Colorado and Minnesota will be holding caucuses Tuesday in order to pick a GOP nominee for President. Missouri will be holding a primary to do the same, however, no delegates will be awarded since the Missouri Republican Party will be holding a caucus on March 17 for the purposes of choosing convention delegates.
We’ll have the results for each contest later Tuesday evening once the caucuses complete and the Missouri polls officially close.
Report from the Washington Post:
Three states hold early nominating contests Tuesday — and while none of those contests is as high profile as the early states that have come before (or the Super Tuesday states up ahead next month), the four GOP contenders are nonetheless hustling to make the rounds and make a competitive showing.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) is holding two public events Monday, both in Colorado — a state he swept with 60 percent of the vote in the GOP caucuses four years ago.
Meanwhile, former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) starts his day in Minnesota and ends it in Colorado, while for former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), it’s vice versa.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is holding two rallies Monday, both in Minnesota — another state that Romney won in 2008, with 41 percent to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 22 percent.
Both Santorum and Paul have some hopes pinned on Tuesday with Paul hoping to do well in Minnesota and Colorado while polling indicates Santorum has a chance to pull off a victory in Missouri which will be more of a superficial boost than a delegate boost.
A new Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll out today shows the potential for a big Santorum night in Minnesota and Missouri. Report from PPP:
Rick Santorum could be headed for a big day in today’s contests in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. Missouri looks like a probable win for Santorum. He’s at 45% there to 32% for Mitt Romney and 19% for Paul. Minnesota provides an opportunity for a win as well. Currently he has a small advantage with 33% to 24% for Romney, 22% for Newt Gingrich, and 20% for Ron Paul. And Santorum should get a second place finish in Colorado, where Romney appears to be the likely winner. The standings there are Romney at 37%, Santorum at 27%, Gingrich at 21%, and Paul at 13%.
Santorum’s personal popularity is the main reason for his sudden reemergence as a relevant player in the GOP race. In all 3 of these states his favorability is over 70%- 74/17 in Minnesota, 72/17 in Missouri, and 71/19 in Colorado. He’s far better liked than his main opponents- Romney’s favorability is 47-60% in those states and Gingrich’s is 47-48%. While Romney and Gingrich have hammered each other in recents weeks Santorum’s been largely left alone and he’s benefiting from that now.
Unfortunately for Santorum, a win in Missouri won’t count for delegates but a win in Minnesota would greatly help his momentum in building a case for his candidacy. If Santorum wins at least one state tonight, coupled with his Iowa win, he will become the candidate just behind Romney in terms of primary/caucus victories.