Super Tuesday: What To Look For In North Dakota And History-Making Oklahoma
According to The New York Times' Republican primary projections, Rick Santorum has the best chance of winning in Oklahoma at 39 percent. Mitt Romney trails behind him with 28 percent, then Newt Gingrich with 23 percent.
According to CNN, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, and Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma endorsed Romney's presidential bid on Sunday. The backing from Coburn and Cantor, a Tea Party favorite, could give Romney a boost among right-wing voters who so far have questioned his conservative credentials.
"What Romney has done in his 25 years in the private sector is precisely what we need a president to do in Washington," Coburn wrote in an op-ed in the Oklahoman newspaper. "Romney has done hard things. He has turned businesses around, told people hard truths about what needed to be done, inspired confidence and overcome excuses. Romney is not a career politician or a career legislator. As a former governor and business leader, he is an executive who knows how to use executive power."
Although Romney has been backed by Coburn and Cantor—both noted conservatives—it seems that the public is excited by Santorum while also judging who would be the most electable candidate, namely Romney.
"[Romney]'s the pragmatic choice, but he doesn't seem to be generating any kind of enthusiasm for the fall," Sheryl Lovelady of the University of Oklahoma's Carl Albert Center told Tulsa World.
Every winner of the Oklahoma Republican primary since its start in 1988 has become the party's nominee.
The North Dakota caucus does not have the most delegates, but at 28 - the same number as Iowa and Nevada - it is still significant in determining the next Republican presidential candidate.
The results are not binding, which means the 28 delegates are not required to cast ballots that reflect caucus voters’ support at the national convention in August.
“The caucuses clearly have increased North Dakota’s visibility,” Mark Jendrysik, a political science professor at the University of North Dakota told the Grand Fork Herald.
Jendrysik said North Dakota’s success during the economic recession – and especially under Republican leaders – has also helped spur its attention among the presidential candidates this year.
Reach staff reporter Tricia Tongco here.