There is a major fight brewing in Washington state over the called race for McCain. I can't remember a time when they stopped counting votes because a party chair figured out the winner, but that appears to be what's happening:
Esser said he declared McCain the winner after calculating what Huckabee would have to win in the remaining precincts in order to take the lead. And even with being generous with a forecast of Huckabee votes, and purposefully assuming McCain's support dropped significantly in the late counts, McCain still looked like the winner.
Let's take a look at those numbers. 87% of the precincts were counted, which yielded a total of 13,475 votes. Doing the math that gives an estimated 1,752 votes uncounted.
Now let's look at the breakdown. McCain has 3,468 and Huckabee has 3,226, for a net difference of 242 votes. Looking at those numbers, what if Huckabee took the remaining precincts by 40% to McCain's 25%? That would give Huckabee the lead by 20 votes, and considering the way Saturday went, it's not a long shot.
There's more to it than just the numbers though. We also have to look at exactly what is happening. The state party chair, Luke Esser, is basically telling those remaining 13% of voters that they don't count. That is an insult to the Republican voters of Washington. I don't know the break down of the remaining precincts, but I would love to get some idea of how these areas break down by religion, race, political ideology, etc.
Something weird is going on in Washington and I am glad Huckabee has decided to fight it. The voters of Washington state deserve a chance to make sure their votes are counted, and at least Huckabee is standing up for that basic principal of democracy.