Amusing, isn't it, how when Santorum wins a "non-binding caucus," it's a "beauty pageant," but when Romney wins two last week, it's "pivotal."
Sort that one out if you will.
Regardless, I will dutifully include those "non-binding" delegates in our Doomsday Countdown. Here's the updated clock:
The rest of the candidates, in order: Santorum with 74, Paul with 37, and Gingrich with 33.
Looming before us, though, is the true make-it-or-break-it moment for the Republican race to the nominee. Yes, it's Super Tuesday, the political wonk's senior prom.
There are 10 states up for grabs on Tuesday, with two more just four days afterwards. On Super Tuesday, there are 412 delegates up for grabs, and all of the states are awarding the delegates proportionally through three different methods. Either the state will award the delegates based on what percentage of the votes they receive (proportional), a combination of that and delegates awarded for taking first in the primary, or through a caucus system.
In my not-so-expert opinion, here's how today is going to turn out:
Romney will walk away with the night, but just barely. He's going to walk away with 151 delegates, largely from Massachusetts and Virginia, where he's way up in the polls.
Santorum will show more than decently. He'll claim 127 delegates from Oklahoma and Tennessee, and he'll also grab Ohio, but barely.
Gingrich's biggest--and only--prize of the night will be Georgia. He'll pick up scraps here and there, giving him about 75 delegates. He's the biggest loser of the night, since he'll have put the nail in the coffin of his fate as irrelevant. If he's wise, he drops, especially if he doesn't do as well in GA as predicted.
Paul will get 43, mostly from scraps. He'll claim North Dakota, but barely.
In short. Today isn't going to be a deal-breaker. The race is going to grind on through the primaries on the 10th and the 13th.