Ohio, Georgia, Alaska, Virginia, and six other states are up for grabs this Tuesday as the Republican Primary heads into what may be the final stretch.
Every presidential election primary, as the political parties work to select their nominee for the general election, there is one day in which the most states hold their respective primaries, Super Tuesday. In January, from Rick Santorum’s slim win in Iowa, to Mitt Romney’s victory in New Hampshire, to Newt Gingrich’s triumph in South Carolina, the Republican primary has been extremely volatile. This pattern continued throughout February as Santorum started the month with a surprising three state sweep in the Midwest; and Romney finishing off with wins in the last 5 contests.
However, through all the ups and downs of the race, Romney has earned the front runner status. The Huffington Post estimates that Romney has collected 208 delegates by winning 7 states. Santorum, his closest opponent is estimated to have collected 92 delegates after winning 4 states. 1144 delegates are needed in order to clinch the Republican nomination.
The reason why Super Tuesday is so important is because on this one night, 419 delegates will be up for grabs. While Romney is currently the frontrunner, a loss in a major state can make him look weaker. However, if he has commanding victories all night, it could almost guarantee the nomination for him because it could give him a lead that cannot be overcome by the other candidates.
The other candidates know this and have established true battle grounds. For Santorum, its Ohio. No Republican nominee has ever won the Presidency without first winning Ohio in the general election. If Santorum wins Ohio, many Republicans and political analysts will begin to openly question if Mitt Romney can beat President Obama. This helps Santorum because it will make him look electable, a factor he is currently lacking.
Newt Gingrich, who has previously done well in the south, is focusing almost exclusively on the southern states of Tennessee and Georgia. Georgia is especially needed because it has 76 delegates alone (the third most in the country). Tennessee with its 58 delegates, is also very important for Gingrich to win if he wants to stay relevant. Although he will not win all of the state’s delegates (delegates awarded by districts in the states), a win in both of these states could possibly help him catch up to Santorum in the primary race.
Then there is Ron Paul who is focusing on the states that hold “caucuses,” Idaho, North Dakota and Alaska. Paul hasn’t won a state yet, but is hoping to change on Super Tuesday. If he goes win-less, he will only continue to see fading media attention.
So why is Super Tuesday so Super? It’s because it has the power to virtually end the primary process, dramatically change the perceptions of candidates, or continue to represent the ups and downs seen over the past few months. We will be watching the results closely!
Who do you think will ultimately win the Republican Nomination? Will he beat President Obama? Comment below!!