GOP all over the Super Tuesday Map
Going into the anticipated long night, Mitt Romney was assured to walk away with at least half of the 424 delegates on Super Tuesday; the pivotal momentum races to watch were in Ohio and Tennessee. A Romney win in both should lock up the nomination for the presumptive favorite. As it turned out, the electorate was all over the map.
Georgia, with its 76 delegates at stake went expectantly to Newt Gingrich. The Gingrich strategy is to continue his popularity in the south. In his acceptance speech in Atlanta, Newt reinforced his viewpoint of the $2.50 a gallon gasoline. He announced his plans to resume his quest for the Republican nomination heading into Alabama, Mississippi, and Kansas.
Rick Santorum gave his acceptance speech in Steubenville Ohio. In a State race too close to call at the time of the speech, he already put Tennessee and Oklahoma under his victory belt. Rural Rick won Tennessee with 55 delegates at stake and Oklahoma with its 40 delegates at stake, thus keeping his slim chances alive.
Mitt Romney gave his acceptance speech in Boston, Massachusetts. He won the expected states of Vermont, Massachusetts and Virginia. At the time of his speech, he trailed in the key state race in Ohio by 3 points. Vermont with its 17 delegates, Massachusetts has 38 delegates and Virginia with 46 delegates went into the win column for Mitt. He focused his attack on the economy of President Obama proclaiming the American people haven’t failed, the President failed.
By the end of his speech, the Ohio race was too close to call. With its 63 delegates and the Republican nomination at stake, he closed the gap to 1 point, a mere 10,000 votes. All the big money, negative ads, Super Pac influence and considerable ground forces could not close the deal for Romney…yet!
Political nerds following the vote ticker map online while watching television reveled in watching possible history being made; and the night did not disappoint. As the night wore on, the delegate math got more interesting as Santorum continued cutting a swath through the heartland of Middle America by winning North Dakota with its 28 delegates at stake.
At the 86 percentile of Ohio Congressional Districts reporting, Mitt Romney took the lead and began pulling from Rick Santorum. It was at this time, Romney added Idaho to his win list for the evening with it 32 delegates at stake. The question remains…Is a win still a win under these circumstances? Conventional wisdom confirms; “When Rover just doesn’t like the dog food, it goes uneaten.”
As the night wore on, the upcoming primary events of March may dictate posturing going forward. A Gingrich/Santorum grand bargain can make this a most interesting race entering the next leg of the southern primaries. The upcoming calendar of events is not Romney friendly with Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, Illinois, Hawaii and Louisiana on the docket.
At the 96 percentile mark of reporting districts, Mitt Romney was declared the apparent winner of Ohio. This long hard fought battle continues to be the path for the Romney candidacy as the Republican Presidential nominee.
With only 8 ‘winner take all’ states left, delegate math become an issue for the Romney campaign to close this out before June. The calculators will be working through the night in the Romney camp.