Mitt Romney has rarely skipped out on giving the primary night speech, a presidential campaign tradition.
Earlier Tuesday, Romney’s campaign said that the candidate will be flying when vote totals from the two Deep South states are expected to be announced.
Later, Romney himself seemed slightly uncertain of his plans when speaking to reporters as his campaign plane was about to take off from St. Louis to Kansas City.
Romney said that he “feels good about both states.”
“You don’t know from polls what will happen,” he said. “But obviously if the polls are anywhere near correct, we’ll end up, I don’t know, with a third of the delegates? And if that’s the case, that inches us closer to the magic number.”
When a reporter then asked Romney why he did not plan to speak or hold a victory party after the primaries, he didn’t answer directly. “We’ll have to wait until the polls close,” he said. “Then we’ll talk about that.”
Tuesday would mark only the fourth time this year that Romney has not given a primary night speech. He did not address supporters on Saturday, when he placed a distant second behind former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in the Kansas caucuses.
And Romney did not deliver remarks on March 3, when he won the Washington state caucuses, or on Feb. 11, when he narrowly edged out Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) for a victory in the Maine caucuses.
The apparent decision to skip a primary night address on Tuesday could be a campaign move to lower expectations in two states that aren’t the friendliest of territory for the GOP frontrunner.
Still, if you were planning on cozying up to the TV with a bowl of popcorn this primary night, fear not: Santorum will speak to supporters at the Hilton Hotel in Lafayette, La., and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) will address supporters at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham.
Paul does not have plans to speak to supporters after the results roll in.
According to a Washington Post tally, Romney has delivered eight primary or caucus night speeches so far this year, from the following locations:
-- Jan. 3, Des Moines, Iowa.
-- Jan. 10, Manchester, N.H.
-- Jan. 21, Columbia, S.C.
-- Jan. 31, Tampa, Fla.
-- Feb. 4, Las Vegas, Nev.
-- Feb. 7, Denver, Colo.
-- Feb. 28, Novi, Mich.
-- March 6, Boston, Mass.
Staff writer Philip Rucker contributed to this report.