Super Tuesday Preview: Tennessee
A week before Super Tuesday, the Tennessee primary remains an enigma as people waited for the results from Michigan and Arizona before committing to a candidate.
A poll conducted by Vanderbilt University found Rick Santorum was favored to win the state with 33 percent, almost twice that of Mitt Romney, who finished second with 17 percent. However, the study also found that 27 percent of those involved in the poll hadn’t pledged to any of the four candidates. With less than a week until voters head to the polls, it's still anyone's game in Tennessee.
This uncertainty could dramatically sway the Tennessee primary for any of the presidential hopefuls. The state’s 58 delegates will be divided up proportionally to those who win about 20 percent. However, if one candidate gets 66 percent of the vote or more, they take all the delegates.
Even though Gingrich trails behind in the polls, accounting for only 10 percent, he hopes to win both Tennessee and Georgia, focusing his campaigning efforts in the two southern primary states. Santorum also spoke at a church in Tennessee, channeling the conservative support of the right-leaning state. Romney, on the other hand, doesn’t have any stops planned but he is the only candidate with endorsements from the state’s strong political players like Gov. Bill Haslam, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. Diane Black and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, reports Sidelines.
"The race remains very fluid in this state and will likely continue to move in response to the primaries in Michigan and Arizona," John Geer, a Vanderbilt political scientist and co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll told the Associated Press.
The socially conservative Santorum currently has the edge, but wins in Arizona and Michigan may help propel Romney to victory in Tennessee. Consider this contest a toss up.
Reach staff reporter Karla Robinson here.