The following is commentary from CBS 11’s political reporter Jack Fink:One Day Left Before Critical Super Tuesday
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Ohio primary is shaping up to be a real nail-biter on Super Tuesday. It’s one of 10 states where voters will select which Republican should become the party’s nominee to try to unseat President Barack Obama.
But Ohio isn’t really just one of 10 states. It’s the most important state tomorrow — not because it offers the most delegates, 66. Georgia offers 10 more delegates. But unlike Georgia, which is poised to vote for its favorite son, Newt Gingrich, and unlike Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney served as Governor, Ohio has no home state favorite.
As of today, Romney has a small lead in two polls in the Buckeye state.
Rick Santorum leads in two polls as well.
It’s impossible to say who has the momentum at this point, but Romney has made a huge comeback in Ohio.
Another large state where voters go to the polls Tuesday is Tennessee. Santorum holds a lead in two polls while Romney leads in one.
In both Ohio and Tennessee, Santorum leads in polls conducted by Rasmussen.
Historically, those polls seemed to have been more accurate, but this year, anything can happen.
Our neighbors to the North, in Oklahoma, are giving Santorum a huge lead in the polls. He’s up by 21 points in the most recent poll.
Forty-three delegates are up for grabs in the Sooner State.
But Romney has an obvious lead in Massachusetts, where he leads Santorum 64-16. Neighboring Vermont gives Romney a lead too, but it’s a much smaller lead — 34-27. In Virginia, only Romney and Ron Paul are on the ballot – and Romney should win that state handily. For now, he’s ahead 69-26.
There are more than 400 delegates at stake Tuesday.
If Romney wins Ohio and Tennessee, in addition to his other wins, then the primary race will likely be over. Romney could have more than half the delegates needed.
On Saturday night, Romney added to his recent victories. He won in Washington State, and Paul came in second. Santorum came in a close third.
So far, according to CBS News, Romney has 187 delegates, Santorum has 65, Gingrich has 30, and Paul has 20.
With so much at stake for Santorum, it may seem surprising that he hasn’t told Republicans that a vote for Gingrich is a vote for Romney.
Gingrich’s support in Ohio ranges from 13 to 15-percent. In Tennessee, Gingrich’s support ranges from 18 to 29-percent. That’s more than enough voters that could help Santorum win both states. But Santorum has refused to call for Gingrich to drop out of the race.
Before the South Carolina primary, Gingrich asked Perry and Santorum to get out. Perry did – Santorum didn’t.
It’s amazing to think how different this race would be if Santorum listened to Gingrich.
Depending on what happens Tuesday, the field of candidates may grow narrower. Or not.
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