Live Blog: Super Tuesday ResultsPosted: March 6, 2012
Hi Sky Dancers! Are you ready to rumble? No? Well then stick around for our live blog of the Super Tuesday primaries. The delegates of ten states that are voting today will all be distributed proportionally. There are no winner-take-all states. The polls close at (all times EST):
7:00PM in Vermont, Georgia, and Virginia
7:30PM in Ohio
8:00PM in Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Oklahoma
9:00PM in North Dakota
10:00PM in Idaho
12:00AM in Alaska.
There is quite a bit of disagreement about how many delegates each of the candidates has accumulated, so I’m going with Politico’s estimates:
According to Nate Silver’s Guide to Super Tuesday, the outcome tonight
could reasonably range from one in which Mitt Romney seems to have the nomination all but wrapped up to a situation that casts his nomination in doubt.
Mr. Romney is likely to remain the favorite to win the nomination almost no matter what happens. He is also very likely to finish with the largest number of delegates from the evening. He comes into the night with perhaps the most favorable momentum he has had at any point in the nomination process; some of his disastrous outcomes were pushed aside by his wins in the past week in Michigan, Arizona and Washington.
Still, the line between a resplendent night for Mr. Romney and a suspect one is relatively slim, both in terms of the delegate count and the narrative it will generate. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have a lot on the line as well, possibly including their continued survival in the race.
Josh Putnam, a political science professor, says it’s already over before the votes are counted.
Santorum can’t get to 1144 …and neither can Gingrich.
FHQ has been saying since our Very Rough Estimate of the delegate counts a couple of weeks ago that Romney is the only candidate who has a chance to get there. But, of course, I have not yet shown my work. No, it isn’t mathematically impossible, but it would take either Gingrich or Santorum over-performing their established level of support in the contests already in the history books to such an extent that it is all but mathematically impossible. Santorum, for instance, has averaged 24.2% of the vote in all the contests. Since (and including) his February 7 sweep, he is averaging 34.7% of the vote. That is an improvement, but it is not nearly enough to get the former Pennsylvania senator within range of the 1144 delegates necessary to win the Republican nomination.
You can read the rest at Putnam’s blog.
At the WaPo, Chris Cilizza has a guide to the five storylines to watch tonight. You can read the whole thing at the link, but here’s his take on whether Romney can end it tonight:
From a delegate point of view, Romney is nowhere near clinching the nomination. (Check out our video explaining all of the delegate math.)
But, there is a path toward him closing out the nomination — for all intents and purposes — tonight. How? Romney needs to be able to claim a sort of national victory, winning somewhere in every region of the country.
The Northeast is locked up as Romney will cruise in his home-ish state of Massachusetts and Vermont. He’s likely to get a win (if not two) out of the Plains/West with the North Dakota and Idaho caucuses. Ohio is Romney’s chance in the Midwest/ Rust Belt.
That leaves the South. Gingrich is going to win Georgia. Santorum looks strong in Oklahoma and it’s somewhat debateable whether that counts as the South anyway. Tennessee is clearly Romney’s best chance to win in the South even though polling suggests that Santorum has a narrow edge….
If Romney wins — for the sake of argument — Ohio, Tennessee, North Dakota, Idaho, Vermont and Massachusetts — he can make a compelling case to the Republican establishment, which has been loathe to get off the sidelines thus far in the race, that he is the only national candidate left in the field.
Brent Budowsky claims that the Republican “establishment” (whoever they are) will “lay down the law” to the right wingers tomorrow.
When the rooster crows on Super Wednesday, the insider establishment that runs the GOP will lay down the law to Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and all true conservatives: It is time to unite behind the candidate of the establishment that runs the party, which does not include Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Herman Cain or true conservatives of any kind.
The voting on Super Tuesday will determine whether this insider GOP establishment will have enough brute clout to force opponents of Mitt Romney out of the race beginning in earnest on Super Wednesday, or whether the the process must continue. The pressure to withdraw will be excruciating. The private inducements to drop out will be enormous. The threats against candidates refusing to drop out will be secret, but savage.
I’m not sure how Budowsky, a Democrat, knows this, but it sounds reasonable. Here’s a bit more:
In the GOP, the insider, banking, Wall Street and K Street establishment is the boss. Period.
True conservatives have been humiliated in this primary season because they began without a credible conservative presidential candidate and will likely end being force-fed Mitt Romney, whom most of them privately consider a phony (which he is) who will betray them if elected (which he will).
So have it! Let us know what you’re hearing in your neck of the woods or on whatever media outlet or big blog you are following. Personally, I’m still rooting for Romney to lose somehow, but I’m not all that hopeful it will happen.