I understand the issues, but I do not understand the races.
Nevada had 34 Repub delegates at stake.
Romney won 51% of the vote, for a 37% margin of victory over second place Ron Paul's 14%. Romney's victory is widely ho-hummed.
South Carolina had 24 Repub delegates at stake.
McCain won with 33% of the vote, for a 3% victory over second place Huckabee"s 30%. Commentators overwhelmingly say McCain's victory is huge, and may well sweep McCain to victory in Florida, which would sweep McCain to victories in Super Tuesday, which would wrap up the nomination for McCain.
I'm not saying those commentators are wrong. I'm saying I don't understand the whys.
I don't understand why Nevada went so strongly for Romney - except that I believe Romney is a far better candidate than McCain. I don't understand why South Carolina went 33% for McCain and 15% for Romney. Throw out Huckabee's evangelicals: why would the rest of South Carolina prefer McCain over Romney?
Maybe it's because McCain keeps winning in states which allow any voter to vote in any primary. Independents go to the Repub primary and vote for McCain. McCain has yet to win a majority of self-described Republican primary voters in any state. This means independent voters might well create momentum which selects the Republican nominee. Does that make sense for the Republican Party? Not to me. Republican voters split themselves up amongst Huckabee, Romney, and Thompson, then just enough independent voters sneak in to elect McCain, and momentum is now McCain's, and he could well sweep to victory on the tide.
From my vantage point, in my end zone in Texas, this looks illogical and dumb.