Super Tuesday Preview

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Super Tuesday is just a few short days away, the day when twenty-four states across our country will cast their votes in the presidential primary. While the Republican primary is winding down with the resurgence of John McCain, the Democratic battle is shaping up to be a fight to the finish.

McCain’s victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida have been enough to give him the lead in pledged delegates; he leads with 93 to Romney’s 77. McCain also leads in current polls of all Super Tuesday states except for Massachusetts, the state Romney used to govern. So one would expect John McCain to secure the Republican nomination for president if he can perform as well as he’s polling this Tuesday.

However, the Democratic side of the race is shaping up to be a much closer finish. Clinton and Obama have each won two states of value in the primary contest; Clinton won New Hampshire and Nevada while Obama won Iowa and South Carolina. Obama actually won more delegates from those states (63 to Clinton’s 48), but Clinton holds the total delegate lead due to her number of Super Delegates (211 to Obama’s 127). So the current delegate scorecard is: Clinton 259, Obama 190.

Clinton has tried to slow Obama’s momentum (after South Carolina and a $32-million January) by celebrating a big Florida victory on the 29th. Yet the Florida win is not too impressive, since no delegates were awarded and Obama never campaigned in the state; her name-recognition alone may have been enough for a victory.

The most crucial state in contention on February 5th is California, where a total of 441 delegates will be awarded. Hillary Clinton’s double-digit lead in California polls of just over a week ago has disappeared recently into a statistical dead heat. Here’s a breakdown of the states holding primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday:

 


Delegates at Stake
State Democratic Republican
California 441 173
New York 281 101
Illinois 185 70
New Jersey 127 52
Massachusetts 121 43
Georgia 103 72
Minnesota 88 41
Missouri 88 58
Tennessee 85 55
Arizona 67 53
Alabama 60 48
Connecticut 60 30
Colorado 71 46
Arkansas 47 34
Oklahoma 47 41
Kansas 41
New Mexico 38
Utah 29 36
Delaware 23 18
Idaho 23
North Dakota 21 26
Alaska 18 29
West Virginia 30
Montana 25
TOTAL TO WIN: 2025 1191

The ‘Total to Win’ line shows the number of total delegates a candidate must receive in either party to win the nomination. So the Democratic contest may not be decided for a while yet. Tune in Tuesday for the results of the big primary day.

On a funny note, with John McCain becoming the Republican front-runner, Hillary Clinton picked up an unexpected endorsement this week, from conservative nut columnist Ann Coulter:

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