Being dubbed “Southern” Super Tuesday, today will bring us primaries in Alabama and Mississippi along with a caucus in Hawaii. Polling indicates that all three states could be toss-ups between Gingrich, Santorum and Romney. Ron Paul is hoping to be competitive in the Hawaii caucus. The territory of American Samoa will also caucus today.

Alabama: 7am to 7pm CT (8am to 8pm ET)
Format: District: Winner take all or top two; statewide: proportional
Delegates: 50

Mississippi: 7am to 7pm CT (8am to 8pm ET)
Format: District: Winner-take-all primary. Statewide: If winner receives a majority, winner-take-all primary; otherwise, proportional primary
Delegates: 40

Hawaii: 6pm to 8pm Hawaii Time (12am to 2am ET)
Format: Caucus/convention
Delegates: 20

Report from The Note:

Each of the Republican candidates begins this primary day with something to prove.

Mitt Romney wants to show he can win in the Deep South — territory that would seem unfriendly to him, but where polls indicate a razor-thin race.

Newt Gingrich needs at least one victory to make good on his recent prediction that, “I think we’ll win both” Alabama and Mississippi.

Rick Santorum would like to deny his rivals an opportunity to add to their delegate total. His campaign circulated a memo yesterday outlining a path to a prevent Romney from clinching the nomination before this summer’s Republican National Convention.

And Ron Paul is still looking for his first state win. He has been sending surrogates to Hawaii, which hold caucuses today.

There’s been no recent polling in the Aloha State, but Paul’s son, Ronnie; Santorum’s daughter, Elizabeth; and Romney’s son, Matt, have all campaigned there this week, suggesting that it will be a competitive contest.

Alabama and Mississippi are the big prizes and the candidates have the most at stake in those two states.

Wins in both places would help Santorum solidify his standing as the “undisputed” conservative alternative to Romney. Gingrich could show he can do well outside of Georgia and South Carolina. And, Romney could put to bed the narrative that he can’t gain tractions in states with large Evangelical populations.

Romney may also be helped by the fact that Gingrich and Santorum are going to split the very conservative vote, giving him the opportunity to squeak by with one win — or even two.

Regardless of what happens tonight, Santorum and Romney’s campaign schedules today make it clear that they are plowing ahead to the next contests.

These contests could decide the trajectory of the race, especially if Mitt Romney picks up one or both southern states. If Gingrich wins both, his hopes could remain alive. If Santorum wins one or both, he’ll call it a victory and vow to continue. Paul will be hoping to pick up delegates whether he outright wins the popular vote or not. Look for action in Hawaii and American Samoa on Paul’s part.

22 COMMENTS

  1. One thing for sure, Obama is loving it, every dollar they spend is one less they have to spend against him. Now he may be behind a few points but that isn’t bad at all considering the GOP has tossed everything they had against him. Kind of like a criminal trial where the prosecution goes first, then rests. My take is when Obama fires back the GOP ship will look like the mighty HMS Hood when it went up against the Bismarck.

    • maria — good one!

      By extrapolation — Mitt will be remembered as the one that gave us more Bama….

      ——————————————————-

      So let’s make sure Mitt does not get elected!

  2. Reports are that Willard may actually win one of these Southern States. If he can, I think the ballgame is over.

  3. YES!

    Mitt 3rd — not even 2nd in both states. Are the people waking up to the Zero that he is….?

    • Apparently not, since he only lost by a point or two. For Willard, I see that as a success. If he had won either state, it’d be all over. But this is as close as a win for him. I didn’t think he’d be able to buy the southern votes.

      • Goethe Behr — re: your post (condensed):

        “…. he (Mitt) only lost by a point or two. I see that as a success… this is as close as a win for him….”

        Nope — Mitt’s numbers only appear “close” since BOTH Newt and Rick were running (causing a nearly EVEN SPLIT between them). If only ONE (Newt or Rick) ran, Mitt’s numbers would have been DISASTROUSLY LOW!

        • Doesn’t matter. The narrative is, “Williard will win, therefore, vote for the winner.” In order for him to lose, he has to first, lose.

          The narrative was, “Willard can’t win in the south.” This outcome wiped out that argument (which was silly, anyway, like Obama is going to win Alabama??”

          It doesn’t matter that his thugs outspent both Newt and Rick by a rate of FIFTEEN-to-one. He proved his point. Just as he proved his point in Michigan and Ohio.

          These two states were a “win” for him, because he “exceeded expectations.” If he had spent a few more million, maybe he would have taken them both.

          Willard’s plan all along was to paint himself as inevitable. As long as he keeps doing this well, the lemmings will give him the first ballot win.

          I DO agree to your point that if Newt or Rick had bowed out, that one of them would have gotten double the Willard total. And the result? Willard would have met expectat6ions.

          As long as he can keep buying votes, the game is over.

          • Geothe Behr —

            LOL — the most pessimistic post you’ve posted so far.

            Lighten up — have a beer.

            • Wake up. The GOP establishment won’t allow Paul to be their standard-bearer, because if he won, he’d meddle with the GOP’s military-industrial complex. Duh. Also corporate welfare. Those are the two legs the GOP stands on.

              I went through the RP movie.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK5X4dYl7Bw

              People will not sit through the whole thing, but I annotated it. Have people look at some of these snippets:

              CRITICISM OF OBAMA
              2:20 to 5:06 (ending with Glenn Beck)

              MILITARY SUPPORT
              21:25 to 23:50

              MEDIA BLACKOUT
              12:20 to 18:10

              FOX MANIPULATION
              26:15 to 29:25

              OTHER MEDIA MANIPULATION
              31:50 to 40

              FAIR MEDIA

              –Scarborough
              43 to 45:45

              –Juan Williams
              45:50 to 48:25

              –Cavuto
              48:25 to 49:55

              UNLIKELY ALLIES

              –Kucinich & Nader & Chomsky
              1:04 to 106:30

            • I dunno.

              Did you see the nice Nader section at 1:04 to 1:06?

              I thought RP was throwing his voice. . . .

        • The problem here is that if my man doesn’t win, I’m not going to vote. Got to have someone like Obama that turned out voters that never voted before. At the same time he got the old voters in his corner. I can see how he beat John the Hawk but beating Hillary wa a true work of art.

  4. Today’s Headline:

    “In ‘highly unusual’ move, Marines asked to DISARM before Leon Panetta speech!”

    Not sure, but can a Marine (unless placed under arrest) be disarmed in hostile territory, even by the Four ‘Starest’ of Generals…?

    (Some can put a spin that Panetta is so liked by the troops, that he does not trust his own soldiers with weapons in his presence….).
    ——————————————————————————————–

    Curious if someone knows the answers:

    1) Was it ILLEGAL — a breach of military law/conduct/rules — to DISARM the US Marines in a HOSTILE combat territory (in order to be herded without arms to listen to a speech from Citizen Panetta)?

    2) Name and rank (or civilian status) of person RESPONSIBLE for disarming the US Marines?

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