The keys to victory on Super Tuesday

Mitt Romney is a near lock to rack up the most delegates today. But Rick Santorum could still gallop out of Super Tuesday with the wind at his back

Edward Morrissey

The Republican presidential primary race just entered its March madness moment. Until now, contests have come mostly one at a time, with a couple of notable exceptions in February where two or three states held primaries or caucuses in the same week. And for all the hyperventilating and hyperfocus on the race, only 172 delegates have actually been allocated to the candidates, and it takes 1,144 to win the nomination. Mitt Romney has the most delegates at this point with just 118, or about a tenth of what he needs to lock it up.

All of that changes today. Ten states hold nominating contests, seven of which are binding primaries. The spread of states reaches from a caucus in Alaska to the primary in Georgia, testing the logistical and organizational strength of all four remaining GOP candidates. At stake in the seven primaries are 350 delegates, all of which will be proportionally allocated depending on the results. A big enough overall victory could propel one candidate to a bandwagon moment and bring the race to an early close. A closer contest could break the race wide open and keep candidates fighting into June — or perhaps to that political pundit's fantasy, a brokered convention.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.