John McCain racked up decisive wins over Mike Huckabee in Wisconsin and Washington state tonight, inching closer to a mathematical lock on the GOP nomination and making solid gains among conservatives. In Wisconsin, he had a lead of 55% to 37% with nearly all results in. McCain split the conservative vote with Huckabee, and two-thirds of "very conservative" voters said they'd be satisfied with him as a candidate.
"I will be our party's nominee," McCain told jubilant supporters in his victory speech. He also took aim at Barack Obama, warning Americans not to be deceived by "an eloquent but empty call for change." Huckabee has vowed to stay in the race until McCain secures the necessary 1,191 delegates to clinch. McCain had 851 heading into the night.