Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Look at the Super Tuesday States

It appears from recent polling that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has moved into a narrow lead in Ohio.  Seven Ohio polls were released yesterday.  Four showed Romney in the lead by 1,3, 4 and 5 points.  Two showed Rick Santorum in the lead by 1 and 4 points.  One poll showed the race tied.  If you look at polling trends though, Romney clearly has momentum in the state.
Mitt Romney

Likewise the polling trend is against Santorum in Tennessee. While he once had a big lead in the state, most recent polling shows him with a slight lead.  One poll released yesterday actually showed Romney with a one point lead in the state.

When it comes to Georgia though, the polling shows that Romney and Santorum are playing for second place.  The Real Clear Politics average of recent polls show Former Speaker Newt Gingrich leading by more than 20 points over second place Romney.

The most recent poll in another state, Oklahoma, was released on February 22nd.  It showed Santorum with a 21 point lead over Gingrich with Romney in third place.

Virginia would normally be a big Super Tuesday state, but Gingrich and Santorum failed to qualify for the ballot there.  The state is a showdown between Romney and Ron Paul.  A win there would mark Romney's first state where he received more than 50% of the vote.

Massachusetts polling shows Romney with a big lead in his home state.

Other Super Tuesday states are Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota and Vermont.  Of those four, all but Vermont are caucus states. Vermont has a primary.

I expect that Romney will take Ohio, Massachusetts and Virginia, while Santorum wins Tennessee and Oklahoma. Gingrich has Georgia wrapped up.  If those results happen, then the smaller states of Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota and Vermont may tip the all important media perception of who "won" Super Tuesday.  Finding polling done in those states is difficult. Regardless, polls done to try to measure a caucus vote is problematic.  My guess is Romney, with superior organization, will do the best in those caucus states with Ron Paul, helped out by the most enthusiastic supporters in the GOP, possibly running second.  Vermont, a northeastern state, is likely to favor fellow New Englander Romney in its primary.

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