Super Tuesday

Jake Glancy

My last article on the Republican Primary was about the surge Santorum had in February. However, February is a “low key” Primary month for the candidates. There was only one debate and the majority of the contests in February were caucuses. Caucuses draw the political elite and most politically active constituents of the party, which are conservatives for Republicans and conservatives make up Santorum’s voting base. Santorum really surged throughout the month, and Santorum surged all the way to beating Obama in a CNN Poll about the general election. He won the earlier contest in February, and as I looked at the polls every day, his numbers were always high. The polls showed him looking like a real contender to take down President Obama this November, and a candidate to take down Obama is what Republicans are looking for. Yet, a poor performance in the Arizona debate barred the surging Santorum train from progressing any further down the tracks.

Romney won both the Arizona and Michigan primaries on Tuesday. A timely victory that has refueled the Romney train and Romney is now chugging along with regained momentum. On Monday before the Arizona and Michigan primaries in a Gallup general election poll against Obama, Santorum beat Obama 49 to 46, where Romney only tied Obama 47 to 47. In Republican primary polls Romney and Santorum were neck in neck all the way through February. Today, the Gallup Poll has Romney once again being the front runner with 33 and Santorum in second place with 25. In the Rasmussen general election poll, Romney now beats Obama 45 to 44 and Santorum loses to Obama 46 to 43. This may not seem like a big change, but it breaks all the trends of the polls in February. As we move into March things look like they did back in January with Romney at the front in the driver seat of this election.

Next Tuesday is commonly referred to as Super Tuesday because of the 11 contest that happen all in the one day. Eleven states hold either a primary or a caucus, and there are 466 delegates for the taking. Tuesday has the potential to completely change the entire landscape of the election. The delegate count now is Ron Paul with 18 delegates, Newt Gingrich with 29, Rick Santorum with 86, and Mitt Romney with 149. Paul and Gingrich just have to win a third of the delegates to regain the status as a true contender in this election. However, I believe that is unlikely. Looking back at the entire race there has been one extremely consistent candidate, Mitt Romney. Every other candidate has risen to the top and fallen right back down. In the summer Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry all were momentum leaders at one point in the election, and while they were momentum leaders Romney kept a steady pace. All three have dropped out and Romney’s steady pace has him in the lead. In January, Newt Gingrich was gaining momentum but he has now fallen to third place. Now, most recently, Santorum was gaining momentum but is now falling out of the lead and at an inopportune time, right before Super Tuesday. Romney has a chance to take full control of this election on Tuesday.

If you have not watched any of the Republican Primary debates, then I would suggest watching the Monday night debate. That is the only time from now until Super Tuesday where all 11 states of Super Tuesday will be able to see all four candidates at the same time. It is one of, if not the most important debate of the Primary season. That debate can have the biggest effect on Super Tuesday which in turn can have the biggest effect on the election. Look for Santorum to come out swinging looking to regain his momentum; look for Ron Paul to do well on economic and immigration issues but get hammered on foreign relation issues; look for Newt to have a solid performance like he always does, and look for Romney really attacking Obama to show he is the Republican candidate to beat the President. Lastly, I was recently made aware of possible alliances among the Candidates. It is a theory that Newt and Rick are against Mitt and Ron because Newt and Rick are looking to take down Romney and Romney may choose Ron’s son to be his running mate. I believe it is farfetched but it is something to take notice of.