The Republican Primaries of 2012 have been unlike any primaries that have come before. This past year has seen the rise and demise of numerous candidates who gained heavy support (think Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Senator Michele Bachmann) and quickly collapsed. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (who came in behind McCain in 2008) was, for a while, considered to be the obvious Republican nominee, though 2012 has proven different. Ever since the elections kicked off with the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd, the elections have ended in very surprising and unpredictable results. To become the Republican nominee for president, a candidate must win 1,144 delegates of the 2,286 delegates up for grab.
As of February 11th, the last election to date, Governor Romney has 105 delegates, Senator Santorum has 71, Speaker Gingrich has 29 and Congressman Paul has 18. Eight states have already held elections, Arizona and Michigan hold primaries February 28th, but Tuesday March 6th is the most pivotal day of the primaries to date. On March 6th, commonly known as Super Tuesday, Republicans from ten states will head to the polls to vote for one of the four candidates. Georgia, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Vermont and Massachusetts will hold primaries. Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota will hold caucuses. Of these ten states, Georgia is the state with the most delegates up for grabs-76 to be precise. Georgia is certainly a very conservative state and as of February 22nd, native son Gingrich is predicted to easily win Georgia with Santorum coming in 2nd. Regardless of Georgia’s affinity for Gingrich, the state holds a proportional primary, which means that the candidates get delegates by the region they win, not a winner take all. Thus Santorum will likely get delegates out of the Georgia primary. Despite Gingrich’s popularity in the deep south, the rest of the nation leans more toward Santorum and Romney, making it extremely unlikely Gingrich will be able to clinch the nomination. Romney has a stronghold in the northeast and is expected to win Vermont and Massachusetts, as well as the important state of Virginia-a state where Gingrich failed to even make it onto the ballot. Unfortunately it is still too early to tell just who will clinch the nomination because primaries and caucuses run through the end of June and some of the most crucial states-New York, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Illinois have yet to cast their votes. Most likely Romney will end up garnering the delegates to get the nomination.
As the elections continue to take place, the debates and discussions amongst candidates become more heated. As we know, politics is a dirty game and the campaign trail is only going to become more combative. Expect more defamation and cheap-shots out of the nominees and certainly non-stop commercials in Georgia as Super Tuesday nears. At this point in the game it is still too early to tell who will get the nomination. Super Tuesday will give a better indicator of who stands a good chance of clinching the nomination, but in the end, it will come down to either Romney or Santorum and will be a tight race from here on out. Romney will probably come out on top because of his heavy support in the northeast, overwhelming support from the Mormon community and the fact that many of the less conservative states have yet to cast their votes. This election season has certainly proven abnormal and there is still a long road ahead, so stay tuned!
Want more information on the 2012 election? Want to educate yourself on the candidates and the issues both Democrat and Republican? Check out these very informative websites…..