Bush Repeats, McCain Retreats After Super Tuesday Tallies

July 7, 2008 - 8:25 PM

(CNSNews.com) - With Super Tuesday over, Texas Governor George W Bush and Arizona Senator John McCain are vying for votes in two upcoming primaries, but there may be indications that McCain is considering an exit strategy, leaving Bush to capture the Republican presidential nomination.

Voters in Wyoming, Colorado will vote this Friday in the Rocky Mountain primaries, as will voters in Oklahoma. And the next round of primary elections will be held next Tuesday in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

Bush campaign officials say the Texas governor is "poised for a strong showing" in Colorado's primary on Friday, pointing to a Denver Post survey of 249 registered Republican voters giving the Bush a 26 percentage point lead over McCain, 55 to 29.

"I think it's all over," one Louisiana Republican party official told CNSNews.com, adding that most folks there will gather behind Bush for the GOP nod. Add to Louisiana Bush's home state of Texas and Florida where brother Jeb Bush is also Governor, and Bush will have essentially wrapped up the South for the nomination.

Bush will travel on Thursday to Denver, Provo, Utah and Cheyenne, Wyoming on campaign trips. He and Texas First Lady Laura Bush have already cast absentee ballots in Texas for his state's primary since they will be on the campaign trail next week.

But what about McCain, the insurgent candidate who has given Bush a run for his money and milled the Texas governor into a more experienced politician?

The self-described "Luke Skywalker fighting the death star" has retreated to Sedona, Arizona where he is reportedly considering his options for the remainder of the campaign.

So far, McCain has earned 194 GOP delegates compared to Bush's 558 delegates with allocations from New York still to be added.

Bush's chief campaign strategist Karl Rove said the Bush campaign will continue earning primary votes and convention delegates until they reach the needed 1034 delegates to clinch the party nomination.

And while the Bush campaign is not publicly writing off McCain's candidacy just yet, the Texas Governor has turned his attention towards the November general election against Vice President Al Gore.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Bush said, "Tonight's victory is also the beginning of a great task. I am not only asking Americans to vote for me. I am asking Americans to join with me on a mission to reform and renew our country."

Bush congratulated his GOP competitors, McCain and Alan Keyes as well as his Democratic counterpart and most likely challenger Vice President Al Gore.

Gore, Bush said, "is the candidate of the status quo in Washington D.C., and he has a tough case to make in the general election."

Bush then foreshadowed what may be his campaign theme against Gore by speaking to the issues of taxes, Social Security and national defense.

"After eight years of Clinton Gore, we have the highest tax burden since World War II," Bush said. "And yet we are told that taxes are not an issue. Not an issue - while many families are punished by the tax code just for being families. Not an issue - while single mothers can pay a higher marginal rate than a millionaire."