Nearly one-fifth of the Republican delegates are being chosen today—not a surprising figure, exactly, given that ten states are voting. It will be a surprise, though, if Mitt Romney doesn’t win most of them; Nate Silver predicts he’ll add 224 delegates, with Rick Santorum picking up 76 and Newt Gingrich—mainly because of his expected home-field win in Georgia, the largest state voting—87. But that’s only part of the story—and certainly not the part that will have political geeks glued to their TVs, hollering at the screen the way normal humans do on Super Bowl Sunday (which, according to Daily Intel, is actually way more super than Super Tuesday). The suspense lies with tomorrow’s uncertain headlines: Will it be “Romney’s Near-Sweep Clears Path to Nomination” or “Santorum Wins Ohio, Vows to Fight on to Tampa”? The former senator from Pennsylvania had what looked like insurmountable leads in the polls just a week ago in Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma. But then the Romney money gusher opened, with the Restore Our Future super PAC shelling out $6.7 million in all. So far, the pro-Romney group has outspent the pro-Santorum super PAC, Red White And Blue Fund, by nearly 3 to 1 in Ohio, 9 to 1 in Tennessee, and 50 to 1 in Oklahoma. Not coincidentally, Ohio and Tennessee are both toss-ups now. As the Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie pointed out this morning, money has been the story of the Republican primaries. Whenever Romney has been threatened, he's practiced the Powell doctrine of overwhelming force, outgunning Gingrich in Florida and Santorum in Michigan. If it works again tonight, that kind of money and media saturation won’t be necessary again. While we media types will continue to try and gin up excitement—can Romney win next week in the Deep South?—only the final score will really be in question.
So They Say
“If Iran doesn’t get rid of nuclear facilities, we will tear them down ourselves.”
—Rick Santorum, speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
“The red line is not the morning the bomb goes off — the red line is now.”
—Newt Gingrich at AIPAC
“Hope is not a foreign policy. The only thing respected by thugs and tyrants is our resolve, backed by our power and our readiness to use it.”
—Mitt Romney, addressing AIPAC
"When I see the casualness in which those folks talk about war, I am reminded of the costs of war."
—President Obama, speaking at today’s press conference about the Republican candidates’ rhetoric on Iran. He addressed AIPAC yesterday.
Daily Meme: Super Tweeting
- @indecision: Super Tuesday is a lot more fun if you pretend everyone is voting to decide which GOP candidate is the cutest.
- @feliciasonmez: "Mitt Romney calls me every day," jokes an Ohio voter about robocalls. "I don’t know how he gets anything done!"
- @dbernstein: Vermont polls are open until 7:00pm. But they can close early if all 12 Republicans in the state have voted by 5:00.
- @BuzzFeedAndrew: Today the people of Ohio will decide if they want two more years of Dennis Kucinich pie charts.
- @TheOnion Poll: Gingrich Best Candidate To Preside Over America's Hedonistic Decline #WarForTheWhiteHouse
- @esquiremag: #SuperTuesday drinking game: Every time Wolf Blitzer treats that board like a scoreboard, drink the whole bottle and smash it on your head.
- @ThePlumLineGS: Obama, asked if he really wishes Romney good luck tonight, says: "Really."
- @brianbeutler: It's Thursday right?
What We're Writing
- Paul Waldman wonders when reporters will start calling Mitt Romney on his lies.
- Jaime Fuller argues that the GOP race is all about demographics.
What We're Reading
- Most boring candidates ever? Ohio seems to think so.
- In case you’re wondering, here are the Myers-Briggs personality types of the Super Tuesday states.
- The Gingriches aren’t voting in the Virginia primary.
- Will Newt stay in the race out of pure spite?
- And why is Georgia sticking with Newt? It comes down to Southern solidarity.
- Republicans (yes, Republicans) protest Santorum’s anti-gay, anti-birth control stands in Ohio.
- Who's going to win evangelicals?
Poll of the Day
Obama is making his biggest gains against Romney with his toughest demographic: white voters who lack a college education.