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PW logo Super Tuesday Results Historical Campaign Posters
Gingrich Caught Snoozing Landrieu Will Run Again in 2014
Kerrey Trails Badly in Nebraska Obama's Message to Romney

News from the Votemaster

Today is Super Tuesday     Permalink

Super Tuesday is not your grandfather's super Tuesday. In fact, it is not even your older sister's super Tuesday. Only 10 states are voting today (vs. 24 states and American Samoa in 2008). Nevertheless, it could be decisive, especially if Mitt Romney wins Ohio and most of the rest. If he pulls that off, he will once again be the inevitable nominee. If Rick Santorum wins Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and maybe a few more, there will be no joy in Mudville. Here are the states voting today.

State Delegates Type Binding? Notes
Alaska 27 Caucus No Romney won this caucus in 2008, could win again
Georgia 76 Primary Yes Sure win for Gingrich
Idaho 32 Caucus No Mormon-heavy Idado will go for Romney
Massachusetts 41 Primary Yes Romney will win big in the state he governed
North Dakota 28 Caucus No Even Ron Paul might win this open caucus
Ohio 66 Primary Yes The big one. Probably close.
Oklahoma 43 Primary Yes Santorum will probably win this very conservative state
Tennessee 58 Primary Yes Santorum ahead but a loss here would devastate him
Vermont 17 Primary Yes Romney is well known here and will win easily
Virginia 49 Primary Yes Only Romney and Paul are on the ballot; Romney will win

If Santorum ekes out a small victory in Ohio, he will certainly continue running for another week. In fact, even if he loses a close race he might keep going for a while. Kansas, a very conservative state, votes on Saturday and Santorum might win that no matter what happens today. Next Tuesday, Hawaii, Alabama, and Mississipi will vote. Even after a loss in Ohio, Santorum could win Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, putting him back in the running. If Gingrich is thumped everywhere in the South except his home state, logically he ought to drop out, but he probably won't. Of course, by staying in, he will help Romney, a man he hates, but his ego is too large to fit through the exit door.

If Romney wins big today, he may say "To hell with Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi" and start his general election campaign tomorrow, knowing full well that he will carry all three of them no matter what he says in the next 9 months. Such a pivot would consist of just ignoring Santorum and spending his days attacking Obama as well as trying to retract some of the more conservative things he has been saying lately to placate the Republican base. Few of these voters would be fooled, but they would have no where else to go unless Ron Paul decides to run as a Libertarian--and he has given no indication he is planning to do that. However, a Santorum win in Ohio, Tennessee, and Oklahoma today, followed by wins in Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi would make it nearly impossible for Romney to act like he was already the nominee.

Independent Throws Maine Senate Race into Turmoil     Permalink

Former Maine governor Angus King, an independent, has announced that he is running for the Senate seat Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is vacating. When Snowe said she was retiring, Democrats cheered and Republicans moped because all of a sudden it looked like the Democrats would capture this seat and probably hold the Senate as a consequence. Now with the entry of the popular and progressive King, the Republicans are cheering and the Democrats are moping. If King wins, he will certainly caucus with the Democrats, like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or former senator Jim Jeffords, also of Vermont. The problem for the Democrats is that in a three-way race between a Democrat, probably Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), some Republican, and King, the progressive vote will be split between the Democrat and King, allowing the Republican to win.

In a sense, this race could be a mirror of the Republican presidential nomination. There, the not-Romney vote is well over 50%, but because it is split among multiple candidates, Romney is probably going to win. In Maine, the not-Republican vote is also going to be split, which may allow the Republican to win. One argument the Democrats may use, however, is that King, at 67, is too old to be in the Senate long enough to acquire much power. Still, Maine has a lot of old people, so that argument could backfire. The point they need to make is not that King is too old for the job, but that he will be 80 before he gets any real power, and may decide to retire then. Pingree is 56.

What is also possible, but unlikely, is a (secret) deal between the Democrat and King that a week before the election, if one of them is leading the other by more than 5% in the polls, the one behind drops out and endorses the other one. But losing candidates always expect miracles (see Gingrich, Newton L.)

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Previous headlines

Mar04 Romney Wins Washington, Paul Second (Maybe)
Mar03 Washington State Holds Caucuses Today
Mar03 Maine Senate Field Taking Shape
Feb29 Romney Barely Wins Michigan
Feb29 Olympia Snow Announces Her Retirement
Feb28 Michigan Too Close to Call
Feb28 Kerrey May Run for the Senate in Nebraska
Feb23 Romney Attacks, Santorum Defends, Nothing Much Changes
Feb23 Of Vaginas and Veeps
Feb21 Too Late for a White Knight
Feb21 Another Republican Debate Tomorrow
Feb17 Santorum Leading Romney in Michigan
Feb12 Romney Wins the CPAC Straw Poll
Feb12 Romney Edges Out Paul by 194 Votes in Maine
Feb12 Santorum Leading in Michigan and Nationwide
Feb08 Santorum Wins Big in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado
Feb05 Romney Wins Nevada Caucuses
Feb05 Republican Primary and Caucus Schedule
Feb04 Romney Expected to Win Big at Nevada Caucuses Today
Feb04 Economy is Improving
Feb01 Romney Wins Decisively in Florida
Jan31 Romney Set to Win Big in Florida
Jan31 Santorum Faces Easy Choice Tomorrow
Jan31 Prediction: Florida Will Win Today
Jan27 Romney Takes Off the Gloves in Final Florida Debate
Jan27 Romney Failed to List Foreign Investments on Legal Form
Jan25 Obama Lays Groundwork for a Populist Campaign in State-of-the-Union Speech
Jan24 Romney Releases 2010 Tax Return
Jan24 Role Reversal in the Debate: Romney Attacks, Gingrich Plays Defense
Jan24 Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich
Jan22 Gingrich Crushes Romney in South Carolina
Jan20 Perry Drops Out and Endorses Gingrich
Jan20 Gingrich Surging in South Carolina
Jan20 Gingrich's Second Wife Attacks Him
Jan20 Romney Loses His Win in Iowa
Jan20 Romney Reported to Have Millions of Dollars in the Cayman Islands
Jan20 The Final Four Take Off the Gloves in the Last Debate before the South Carolina Primary
Jan17 Hard-Hitting Debate in South Carolina Changes Nothing
Jan16 Huntsman Expected to Drop Out Today and Endorse Romney
Jan16 Why is the Republican Field So Weak?