Scott: It is Super Tuesday. Now, Super Tuesday is super because ten states hold elections today. So, there are a lot of delegates up for grabs as voters cast their vote for the republican they want to go up against President Obama in the fall. They are all over TV, fighting in the press.
“There’s a breathtaking scale of dishonesty underlying the Romney campaign.”
Scott: Paparazzi and autograph hounds everywhere. This political season has been like a reality show you can’t tear your eyes away from.
Four men are left in the Republican primary. Today, they are trying to snag as many of the more than 400 delegates up for grabs. That is more than all the other contests so far combined.
Here is a look at the delegate count so far. Mitt Romney, who has won the last five races, is ahead with 203 delegates. Rick Santorum has 92, Newt Gingrich has 33 delegates, and Ron Paul has 25. But that is still a long way to 1,144 — the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
In the past few weeks, it seems like the race has narrowed to two candidates — former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who has been attacking his rival.
Rick Santorum: The only reason Governor Romney is winning early in these early states is because he is outspending his opponents four, five, six, seven, eight, nine to one.
Scott: And former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has been attacking President Obama.
Mitt Romney: This is a president. He’s been in office for three years and I am still waiting to hear what his jobs plan is.
Scott: An NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll has Romney leading by 38% among Republicans, with Santorum just behind at 32%.
But of the ten states voting today, the candidates have focused on Ohio. It has a pretty big prize — 63 delegates — and it is also considered a swing state, meaning it doesn’t have a history of always supporting the same political party. Watching Ohio’s results is a way to take the temperature of voters who are generally more independent.
In Ohio, Romney and Santorum are in a dead heat. Several polls show the two in a statistical tie in that state. They are both campaigning hard, while the others have fanned out across the country. Ron Paul was in Alaska — the first candidate to go to that state during this primary season. And Newt Gingrich campaigned in Georgia, his home state that he needs to win in order to stay in the race.
And you are not just imagining it. This race has been longer than usual, which has its own consequences. Candidates can run out of money and voters are exposed to the jabs the candidates lob at each other. It can drag down the energy of the party and leave an unfavorable impression among those independent voters. And all of this can be seen as an advantage for President Obama, who has no real opponents in the Democratic primary.
In fact, one new poll found that four out of every ten people surveyed said the Republican primary process is hurting the party’s reputation.