With 97% of the vote counted in Wisconsin, John McCain defeated Mike Huckabee 219,652 to 147,742.
Meanwhile Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton 635,693 to 444,604.
In other words, in winning the Republican primary in Wisconsin, John McCain received less than half of the votes that Hillary Clinton won in losing to Barack Obama. If he were running in the Democratic primary, McCain would have come in a distant third.
This in a swing state that John Kerry carried over George W. Bush in 2004 by only 11,384 votes.
Lest we think this is only because the Republican nomination is already wrapped up, let's go back a week to Virginia, where Mike Huckabee gave John McCain a scare. Virginia has been a Red state that the Democrats haven't won since Lyndon Johnson's landslide over Barry Goldwater in 1964.
Obama defeated Clinton 631,141 to 347,252.
McCain defeated Hucakbee 244,135 to 198,247.
Again, if he were running in the Democratic primary, McCain would have come in a distant third to Hillary Clinton.
This pattern of significantly more people voting in the Democratic primaries and caucuses than in the Republican ones has been repeated throughout this campaign season.
Remember that in 2004, John Kerry received more votes than any presidential candidate in history, except George W. Bush in 2004. Bush won only because of the massive Republican turnout generated by Karl Rove
A lot can happen between now and November; but these primary/caucus turnout numbers portend very well for Democrats in the fall, both for taking the presidency and increasing their margins in the House and Senate.
Yes, I know they tell us that false hope is dangerous. And yes, I know that change is hard. There's a lot of tough work left to do to put a Democrat in the White House in the fall, and even tougher work to do after that to bring fundamental change to the country in the face of fierce resistance from the entrenched interests of the status quo and the power of multinational corporations It may even be necessary for progressive grassroots activists to push a president Obama farther than he's initially inclined to go. And yet...and yet...today I can't help but remember a warm summer day in Washington D. C. in August, 1963 when Martin Luther King proclaimed his and our dream to the nation... and I can help but picture a cold winter day in Washington D.C. day in January, 2009 as Barack Obama -- son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas--delivers one of the great inaugural addresses in American history to a world in need of the audacity of hope.