Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich debate on February 22, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – Voters in 10 states participate in primaries and caucuses on Tuesday, for contests that will award more delegates in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination than all the previous contests combined. And while no candidate is expected to deliver a knockout blow, the outcome will dramatically reshape the contours of the race.

All 10 states holding contests Tuesday are awarding delegates proportionately — allocating them based on the outcome in congressional districts, a candidate’s percentage of the statewide vote, or a combination of the two (as in the case of Ohio). The lack of “winner take all” contests makes it almost impossible for the remaining GOP presidential hopefuls to accrue enough of the 419 delegates at stake Tuesday to create an aura of true inevitability around their candidacy.

Still, it’s likely that Mitt Romney will emerge from Super Tuesday with momentum. There are four states where he is almost sure to claim victory: Massachusetts, Vermont, Idaho and Virginia. Romney has a home state advantage in Massachusetts, where he served as governor, and his style and background make him a natural fit in the Bay State, as well as in neighboring Vermont. A combined 55 delegates are up for grabs in the two states, and Romney is expected to claim most of them.

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