John McCain Captures Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Primary Wins

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John McCain Captures Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Primary Wins

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 13,

Washington, DC ( — Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved closer towards officially wrapping up the GOP nomination on Tuesday night with primary wins in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Following the victories, McCain now has about 68 percent of the delegates he needs to become the nominee.

McCain finished ahead of Mike Huckabee by a 50 to 41 percent lead in Virginia. Ron Paul, who is no longer actively campaigning, brought in 5 percent of the vote and Mitt Romney, who suspended his campaign last week, received 3 percent.

Exit polling data in Virginia found about 63 percent of the Republican voters in the state are pro-life while just 34 percent said abortions should be legal.

Huckabee captured 52 percent of the pro-life vote compared with 40 percent for John McCain while McCain won among pro-abortion Republicans on a 67 to 22 percent margin.

In Maryland, McCain finished with 55 percent of the Republican vote, Huckabee brought in 30 percent. Paul finished with 7 percent while Paul had 6 percent.

Maryland Republicans took a pro-life position on abortion by a 56 to 42 percent margin.

Pro-life GOP voters broke 42 to 39 percent for McCain while pro-abortion Republicans supported the Arizona senator by a 70 to 16 percent margin over Huckabee.

District of Columbia Republicans broke for McCain by 68 percent and 17 percent supported Huckabee. Another 8 percent went with Paul and 6 percent supported Romney.

The primary victories increased McCain’s delegate total to 812 compared to 217 for Huckabee. A candidate needs 1,191 delegates to become the Republican nominee.

The Associated Press puts the race at 789 delegates for McCain and 241 for Huckabee while Real Clear Politics has the race at 797 for McCain and 240 for Huckabee.

Despite the commanding lead and the view among many Republicans that McCain is the ultimate nominee, Huckabee promised to stay in the race until McCain makes it official.

He said he wants to give Republican voters in remaining primary and caucus states "a solid, conservative, absolute pro-life candidate" as an alternative to McCain, who takes a pro-life position on abortion and has called for overturning Roe v. Wade.

"The nomination is not secured until somebody has 1,191 delegates," Huckabee said. "That has not yet happened. We’re still continuing to work and to give voters in these states a choice."