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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Super Tuesday by Candidate

Super Tuesday Preview: Part IV
Part I (Standings, Schedule, Poll) here.
Part II (State-by-State Breakdown) here.
Part III (Ohio Primary Breakdown) here.

It's here! Super Tuesday has arrived. For Part IV of my preview, let's take a look at each candidate. We'll do worst-case realistic scenario, best-case realistic scenario, and most realistic, realistic scenario for each of them.

Note that all of the states are proportional, though some--like Virginia--dictate that if 50 percent of the statewide vote is broken by a candidate, that candidate gets all of the sizeable at-large delegates (those not awarded by congressional district or the 3 party leaders). A candidate usually has to reach 15 percent to qualify for any at-large delegates, but that is nullified if someone else wins 50 percent of the state. In addition to the at-large delegates, many of today's congressional districts also proportionally award 2 or 3 delegates each (Santorum's savior), though again, if a candidate wins over 50 percent of the district, they get all of the district's delegates.

On to the candidates' scenarios:

Ron Paul
Worst Case: Gets shut out of wins again, finishes third in a couple of the caucus states (Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota); fails to finish with 15 percent of the vote in any primary. Delegate haul: 20
Best Case
: Wins North Dakota and Alaska, runs second in Idaho, and is able to crack 15 percent in a primary, earning a few more delegates. Delegate haul: 50
: Wins or comes in a close second in one caucus (probably North Dakota), comes in second and third in Idaho and Alaska, but fails to crack 15 percent elsewhere. Delegate haul: 35

Newt Gingrich
Worst Case: Georgia largely deserts him while his Tennessee surge proves to be a mirage of only two polls; he doesn't crack 15 percent in any other state, and he comes in last in all three caucuses. Delegate haul: 50
Best Case: Wins Georgia big, squeaks out a Tennessee win, shows strongly in Oklahoma, wins over 15 percent in Ohio, and picks up some caucus delegates. Delegate haul: 100
Realistic: Wins Georgia comfortably, has a strong third place in Tennessee, cracks 15 percent in Oklahoma but nowhere else, and earns a handful of caucus delegates. Delegate haul: 80

Rick Santorum
Worst Case: Earns zero wins. Second in Ohio, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Third in Tennessee, Georgia, and the caucus states. Moreover, Romney wins nine states. Delegate haul: 70
Best Case: Wins Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and a caucus state (doubtful he wins two), while breaking 20 percent in all other contests. Delegate haul: 125 (limited from lack of Ohio delegates)
Realistic: Ohio is a complete crapshoot, as is Tennessee. He can win Oklahoma, but is unlikely to win any particular caucus state. I'm wagering we see one Santorum win--maybe two--and then mostly 2nd and 3rd places. Delegate haul: 100 (limited)

Mitt Romney
Worst Case: The party uses Super Tuesday to voice their loudest objection yet to Mitt Romney. He loses Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, and two caucuses, only winning Vermont, Massachusetts, Virginia, and narrowly Idaho. Delegate haul: 150
Best Case: He wins, wait for it, nine of the ten states (all but Georgia). Delegate haul: 250
: He wins seven states, losing one each to his competitors. Delegate haul: 215

Coming this afternoon in the fifth and final part of PPFA's Super Tuesday preview: The three biggest things to look for in the Super Tuesday results.

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