Super Tuesday Update Super Tuesday polls will soon close in a number of states — including Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Georgia's was the first primary to finish, and the West Virginia GOP contest has been decided.
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Super Tuesday Update

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Super Tuesday Update

Super Tuesday Update

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

It is Super Tuesday and we have results in two of the contest. Earlier this afternoon, Mike Huckabee won all the Republican delegates at stake in West Virginia and that states' GOP convention. And a half hour ago, NPR projected that Barack Obama has won the Democratic primary in Georgia. The Republican contest in that state is still too close to call.

NPR's Mara Liasson is here to talk about these early returns. And Mara let's start in Georgia with these Democratic result - not a surprise for Barack Obama to win there.

MARA LIASSON: Not a surprise. A state with a lot of African-American voters, but what we do know from the exit polls is that he increased his numbers - percentages - among blacks and whites from how he did from South Carolina. He won South Carolina with 78 percent of the black votes, in Georgia he won 86 percent of the black vote. That is big. So he won South Carolina 4-1, black voters, Georgia he won 6-1. He also did better among white voters and that is extremely important to him. We already know that he can get black voters from wondering know that he can get black voters. We're wondering how well he can do among whites. In South Carolina he got 24 percent of the white vote in a three-way race. Today he got 54 percent of the white vote in a two-way race. That tells you a lot.

BLOCK: You know, that's been a big question about with John Edwards out of the race, where do those voters go? And it seems - part of the answer seems to be he's getting at least some of them.

LIASSON: Yes. Wait a minute. I think I miss spoke here. I think - okay, I'm seeing two different exits. White - 43 percent of the white votes, not 54. Forty-three percent of the white vote. So he did quite well.

BLOCK: Let's talk, also, more about the result in West Virginia, in the GOP convention. We mentioned that Mike Huckabee won that. This result has something to do with Mike Huckabee. It also has a lot to do with what's going on between Mitt Romney and John McCain. Tell us what happened.

LIASSON: Yes. It was really interesting. Of course, a caucus and a convention caucus whish is what they had in West Virginia. There were two rounds of voting. And in the first round, nobody got a majority. Mike Huckabee had a little bit more than Mitt Romney and McCain was third. So, the McCain people mad a deal on the second round which is what happens in caucuses. And they threw all their support to Mike Huckabee in order to thwart Mitt Romney. And what you've seen through out this campaign is that Huckabee and McCain are kind of tag teaming in an anti-Romney alliance and it almost seems like the only reason that Huckabee had stayed in the race, he has no chance of getting the nomination is merely to thwart Romney in the south where they're both competing for conservative voters.

BLOCK: Lot's still to come tonight, Mara. It's going to be a very late night indeed at eight o'clock Eastern Time, a lot of polls closing. Why don't you talk through some of the results we should be looking forward tonight and of course the big prize at the end, California closing at eight o'clock Pacific Time.

LIASSON: Right. Well, on the eight to nine hour which is what's coming up next. We've got a lot of states. Massachusetts is one we're looking at. Obviously, if McCain wins there, that's a very, very bad sign for Mitt Romney which is his own state and he's been leading at the polls there. I would say if Obama wins Massachusetts, that's a very bad sign for Hillary Clinton because she's been way ahead in the polls there. We're really going to be looking at New York ands New Jersey where, believe it or not, in her home state of New York, Clinton has been spending a lot of money to get out the vote which tells you she's a little worried.

We're going to particularly be looking at exit polls in states like Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico which close between eight and nine to see whether Clinton's firewall among Hispanic voters is holding up. We're also going to be looking at the female vote on those states and others to see if Obama has been able to make some inroads. He's been trying very hard. He had a big rally in L.A. with Oprah Winfrey and Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger and Carolyn Kennedy the other day. So we'll see if he can do better there.

BLOCK: Okay. NPR's Mara Liasson, thanks a lot.

LIASSON: Thank you, Melissa.

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