Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Quickie for Super Tuesday

Tonight will once again be a lot of to-do about not-so-much. There are 11 states, but I'm not very interested in the count of number of states won--that might've been interesting in the early stages when candidates were trying (and failing) to develop irresistible momentum, but now it's about delegates and the possibility of Rick Santorum and/or Newt Gingrich preventing Mitt Romney's nomination.
Instead, my interest for the evening will be around three questions. Those three--which are not worth staying up to find out, as they probably won't be known until midnight or later--are the following:
1) Can Santorum lose a major state he should win (Ohio), due to a sustained challenge from Romney?
2) Can Romney pull an upset in a close three-way race in Tennessee?
3) Will Romney win more delegates on the night than his three opponents combined?

If any of 1), 2), or 3) end up with a "yes" answer, the nomination battle will essentially be won. Although delegate counts vary widely, all indicate that Romney has more delegates won than his opponents combined; if he can do the same tonight, he will be well on his way toward making his nomination inevitable.

1) is important because, so far, when Romney and his minions have applied the full weight of their money and influence, he has won; if he can do that again in Ohio, it indicates Santorum will not be able to stop him. If Santorum can hold off Romney in Ohio despite 3), it may still be a battle.

Finally, if Romney can push aside Gingrich and Santorum in Tennessee, it will indicate that the failure to combine forces against Romney will eventually doom his challengers.

My predictions, for the record, are 1) yes; 2) no; 3) yes.

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