Last night, something like 20,000 Republicans in Louisiana (correction: the state party is saying it was 10,000, although the 20,000 number was being tossed around last night) picked the delegates to their state convention, who will select half of the state’s delegates to the national convention (or, as Jim correctly points out, they may select nearly all of them).
The official results are not in yet, but I’m told (by a campaign source who confirm’s Jim’s post) that McCain beat all of the other candidates. The conservative “uncommitted” effort — designed to influence the party platform – might have come out ahead of everyone. There will be a lot of horse-trading at the state convention for the support of the uncommitted delegates, but many of them cut deals with McCain. Can John McCain win in the South, with Thompson gone? It’s not a terribly representative “election,” but last night was at least an indication that he can.
Ron Paul finished second. His supporters reportedly mobbed the 11 polling places, but many of them could not participate because they were not registered Republicans. They were required to cast provisional ballots, many of which will not count. (The provisional ballots are part of the reason for the delay in tallying the results.)
Romney came in third, despite what appears to have been more than a token effort. Huckabee’s failure to participate is baffling — he could have easily won this one, and it would have been a nice bounce for him after his loss in South Carolina.