(Providence, Rhode Island) – This is the biggest week yet in the Republican Presidential campaign, but it won’t be the deciding week. The big question is "Will it offer more clarity or more confusion about the eventual nominee!"
“Is It Really ‘Super Tuesday'?” – It has been a big day on the political calendar for many years, but Super Tuesday has always been overrated in its power to select a nominee. Four years ago, the results were all over the map. This year could be the same.
“Split Decisions” – The problem is that each of the remaining candidates remains strong in certain areas. Romney looks to win in Massachusetts, Vermont, Idaho, Alaska and North Dakota. Santorum may win in Tennessee and Oklahoma, and holds a slight lead in Ohio. Gingrich hopes to win in Georgia, is polling second in Oklahoma, and was leading for a time in Virginia, but needs a write-in effort there since he failed to get on the formal ballot. I’m betting on Romney to win Virginia. While Ron Paul is not leading in any states, he is doing well enough in some to win delegates. That’s important!
“Delegates Matter” – Following his win in Washington State on Saturday, Romney has 203 delegates; Santorum has 92; Gingrich has 33; and Ron Paul has 25, according to the Washington Post. With 1,144 needed for the nomination, we have a long way to go!
“Momentum Matters” – This is a campaign that has had more frontrunners than Meryl Streep has had Oscar nominations! Each time someone has taken the lead, another candidate has surged forward and stolen the momentum. While Romney has now won four contests in a row - and may win the most on Super Tuesday - three big wins by Santorum could change the momentum again.
“What’s Next?” – While the delegate count and momentum may be going Romney’s way right now, watch out! That’s because there are six more primaries later in March in places where Santorum has shown strength: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. Gingrich could also do well in some of those Southern states.
“Going for Brokered?” -- Many observers now consider this a two-man race between Romney and Santorum. That may be true, but Gingrich and Paul may carry some leverage. If no one has enough delegates to win going into the August GOP convention, persuading those Gingrich and Paul delegates to “jump ship” and back Romney or Santorum could be the key. So while Gingrich and Paul may be out of the nomination battle, they have the potential to play kingmaker with their delegates. Keep an eye on this!
“Misplaced Media” – I enjoy “Meet the Press” and think David Gregory generally does a decent job, but this week’s show really missed the mark. For the record, I think Rush Limbaugh’s language was way out of bounds and agree that he needed to apologize. There is a much more productive way to debate an issue that puts religious liberty and contraception policy in conflict, than by name calling. But to make the non-candidate Limbaugh the central topic of a news program in an election year - when gas prices have passed $4.00 a gallon in many places, when unemployment remains above 8 percent and when home foreclosures are setting records - is misguided. This election is going to be won or lost on the economy, and the press and politicians would be wise to address that!
As always, I welcome your questions and opinions. Just click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.