Super Tuesday Preview: Will Mitt Take Massachusetts And Vermont?
Republican candidate Mitt Romney bodes well on the eve of Super Tuesday after recent polls show the former Massachusetts governor taking victories in two New England primaries.
Romney is projected to sweep his home state of Massachusetts, where he reigned as governor just over five years ago, as well as taking a likely win in the neighboring state of Vermont. Tomorrow’s Super Tuesday gains national attention with 10 states holding primary elections and over 400 delegates being awarded to the remaining four Republican nominees.
Massachusetts’ primary will distribute 41 delegates. Of those, 38 are awarded proportionately across candidates with at least 15 percent of the votes statewide. The three remaining super delegates are unbound, which means they are free to change their vote at the Republican National Convention. With Romney as the predicted winner, what remains uncertain is if Rick Santorum and Ron Paul will hit the 15 percent threshold to take any Massachusetts delegates. A projection by The New York Times shows Romney collecting 29 delegates with 64 percent of the vote and 9 delegates for Santorum with 21 percent of the vote.
The small neighboring state of Vermont awards delegates a bit differently. It requires a candidate to gain a majority vote in order to secure 14 of the state’s 17 delegates. If a majority is not secured, the delegates will be distributed proportionally with a qualifying threshold of 20 percent. Vermont’s three super delegates are bound to primary results and awarded on a winner-take-all basis.
Romney was projected last month to lead Vermont by 34 percent, with Santorum taking 27 percent and Paul 17 percent, according to a Castleton College poll. Estimated results for Vermont’s primary are less clear than other states. The rapidly changing Republican race puts less significance on the Castleton College poll’s mid-February collected data where those polled also include all registered voters in a state that favors President Obama in the 2012 presidential race.
However, individuals who said they’d vote for Romney in the Republican presidential primary tested more secure in their vote. Fifty-five percent of Santorum supporters said they’re likely to change their minds before election day. While Super Tuesday brings much attention to the GOP race, the polls point to the 10 contests giving a little bit to everyone. The race will continue through March with primaries and caucuses being held in Kansas, Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois and Louisiana.
Reach Staff Reporter Lauren Foliart here.