implosion in Las Vegas. There was too much similarities between the two. And then I saw the building fall that didn't get hit by nothing. So how naive are we, you know? What do they think we'll go for?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Good grief. Pinhead.