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Post Partisan
Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 03/06/2012

Washington Post writers offer predictions on who will win, and where, on Super Tuesday

On Super Tuesday, 10 states — Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia — hold Republican primaries or caucuses. A panel of PostOpinions writers and editors has weighed in with predictions, and every prognosticator sees a good night for Mitt Romney, with the former Massachusetts governor winning the critical contest in Ohio. But just how good will it be for him? Panelists put him in the running for every other state save Newt Gingrich’s Georgia, but they disagree about whether Santorum will pull out Oklahoma and Tennessee or whether Ron Paul’s libertarianism will take off in Alaska and North Dakota. See the all of our predictions below, and take our poll at the end.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL

Here’s one thing we know for sure: The big winners of Super Tuesday are the super PACs and big money politics. Here’s another: It’s about delegates. Romney begins the day with a big head start, because he’s guaranteed Virginia, Massachusetts and Vermont, plus Santorum failed to file delegate slates in many Ohio congressional districts. That means Santorum could win three to four states and still finish way behind Romney on delegates. (Chris Cillizza has the full analysis.)

To the horserace:

Romney will win Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont and Virginia.

Santorum will win Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Gingrich will win Georgia.

Paul will win Alaska.

STEPHEN STROMBERG

Romney seems to be spiking in GOP opinion polls at just the right time. Expect him to win Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia easily. Carrying New England home turf, Mormon-rich Idaho, and a state in which only he and Paul are on the ballot won’t be nearly as impressive, though, as wins in North Dakota and Ohio, dividends from his hard-fought victory in Michigan last week.

Santorum will carry Oklahoma and Tennessee, but Tennessee will be close, and it will become increasingly clear that he is left with a doomed strategy of competing for a tenuous grip on the bible belt with a deflated Gingrich.

Gingrich will take Georgia, his home state, and let’s hope his vanity tour ends there.

Paul will win Alaska.

JENNIFER RUBIN

Ohio: Romney will win by single digits, dealing a large blow to Rick Santorum’s viability.

Vermont, Massachusetts, Virginia, Idaho and North Dakota: Romney will take these easily.

Georgia: Gingrich will win, but Romney will narrow the gap and beat out Santorum for second.

Tennessee: Romney will narrowly edge out Santorum.

Oklahoma: Santorum will hold on to win by single digits. Romney finishes second.

Alaska: Paul, who actually visited the state in person, will win his first contest.

ALEXANDRA PETRI

Alaska: Santorum. After long winter months without sunshine, a figure given to deep-voiced, doom-related prophecies starts to seem like a reasonable leader selection. Sure, Todd Palin endorsed Newt, but this will have as much impact as it usually does when Todd says things.

Ohio: Romney, by a tiny margin, if only because the other candidates’ efforts to circulate images of Romney Riding Horses Looking Majestic Yet Overprivileged backfired horribly.

Georgia: Gingrich, if only because super PAC donor Sheldon Adelson saw his shadow and decided we get four more months of Newt.

Virginia: Romney. Paul is the only other candidate on the ballot, and Virginia “Womb Invaders ’12” Voters are not feeling very libertarian these days.

Vermont, Massachusetts: Romney. Unwillingness to secede is generally a good predictor of voting for Romney.

Tennessee: Santorum. Being willing to secede, then being halted by Abraham Lincoln, is generally a good predictor of wanting a Not Romney.

Idaho, North Dakota: Santorum, if only because they share the sense that they’re being ignored.

Oklahoma: Romney. “OK” is synonymous with Mitt.

DAVID IGNATIUS

Despite a Gingrich win in Georgia, it will be Romney’s day. The former Massachusetts governor will take his home state, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

JAMES DOWNIE

In a nationwide primary fight, money and organization count even more than they did in the earlier primaries. Romney has better organization, though admittedly that’s not saying much when his opponents have so much trouble with basic paperwork. More importantly, he (and the not-at-all-coordinating-but-still-associated-with-Romney super PACs) continues to snow his rivals with negative ad dumps, tearing down the other candidates just before voters go to the polls. But there’s only so much money and organization can do when voters are so unenthusiastic about a candidate. So, as usual, Romney will do just well enough to remain sort-of-inevitable.

Romney will win Ohio (narrowly), Virginia, Massachussetts, Idaho and Vermont.

Santorum will win Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota.

Gingrich will win Georgia.

Paul will win Alaska.

And watch in the next few days for Romney to make his traditional post-victory gaffe.

E.J. DIONNE JR.

Romney will win Idaho, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont and Virginia.

Paul will win Alaska and North Dakota.

Santorum will win Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Gingrich will win Georgia.

A caveat: If turnout is low enough, Santorum could pull out Ohio, but the trend seems to be with Romney. And Paul will get points in North Dakota and Alaska simply for paying attention to them.

JONATHAN BERNSTEIN

Romney is going to have a good day, and perhaps a very good one. He should win Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, Idaho and Ohio — that’s half the contests, and with it he should win over half the delegates available. But I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that he will do a bit better than that, winning North Dakota, Alaska, and — in a shocker — Oklahoma, while falling just short of Santorum in Tennessee and well behind Gingrich in Georgia. The last part is just for fun; as long as he wins over half the delegates, he basically ends any lingering doubts about the nomination.

By PostOpinions staff  |  12:23 PM ET, 03/06/2012

 
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