Republican Presidential Candidates Prepare for “Super Tuesday”

Posted March 6th, 2012 at 2:50 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Voters in 10 U.S. states are preparing to head to the polls for “Super Tuesday” nominating contests in the biggest day of voting yet in the race to become the Republican party's presidential nominee.

Over a third the 1,144 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination are up for grabs on Tuesday, which is more than all the previous primaries and caucuses combined.

Frontrunner Mitt Romney, who has won the last five states, hopes to use the contests to establish himself as the inevitable nominee. His main rival, Rick Santorum, is attempting to regain the momentum that helped him win three straight states in early February.

On Monday, Romney and Santorum campaigned for support in the closely watched midwestern “battleground” state of Ohio, where the two are locked in a tight race.

A new Quinnipiac University survey shows Romney has gained momentum since last week and now has 34 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Ohio, three points ahead of Santorum. Santorum led in Ohio late last month.

The contests will move Republicans closer to selecting their candidate to face President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the November election.

Georgia, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, Oklahoma and Tennessee are the other states that will hold primaries on Tuesday. There will be caucus meetings in Idaho, North Dakota and Alaska.

The other two candidates vying for the Republican nomination are former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Gingrich campaigned Monday in Tennessee and is confident of a win in Georgia, the state he represented in Congress for two decades and where polls show he has a large lead.

Paul, who has yet to win a nominating contest, hopes to do well in Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota.

Romney is expected to do well in Massachusetts, where he served as governor from 2003 to 2007, and in the neighboring state of Vermont, as well as in Virginia, where only he and Paul are on the ballot.

Meanwhile, President Obama, whose approval ratings have gradually been improving, hopes to gain attention on Tuesday with an afternoon news conference.