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March 06, 2012

What to Watch Tonight

First Read: "The marquee race in Ohio is particularly significant for both Romney and Rick Santorum. A Romney win there would keep him on his path (no matter how rocky it's been) toward capturing the GOP nomination. But a Santorum victory there would signal that his close second-place finish in Michigan wasn't a fluke, and would likely ensure that this primary season remains competitive, perhaps through April and possibly June. But something to keep in mind: Every time it seems that Romney has been on the ropes (after South Carolina, before Michigan), he pulls off a big win. And every time we think he's wrapped up this race (after New Hampshire, after Florida/Nevada), we discover it's not over."

"Chew on this: It is possible that Santorum could win in both Ohio and Tennessee, but Romney could win a majority of tonight's delegates (213 out of 424). That outcome would create a math problem for Santorum and a perception problem for Romney. And given how this campaign season has gone so far, isn't this the most LIKELY outcome?"

The Note: "No matter what happens tonight, one thing is clear, it is all but impossible for Santorum to catch Romney in the delegate race. The proportional allocation of the delegates, Santorum's weakness in the primary contests thus far, and Santorum's own inability to qualify for many of these delegates put him behind with no real ability to catch up."


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