Three states to watch tonight
SuperTuesday is finally here, and it is shaping up to be a big night for Mitt Romney. Romney will roll up big wins in Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia and Idaho. Gingrich will win his home state of Georgia with Romney coming in a distant second. The Alaska and North Dakota caucuses are anybody’s guess, but they won’t matter except as they fit into the overall narrative. My guess is Romney will win Alaska and Santorum will win North Dakota, but Ron Paul could pull off a surprise, particularly in Alaska.
That leaves Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma as the states to keep an eye on–if you’re willing to stay up really, really late. Santorum needs to sweep all three in order to remain competitive. Losing in two of the three will effectively end his Presidential bid. He is likely to win Oklahoma, although Tom Coburn’s endorsement of Romney on Sunday places even that state in doubt. Ohio is a two-man race with Romney and a Romney win would be devastating. Romney is almost guaranteed to get the lion’s share of delegates in Ohio because Santorum did not put up full delegate slates in all of the Congressional districts. Tennessee is a three-way race and is a “must win” state for both Santorum and Gingrich. Because they are dividing the “not Romney” vote, however, Romney could manage a victory in Tennessee as well.
The bottom line is that Santorum and Gingrich are both in serious trouble. Tonight will tell the tale as to whether either of them can continue to seriously challenge Romney for the nomination.