This Tuesday ain’t no regular old Tuesday. It is a “Super Tuesday,” a day where 10 states will be holding presidential primaries (or caucuses) to try to determine who will lead the Republican party to the Presidential election come November.
With 437 delegates at stake, there is a whole lot of pressure to gain power in these primaries. But this day is not just important to the Republican frontrunners and to their party, it’s also an important day for their rivals – the Democrats. Why does it matter and what states will be responsible for the decisions?
On Tuesday the following states will be involved in doling out delegates to Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul.
1) Georgia with 76 delegates
2) Ohio with 66 delegates
3) Tennessee with 58 delegates
4) Virginia with 46 delegates
5) Oklahoma with 43 delegates
6) Massachusetts with 41 delegates
7) Idaho with 32 delegates
8) North Dakota with 28 delegates
9) Alaska with 27 delegates
10) Vermont with 17 delegates
The biggest battlegrounds will be in Georgia, Ohio, and Tennessee – the states with the most delegates. And so far (according to the Christian Science Monitor) the outcome is predicted to be a win for Newt Gingrich in Georgia and a toss up between Romney and Santorum in Ohio; in Tennessee Santorum has the lead, but Romney is gaining momentum.
Other states’ outcomes are pretty much set in stone — for example, Romney will likely win Massachusetts, and Ron Paul has a pretty good chance winning the “libertarian leaning” state of Alaska.
So why does this all matter for both Democrats and Republicans? There is much at stake with this Super Tuesday. If Romney wins blue collar Ohio and a bit of the South with Tennessee, it will show that he can carry more of the country than previously thought. If the wins are more widespread, with the 4 frontrunners forced to split the delegates, that means that there is not a strong candidate (someone who would be considered as “the one”). But if there is a landslide in several of the contested states (like Romney winning Ohio and having a big win in Tennessee), that really would better define the profile of the politician who will win the nomination.
Democrats (as well as the Republicans) will be watching Tuesday’s results closely. Many – oddly – are rooting and volunteering for Rick Santorum, figuring that if he got the nomination that he would never win over Barack Obama. And a win for smooth-talker Romney will make many Democrats uneasy. And Gingrich and Paul? They’re still in it – and have many fans – but many have already figured that they will not become the party’s nominee.
Who wins on Tuesday will also mold how the battle for the presidency will be handled and what talking points will be the on the forefront, such as the economy (Romney) or reproductive rights (Santorum). The results will let us know if this upcoming election season will be all about money and our country’s financial health, or more about social issues like a woman’s right to choose.
Will you be watching the results for Super Tuesday? Do you care?