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Ten states will vote and 437 delegates are up for grabs. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich each have different strategies in different states, but Romney is expected to come out ahead of the rest.
Today is “Super Tuesday,” the biggest single day in terms of delegates awarded in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Ten states will vote and 437 Republican delegates are at stake, which is more than all the delegates awarded so far. For a rundown of how the delegate math works from Super Tuesday onward, see the Washington Post video below.
Politico reports that while Romney is unlikely to sweep the contests, but is very likely to emerge the top man. “That’s partly because the front-runner is poised to win more of the 437 delegates at stake than his rivals, thanks to all-but-certain wins in Virginia, Massachusetts, Vermont and Idaho.” Poor planning by his rivals means that they are not eligible to compete in every state and every district, according to the newspaper.
Here is a state-by-state rundown, with balloting details from NPR.
Alaska will award 27 delegates, and its polls open at 8 p.m. EST. Ron Paul is the only candidate to have visited America's most expansive state, according to Alaska Public Radio.
Georgia will award the biggest share of Super Tuesday delegates – 76 – after its polls close at 7 p.m. EST. Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has staked his candidacy on Georgia. While he has signaled that he would stay in the race even if he does not have enough delegates to secure the nomination by the time of the Tampa convention, he is expected to take the Peach State, the Associated Press reported.
Idaho will award 32 delegates in its caucuses tonight, which begin at 9 p.m. EST. While Ron Paul has campaigned hard for caucus wins, Idaho has many Mormons, which means Romney is expected to perform well, The New York Times reported.
Massachusetts’ primary will close its polls at 8 p.m. EST, and the lion’s share of its 41 delegates is expected to go to Mitt Romney, the commonwealth’s former governor with a "commanding lead" in the polls, according to the AP. Romney will be in Boston for tonight's Super Tuesday returns.
North Dakota’s caucuses will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST and will dole out 28 delegates. The state is expected to go for Ron Paul, who plans to be in Fargo later today.
Ohio’s primary polls close at 7:30 p.m. EST, and its 66 delegates are arguably the most bitterly fought-over for Super Tuesday. Polls over the past few weeks had Rick Santorum ahead, but Mitt Romney's numbers have been on an upward trend and the two candidates are now tied at 32 percent, according to CNN.
Politico reports that if Romney takes Ohio – which until recently he was predicted to lose – it “would mark a second example of the former Massachusetts governor winning in a large, diverse Rust Belt state,” an important general election demographic. But, “If Santorum hangs on to his narrowing lead and wins a non-caucus contest in which he and Romney both fought hard to win, he’ll have a strong argument for forging ahead.” But poor planning by Santorum may also harm his chances. He is not eligible to receive 18 of the total delegates, according to POLITICO.
Oklahoma’s primary closes at 8 p.m. EST and 43 delegates are up for grabs. Rick Santorum hopes to perform well there, and POLITICO reported he is ahead by 10 points in a Sunday poll. But the state awards delegates proportionally, so he may not perform as well in the delegate count.
Tennessee’s primary closes at 8 p.m. EST, and it doles out 58 delegates. A big prize, Tennessee is competitive between Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney. Gingrich and Romney have been gaining on Santorum in recent polls, the AP said.
Vermont, one of America's least-populated states, will award just 17 delegates after its primary polls close at 7 p.m. EST. Polls suggest Vermonters will vote for their fellow New Englander, Mitt Romney, who wants to get over 50 percent of the vote, Vermont Public Radio reported.
Virginia’s primary closes at 7 p.m., but it won’t be a full ballot: due to primary entry requirements, both Santorum and Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot, and they lost lawsuits to challenge their exclusion from the vote. Its 49 delegates will be split between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, and polls suggest that Romney leads Paul by over 30 percentage points, the Washington Post reported.
Wyoming, the eleventh state, will begin its five day balloting process today, but it is not counted among the "Super Tuesday" contests.
Below is a video from the Washington Post that details the delegate race so far.