McCain's fans boost Huckabee
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won 18 delegates Tuesday as backers of rival John McCain threw him their support to prevent Mitt Romney...
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won 18 delegates Tuesday as backers of rival John McCain threw him their support to prevent Mitt Romney from capturing the winner-take-all Republican state convention vote.
In the first contest decided on Super Tuesday, Huckabee bested Romney on the second ballot with 52 percent of the 1,133 delegates at the state GOP's first presidential nominating convention. Romney was backed by 47 percent.
Romney had entered the event with the largest pledged bloc of delegates and attracted the largest vote — 41 percent — on the first ballot. Huckabee had 33 percent, McCain 15 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul 10 percent.
Because no candidate had a majority, Paul, the last-place finisher, was eliminated for the second vote. McCain's delegates defected to Huckabee, allowing him to prevail over Romney.
Paul's supporters claimed Tuesday night that Huckabee's campaign bought their support with the promise of three delegates.
"That's not true," Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart said in Little Rock, Ark.
But John Tate, Paul's national political director, insisted there was a deal.
An additional nine GOP delegates from West Virginia will be distributed based upon the outcome of a May 13 primary.
Voting schedule confuses some states
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of confused Virginians and some Marylanders jumped the gun Tuesday, showing up at polls or calling elections officials to find out where to cast ballots, even though the presidential primary is a week away.
Virginia and Maryland were not among the Super Tuesday states, but that word apparently did not make it to some voters. Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia vote next Tuesday.
Maryland Election Administrator Linda Lamone said "the phones have been ringing all day" but that she had no way to quantify what percentage of callers were confused about the primary date.
Tuesday's so-called national primary also confused some voters in Texas. Elections officials in San Antonio said they received more than 1,000 calls, even though Texas' primary is March 4.
Piece of Clinton's past proves popular
PARK RIDGE, Ill. — The hottest political souvenir in the childhood hometown of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a small green "Rodham Corner" sign hanging at the corner of Wisner and Elm Streets, a few doors from the brick house where she spent her youth.
The sign was stolen so many times that city workers last year bolted it to a wooden light pole 30 feet above the ground, Mayor Howard Frimark said.
"It's been nonstop political talk here ever since Hillary announced her candidacy," Frimark said Tuesday.
A hair-raising journey for Romney
It took a 37-hour trip to do something eight rivals and a 12-month campaign couldn't: muss Mitt Romney's hair.
The Republican presidential contender's signature coif was in disarray when he touched down in Charleston, W.Va., early Tuesday amid a more than 5,000-mile, coast-to-coast-to-coast dash aimed at bettering rival John McCain on Super Tuesday.
After flitting from Nashville, Tenn., to Atlanta to Oklahoma City to Long Beach, Calif., on Monday, Romney turned around and flew a redeye to Charleston so he could address the GOP state convention Tuesday morning.
The overnight flight left Romney with a bad case of bed-head, but 30 seconds in the forward lavatory with a comb and some water and he was good as new.
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