A win by Mitt Romney in either or both of the two Southern states voting today would seriously undermine his two primary rivals, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.
Nate Silver notes Southern states “have a reputation for counting their vote slowly.”
This is interesting: The Washington Post reports Romney is not holding a celebration tonight and is instead watching results from a hotel room in New York City.
Exit polls show Santorum leading by five points in Alabama, Romney leading by five points in Mississippi. No network is willing to make a projection based on these numbers.
Washington Examiner: “Newt Gingrich’s campaign has just sent out a memo that reveals (to no
one’s surprise) a defiant determination to stay in the race until the
end. If you read between the lines, it looks like he’s almost conceding
tonight’s races in advance.”
NBC News projects Santorum will win in Alabama.
Fox News projects Santorum will win in Mississippi.
Expect the narrative that Romney can’t reach the 1,144 delegates to gain steam in the coming days.
The Illinois primary on March 20 will be an epic battle between Romney and Santorum.