Super Tuesday may damper effect of Western States Primary

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    By LINDSAY PALMER

    A third of the national delegates’ votes were pledged to presidential candidates from both parties as part of Super Tuesday voting in 16 states.

    Add that to the delegate votes already decided in previous primaries, and some people say the presidential primary race is essentially over.

    Greg Sanders, Utah spokesperson for Bill Bradley, said Super Tuesday “kills” the effects of the Western States Primary, which will be Friday, March 10. in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

    “One guy asked me at work when politicians will figure it out and coordinate a one-day national primary,” Sanders said. “There’s a feeling everywhere that people’s votes don’t count.”

    But Ann Compton, ABCNEWS.com’s chief Washington correspondent, said she hopes voters who have yet to vote will take their chance seriously.

    “If this turns out to be the end of the road for one or more candidates, the follow up primaries do lose their mystery, but not their importance,” Compton said. “Convention delegates will be at stake.”

    Sanders had no comment on whether Bradley is planning on dropping out of the Democratic race.

    But he said if Bradley does decide to drop out, it will definitely effect the primary vote in Utah on Friday.

    “In Utah, the Bradley votes would all go to Gore,” Sanders said. “The Democrats who were going to McCain have already gone.”

    John McCain, who won the Republican vote in some of the smaller Northeastern states but lost overall to Bush on Tuesday, has also not announced plans to drop out. Nor is he planning on switching parties to gain a presidential nomination.

    Dan Schnur, a McCain spokesperson, said McCain is not planning on leaving the Republican ticket to seek an independent nomination.

    “John McCain is a loyal Republican, and he’s always been a Republican, and he’ll continue to work to elect Republicans to office,” Schnur said. “We want to bring independents and other new voters into the Republican party, but we don’t think it’s necessary to leave the party to attract their support.”

    Gary Roberts, a long-time personal friend of McCain, said the campaign is not over after Super Tuesday. Roberts is in Salt Lake City this week to urge more support for McCain.

    “We’ll have a rally Thursday night at the Capitol, regardless of Tuesday’s results,” Roberts said.

    Roberts said McCain himself is no longer planning a visit to Utah, and will be taking a few days off from campaigning.

    Alan Keyes, however, will make an appearance in Utah County tonight at UVSC. He will be speaking at UVSC’s McKay Events Center at 7:30.

    George W. Bush will also be coming to Provo on Thursday afternoon. He will speak at a rally at the Provo Airport at 1 p.m.

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