-- Brian Chilson photo
An exciting election night was overshadowed in Arkansas by destructive tornadoes that killed at least seven and did untold damage from west to east.
It was frustrating to be at KARN, off the web, while real news was happening.
Great night for Mike Huckabee (shown at his election night party), though to what end isn't entirely clear. His all-church, all-the-time election strategy turned out evangelicals and Right to Life voters in Mid-America. He won Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama, in addition to Arkansas and barely got nipped in Missouri. McCain challenged him in Georgia and Tennessee.
Can Huckabee demand a No. 2 slot on the strength of his evangelical support? Is he too churchy for the ticket now? Would he make more money becoming the new generation of Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell/etc.? Time will tell.
Greater night for John McCain, particularly with his victory in California. He's the presumptive nomineee.
Good night for Hillary Clinton. She had a firewall against what had begun to look like a Barack Obama tidal wave. Her victory in Kennedyland and New Jersey were deeply disappointing to the cocky Obama forces. Her victory in California was simply critical to her continued survival as a candidate. She's still the underdog, I think.
Clinton scored far more votes, after 15 years away from Arkansas, both in number and percentage, than the recently departed governor.
But note this: Republicans are talking about their record turnout in the Arkansas primary. Less than Democrats, yes, but they wanted to vote and more than 120,000 did so, with only about two-thirds of the vote counted. Huge.
And speaking of voting: Who knows when election returns will be complete, given power outages and all the rest.
UPDATE: And now this. Late-night TV talk of Mitt Romney finally bowing to the inevitable and quitting. Does that then leave Huckabee with the power to demand the No. 2 slot to quit the race?