Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Super Tuesday Preview: The Republicans

Bookmark and Share

Since his victory in Florida, John McCain has opened up large double-digit leads over Mitt Romney in nearly every national poll for the Republican nomination. With Romney's decisive victory in the Maine caucuses this weekend (his fourth win so far), the two candidates are quite close in the delegate count (McCain 93, Romney 77), but McCain has all of the national momentum and most of the favorable media coverage.

Virtually no pundit is expecting anything but a McCain landslide on Super Tuesday, and yet there are still several states in play of the 21 on the calendar. The question is not whether McCain will remain on top in the delegate count at the end of the night, but whether Romney (and to some extent Mike Huckabee) wins enough states to put a dent into McCain's armour of inevitability.

The conservative backlash to the McCain coronation has been fierce, as evidenced by the harsh commentary directed at the Arizona Senator by influential right-wing commentators like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham. If McCain loses, say, 8 or 9 of the 21 states on Tuesday, there may be enough of an opening for Romney to continue his campaign.

Several states are not likely to be competitive on Super Tuesday. McCain is running strong in his home state of Arizona, plus Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. Huckabee will carry his home state of Arkansas. Romney will carry his home state of Massachusetts, plus Utah and the Colorado caucuses.

Five additional states will hold caucuses on Super Tuesday: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and West Virginia. Minimal polling has been conducted in these states, but Romney has proven very strong in caucuses thus far (winning in Wyoming, Nevada, and Maine), while McCain has not won any. Smart Politics projects Romney will win at least 3 of these caucuses, though the independent-friendly state of Minnesota will likely go to the Arizona Senator.

In the remaining 7 states, 5 are in the south (Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee), 1 is in the West (California), and 1 is in the Northeast (Delaware).

Smart Politics projects a McCain victory in Delaware.

In each of the Southern states, McCain is either leading or in a statistical tie for the lead according to the latest polls. McCain should win the majority of these Southern states. Romney appears to be out of contention in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, and is competitive in tight three-way races in Georgia and Missouri. Romney's best chance is Georgia, and Huckabee's best shot is either Tennessee or Missouri.

That leaves the delegate-rich state of California. Polls show a dead heat between McCain and Romney. Obama's surge in California might be working to Romney's benefit, as independent-minded voters move away from McCain. Smart Politics projects Romney ekes out a win in California.

By the end of Tuesday night, Smart Politics expects McCain to carry 12 or 13 states, with Romney winning 6 or 7 and Huckabee winning 2 or 3. If those numbers come to fruition, Romney will remain in the race at least through Saturday's caucuses in Kansas and Washington and primary in Louisiana.

Previous post: Super Tuesday Preview: The Democrats
Next post: Smart Politics Super Tuesday Live Blogging

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting