Washington is full of ill considered wisdom. You know, lines like "The finest Congress money can buy." But the people going around this week talking about Super Tuesday have got the adjective just about right.
Super Tuesday: 10 states; 437 Republican convention delegates. Enough to nominate a presidential candidate? No, that takes 1144. But still, it's a very big chunk especially when the Washington Post estimates that Mitt Romney so far has 150 delegates and Rich Santorum, 87. Newt Gingrich, according to the Post has 29 and Ron Paul, 18 – fanatics, yes, but they won't quit.
Will anybody clinch the nomination tomorrow? No, but if Romney finishes second in the ten states, his position as frontrunner will be badly damaged even if he has the most pledged delegates. If Santorum wins, he'll start claiming frontrunner status even though Romney may still lead in the delegate count. Newt Gingrich? Ron Paul? Never mind.
The crown jewel of the ten states up is Ohio with 63 delegates. Republican pollster Whit Ayers says if Santorum wins Ohio, "I don't know that he has to win a whole lot of other states to keep it going." If Romney wins Ohio, Gingrich takes Georgia and Santorum wins Tennessee and Oklahoma, Ayers says, "then it becomes what a bunch of people have written about – a long, delegate slog."
Pretty well considered, I'd say.