**This post has been bumped to the top and will be updated frequently throughout the evening, with the most updated content appearing at the bottom of the post. Newer posts appear below.**
Virginia, Maryland, and DC delegates are up for grabs today in what is being called the “Potomac Primaries.” The number of delegates in play for Republicans are listed here. The winner-take-all state of Virginia is the big prize with 63 delegates. Huckabee had a bit of a late surge in the polls going into the primary in VA, but I don’t see him winning that one (or Maryland, for that matter).
For Democrats, Virginia has 83 total delegates, and Maryland has 70, making them states both La Clinton and Obama would no doubt love to win. With his string of victories over the weekend, O-mentum is on Obama’s side.
For results as they come in this evening, check the following links:
Poll closing times:
In DC and Maryland, polls open at 7:00 am ET and close at 8:00 pm ET, and in Virginia they open at 6:00 am ET and close at 7:00 pm ET.
Turnout is expected to be high.
Update 1 – 5:59 PM: Jim Geraghty has the first round of exits, and the show a surprisingly close race between Mc and Huck in VA, but he cautions against reading too much into it, considering how something similar happened in AZ, where the Mc won by a significant margin.
Update 2 – 6:51 PM: Read this at the top of Drudge’s page: “EXIT POLLS SHOW 2:1 OBAMA LEAD OVER HILLARY IN VA AND MD, 3:1 IN DC…”
Update 3 – 7:00 PM: Fox News and CNN are already calling Virginia for Obama … the exits really must look bad for Hillary.
Just took a quick look. Yikes – they do. Even the female vote went more to Obama.
Update 4 – 7:06 PM: Shep Smith is saying that the reason Huckabee is running closer than was anticipated in VA was because it ‘sounded like’ the “far right” were turning out in high numbers at the polls.
Update 5 – 7:12 PM: Fox is reporting that among Independents, Huckabee and Ron Paul did better than John McCain.
Here’s exit polling not just for VA, but MD, too.
Will I be able to endure the next 30 minutes of Shep Smith? That’s assuming Brit or Hannity and Colmes take over at 8. Hope so.
Update 6 – 7:42 PM: Per Shep/Fox: Voters in MD have until 9:30 to cast their votes tonight, due to traffic issues (I assume weather-related?).
Check out the exits for the GOP in VA:
VA GOP exit polls posted by MSNBC show McCain leading Huckabee 50-36% among men, who made up 52% of primary voters. Huckabee, however, leads 47-43% among women.
— 74% of GOP primary voters were registered Republicans, a group which McCain leads 47-45%. Among the 22% Independents, McCain also leads, 38-35%.
— Huckabee leads among conservatives (68% of voters), 51-35%, while McCain leads 67-26% among moderates (26% of voters).
— Evangelical/Born-Again Christians comprised 46% of GOP primary voters and went 58-30% for Huckabee. All others went 56-29% for McCain.
— 62% of VAans frequently or occasionally listen to conservative talk radio, a group which Huckabee leads 48-38%.
Conservatives aren’t just rolling over for McCain. Good. Like I’ve said before, he needs to earn their votes.
Update 7 – 8:00 PM: The polls have closed in DC – AND, Chris Wallace has taken over for Shep Smith. Whew!
McCain has just taken his first lead in the VA primary, with 23% reporting.
Update 8 – 8:04 PM: Wow – did ya’ll see this? Hillary supporter and PA governor Ed Rendell is quoted in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as saying that “some whites” in PA were not ready to vote for a black man. PA’s primary is April 22nd.
Question: Since they obviously can’t use the “Bradley Effect” as an excuse for how the actual results are at odds with what the polling was in VA on the GOP side, what excuse will the punditocracy use?
Fox News is reporting that a top Clinton campaign official has resigned.
Hillary is losing big – down 23% with 61% reporting. No wonder she’s already in TX. She’ll probably be camped out there for three weeks (the 193 delegate-rich TX primary is March 4th).
Check here also for Virginia returns.
Update 11 – 8:53 PM: Here’s more on Clinton’s deputy campaign manager resigning.
Update 12 – 9:12 PM: Hillary is now speaking in Texas … will we see tears?
Update 13 – 9:39 PM: The nets are calling MD for BO and Mc. Obama is getting ready to speakin in WI. Will I be able to sit through it?!
Update 14 – 9:50 PM: I am mini-liveblogging BO’s “change” speech in the comments. Someone pass me a bottle of Tums, please!
Update 15 -10:01 PM: The nets call DC for Mc and Obama.
Update 16 – 10:06 PM: Mc’s doing just what BO did in his speech. He’s skipping right ahead to the general and attacking both Hillary and BO on their cut and run attitudes. Good for him.
Also, Bryan at Hot Air gets the same impression I got about Barack Obama’s speech:
Once he’s finished I’ll cut some and post it here. I’m struck by how Mondalian he sounds. And how easy he’s finding it to twist McCain’s words on the “100 years” comment. He’s shedding his Mr. Clean image to launch a fairly negative string of attacks on McCain, whom he just praised as a hero for opposing tax breaks.
Interesting. He speaks with passion, but if most Americans tune in enough to hear what he actually says, he’s a weak candidate. Much weaker than I thought.
Now he’s talking about joining the Peace Corps or learning a foreign language to create the America “we dreamed of.” Why don’t liberals tout opening a business or joining the military?
If you’re watching this, chime in with your reaction to this speech. He’s not disguising his hard leftism anymore.
He sure isn’t.
Wed AM Update: Here’s a link to McCain’s speech from last night.