VICTORY in Kansas!

With Huckabees victory in Kansas, voters send McCain a message
The Kansas City Star

Mike Huckabee’s win Saturday in Kansas’ Republican presidential caucuses was complete, dominant and never in doubt.

In swamping presumptive GOP nominee John McCain 11,627 to 4,587 votes, or 60 percent to 24 percent, Huckabee swept 104 of the state’s 105 counties. In that final county, Trego in western Kansas, Huckabee and McCain tied at 15 votes each.

The win gave Huckabee all 36 delegates that were on the line for the GOP National Convention in Minneapolis this summer.

“It’s a big win for Huckabee,” said Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University in Topeka.

Matthew Pennell, Huckabee’s state coordinator, said he expected the former Arkansas governor to win Kansas, but not by the margin he rolled up.

“Personally, I didn’t think we would carry the 3rd District, but we did and pretty overwhelmingly,” he said.

Fred Logan, a former GOP state chairman and a KCTV-5 political analyst, said McCain’s crushing defeat amounted to a setback for U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican who endorsed McCain after ending his own presidential bid last year.

“I think this is less of a rebuke of McCain and more of an embarrassment to Sam Brownback,” Logan said, adding that Brownback had recorded an automated phone message for his Senate colleague.

A little more than 20,000 Republicans turned out for Saturday’s caucuses, a total that was either a few thousand above what was expected or a few thousand short, depending on which GOP official was citing numbers and whether the forecasts came before or after Romney exited.
Turnout in Johnson County surpassed expectations, with big crowds reported at several sites.
“So much for Republican voter apathy,” said Christian Morgan, Kansas GOP executive director.

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