Old Habits Die Hard

Is the GOP trying to steal an election from itself in Washington?

As you know, John McCain lost two of the three contests yesterday. He was losing narrowly in Washington state and then pulled ahead by a narrow margin (less than two points) toward the end. But then with 87% of the returns counted, the Washington state GOP, which runs the caucuses stopped releasing results. That left us and a lot of other news organizations in a bit of a quandary last night since it looked like McCain was going to pull it off. But as late as 1:30 AM on the east coast promised new results kept failing to materialize.

Then over night the Washington state GOP put out a press release announcing McCain the winner based on the 87% returns. Now, I think it would be borderline for a media organization to declare one candidate a winner when the margin separating first and second was 1.8% with 13% of the results still uncounted. But for the officials holding the election to declare the result on that basis is simply bizarre. But that's what they did.

Mike Huckabee is refusing to concede the state, citing "weird things" going on, and that's an understatement.

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