Super Tuesday…The day in politics that either makes or breaks a candidate. Decisions will be made today that could set in motion who will be running in the election against President Obama.
Technically, today it will only be ‘Super’ for one maybe two candidates…for the rest…not so ‘Super.’
On Super Tuesday this time around, just 20 percent of the available delegates will be in play. In 2008, more than 50 percent were allotted on that single day. Plus, with more states now having proportional division of delegates rather than winner-take-all, no candidate will be remotely close to the 1,144 needed to clinch the nomination. Not even close enough to scare anyone out of the race.
The process is marred by the fact that only Mr. Romney and Mr. Paul will be on the Virginia ballot — the other two candidates missed the filing deadline. Said Mr. Sabato: “Our guesstimate of Romney’s delegate edge — 49 over Santorum — comes almost entirely from Virginia. Subtract out Virginia, and Super Tuesday becomes essentially a draw.”
Since its inaugural in 1984, Super Tuesday has often been decisive. In 1998, Gov. Michael Dukakis won the day’s largest share of delegates and went on to take the nomination. In 1992, Bill Clinton locked down the South and eventually the party’s nod. In 1996, Bob Dole swept the day’s seven states, and in 2000, both Al Gore and George W. Bush seized the day, and their party’s nominations.
But in 2008, 24 states fled the traditional March Super Tuesday, moving their elections to early February. Still, Sen. John McCain cruised to victory then and Mr. Romney dropped out a few days later.
Normally, just three weeks separates the big day from the New Hampshire primary; this time, there’s an eight-week gap (and about 300 debates that changed the landscape almost daily). Contributed by Joseph Curl.