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March 07, 2012 12:28 AM UTC

Super Tuesday Predictions and Live Blog

  • by: c rork

(If Santorum becomes the frontrunner tonight, I’m still not turning in my “come from behind” puns, and you can’t make me. – promoted by ProgressiveCowgirl)

Super Tuesday marks the most states voting at any one day during the Republican primary. It will be a day that might determine whether Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will be viewed as legitimate contenders moving forward. It may also weaken Mitt Romney’s candidacy and sap momentum gained from wins in Washington, Michigan, and Arizona.

Here is the run-down on states that are hosting primaries and caucuses today:

Ohio – 66 Delegates, Proportional Primary

A victory in Ohio is vitally important to the future of Rick Santorum’s candidacy. Ohio’s electoral make-up favors Santorum and he had an early lead following his victories in Colorado and Minnesota. That lead has been erased following the results of the Arizona and Michigan primaries.

The polling is very current, and almost all of it is within the margin of error. Romney’s well-funded and disciplined operation has a good chance of overcoming Santorum, especially since his momentum has slowed. However, if Santorum wins Ohio, it could be a major blow to the seeming inevitability of a Romney nomination.  

Note: Santorum doesn’t have a full delegate slate in many places and won’t be eligible to win delegates in these areas.

There are a couple of reasons why I believe Santorum will be victorious. After Michigan, Ohio has the second-largest automobile industry in the country. Mitt’s opposition to the auto bailout wasn’t enough to topple him in Michigan, but I think it’ll be a factor. I also think that the large amount of evangelical voters will hurt Mitt more than it did in Michigan. Look for this state to be counting ballots till bedtime.

Tennessee – 58 Delegates, Proportional Primary

Mitt Romney is also closing the gap in Tennessee. In a similar situation to Ohio, Santorum had a healthy lead in the polls early on. The race has tightened. Polling: PPP has Santorum leading by 5%, WeAskAmerica shows Romney up by 1%, and Rasmussen has Santorum up by 4%. Newt Gingrich is closing in on Romney and Santorum’s portion of the vote and has a chance of breaking the threshold to receive delegates.

A win for Romney here would send a signal that he is able to win Southern states and bolster his chances to end the nomination battle earlier. This will be another tight one, but my bet is that Santorum ekes it out.

Georgia – 76 Delegates, Proportional Primary

By all accounts, Newt Gingrich will win Georgia handily. Most projections have him garnering upward of 40% of the vote, and this is the one state that he will certainly hang his hat on tonight. Gingrich must go further tonight by proving his electability in states outside of Georgia, gaining enough delegates to keep his candidacy alive. After his campaign’s several resurrections, Gingrich needs some surprising showings in several states to demonstrate his candidacy’s viability.

Oklahoma – 43 Delegates, Proportional Primary

Rick Santorum is especially strong in Oklahoma. Most recent polling shows him up by double-digits and the make-up of the electorate favors him heavily. This one is in the bag for Santorum.

Virginia – 49 Delegates, Hybrid Primary

VA has a large population of wealthy voters and the most recent poll I could find shows Mitt capturing nearly 70% of the vote. Nothing to see here, folks.

North Dakota – 28 Delegates, Non-binding Caucus

Nobody has gained the courage to poll North Dakota. Maybe it’s the bleak landscape or the local cuisine, but it hasn’t happened. Rick Santorum has had strong showing in flat places, particularly in the Eastern Plains of Colorado. I gather that because of population density, Romney takes some of the urban vote (whatever that means in ND) but gets overpowered by Santorum in the rest of the state.

Massachusetts – 41 Delegates, Proportional Primary

You already know damn well who’s gonna win Massachusetts.

Idaho – 32 Delegates, Proportional Caucus

Outside of Utah, Idaho has the largest portion of Mormon residents of any state. Some estimate that one out of three caucusing tonight will be Mormon. Romney also has the support of virtually every top-tier elected official in the state. I’m calling it for Romney.

Vermont – 17 Delegates, Hybrid Primary

There has only been one poll of Vermont, which showed Romney ahead by 7%. However, the date of the survey was during Santorum’s surge. Given the momentum loss after Washington, Arizona, and Michigan, I am sure this one ends up in Mitt Romney’s column.

Alaska – 27 Delegates, Proportional Caucus

Nobody really knows what is going to happen in Alaska. I have an inkling that Ron Paul’s style might play more to the independence of Alaska’s voters. Romney did win here in 2008, but the electorate of Alaska seems fairly unpredictable. Who knows, maybe Ron Paul will finally win a state! R(evol)ution, baby!

Who will have the biggest night?

View Results

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43 thoughts on “Super Tuesday Predictions and Live Blog

    1. Paul appeals to the independent minded voters. They tend to be pretty middle-of-the-road people. However, these folks are not the ones who go to caucuses or primaries because that would require them to declare a party.

      Ron Paul could potentially be a strong independent candidate, but his supporters are too moderate for the GOP nomination process where they have to strive to be the most conservative.

    2. But who knows? Maybe not.

      This is funny, though:

      …In a cheeky move aimed at tweaking the nose of the Romney campaign, the Paul team in Idaho has recruited members of Romney’s family; the campaign is touting five distant relatives who all bear the surname Romney but at the caucuses will be urging Idaho residents to vote for Paul.

  1. Santorum may come from behind and shoot over the top, but it will never be as heavy a load as Romney will let loose as he fills his bucket of delegates.

    1. I, for one, never imagined that Santorum could last this long.  However, by keeping it close, or even winning in Ohio, besides trading wins among a few other states with Romney, I see no reason for him to drop out after tonight.

      With proportional delegate allocations, he’s maintaining a solid second place en route to the convention.  At this point, he just needs to keep the money and organization pointing in the right direction to make it to the convention.

      Who knows, if it will prevent a brokered convention, you might actually see a Romney/Santorum ticket.  Last I heard, Reagan is still resting peacefully, so no more talk of him running this year, despite the GOP’s fondest wishes.

      1. never underestimate religious shepherds, nor the sheepy-nish of the flock?

        Conversely never overestimate the inability of the average GOP voter for rational, independent thinking.

        #3.  Reagan ain’t ever coming back — thank god.   (There’s never going to be a better year ever for a dead centenarian to have a chance of winning the GOP nomination . . . I hope.)

  2. I’m hoping against hope for a brokered convention in Tampa, just to make it more interesting.  The dearth of winner take all primaries makes it just barely a possibility.

    It is also worth noting that Santorum and Gingrich didn’t make it onto the ballot in Virginia.  So, there kind of is something to see there, although the limitation of ballot access is something that has already happened.

      1. in exit polls. Maybe they are waiting until the polls are closed for more than 10 minutes to call it?

        Then again, that logic makes no sense because they’ve already called Georgia, like you said.  


        A poll released just days before the vote showed Romney leading Paul 69 percent to 26 percent.

        But, with nearly all the votes counted in the Commonwealth, Paul is receiving 41 percent of the vote statewide. That is by far the largest percentage of the vote he has won in any state since he began running for president in 2008. Paul’s previous high was 35 percent in the Maine caucuses last month.

        Paul almost certainly benefited from the fact that he was the only non-Romney on the ballot in Virginia…. [Ari’s emphasis throughout]

        Mitt’s enthusiasm problem with Republicans is alive and well.

        1. Paul gets 41% in Virgnia???  There’s definitely an enthusiasm gap here for Romney.  VA is not a state where Ron Paul would traditionally do this well, yet he beat the best poll estimates by 10% and will come away with a decent delegate slate as a result.

          Romney hasn’t put this away yet by any stretch.  Fight continues.

  3. From CNN:

    7:26 p.m. ET – According to Ohio exit polling, 32% of voters said Santorum best understands America’s problems, followed by Romney with 23%, Paul with 19% and Gingrich with 18%. Forty-three percent of voters said defeating Obama in the fall is the most important candidate quality.

    So if the votes follow the sentiments, does this mean Ohio believes Santorum is the most “electible”?

    1. of the Republicans who care enough to vote in a primary don’t think Romney is the best candidate and that he doesn’t understand the country’s problems.

      I love it

      Romney can’t make anybody happy.

    2. Republicans, as dumb as they are, aren’t stupid enough to believe that RMoney has any concept of what there life is like.

      It also means that come November when thy vote for this putz, it will be knowing that as bad as RMoney is that, in their view, another four years of a black Muslim socialist apologist-to-the-terrorists and persecutor-of-Christians would be worse.  

  4. Santorum takes Oklahoma. Early returns filtering in from Tennessee and Ohio. CNN has Romney up 4% in exit polling in Ohio. I estimate that 10% of those voters just feel palpable shame after voting for Santorum and then lying to a pollster

  5. Santorum and Romney are basically tied in Ohio.

    The delegates will be split evenly between the two.

    Why the fuck does anyone care who gets 34.3% and who gets 34.2% when they get the same number of delegates?

  6. “None of the above”

    Tampa is going to be a real barn-burner.  Even Half-Guv Sarah Palin can tell.  Now we get to hear her tease the GOP for the next couple of months about possibly entering as the savior candidate.

    The pressure on Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie will be virtually irresistible.  

  7. Dennis Kucinich has apparently lost his bid for re-election.  Kucinich was redistricted into the same district as fellow Dem. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who won tonight’s primary.

    Also, Rep. Jean Schmidt (“Mean Jean”) lost to political newcomer Dr. Brad Wenstrup, who if anything might be further to the right of Schmidt.  (Who knew that was possible?)

  8. Ron Paul proved in Virginia last night that, absent competition, Republicans consider him a serious candidate worthy of their vote.  Problem: this is a contested primary, and in a competitive field his more Libertarian views are less preferable than pro-business views or religious conservative views.

    Newt Gingrich didn’t prove anything last night, except that in a multi-contestant race he can manage a plurality win in his home state.  Problem: he didn’t even make it to 50% in Georgia, and he was only so-so in most of the other states; if he really thinks Romney is too moderate for the job, he should drop out and let Santorum take all of the not-Romney votes.

    Santorum proved last night that he is the official not-Romney in most competitive races.  He almost eked out a win in Ohio and did manage to rack up three state victories last night.  Problem: he would have won Ohio and very possibly Virginia (his current state of residence) if his campaign wasn’t completely incompetent.  He wasn’t even on the ballot in Virginia, and failed to qualify for the ballot in three Ohio Congressional districts as well; analysis of those three Ohio districts show other candidates picking up enough over their statewide averages to have put Santorum over the top, maybe by 3%!  If Santorum was running a more on-the-ball, well-funded campaign, he’d be the front-runner right now.

    Romney proved last night that he’s still and probably will remain the front-runner.  Problem:  His campaign is all but admitting that they won’t have the delegates at the convention to win on the first ballot, and Ron Paul’s strong showing in VA coupled with Santorum’s would-have-been-a-win in OH are re-enforcing the fact that Romney just isn’t sealing the deal with Republican voters.

    In short, the Republican field remains as-is.

  9. what this says, but about 5,700,000 voters cast ballots in Ohio during the 2008 election.

    About 2,680,000 people voted republican.

    The President won by about 4.6% A little over 51.5% of the vote.

    Last night, Romney got about half a million republican votes, out of about 1.2 million primary votes cast.

    It’s odd, because of all the candidates, it seems Romney would be the most likely to be the furthest from Kasich’s original position, that Ohioans don’t need FEMA in this awful time.

    I cannot figure these people out.  

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