With 437 GOP delegates up for grabs, Republican presidential hopefuls gear up for Super Tuesday, when 10 states will hold primaries or caucuses. While Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum battle against each other in multiple states, popular opinion is that Ohio will be the state to watch. The state has 66 delegates up for grabs. Perhaps more importantly, no Presidential nominee has continued on to win the office without being the victor in Ohio. Results in the state could thus greatly illustrate general electability for the GOP hopefuls. Both Romney and Santorum have been aggressively campaigning in the state, while Newt Gingrich clings to his home state of Georgia, and Ron Paul eyes the smaller caucuses.
On the campaign trail...
Newt Gingrich (Republican): The pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning our Future sent out an email this morning framing Super Tuesday as a "life or death" matter. The first line of the email read: "Super Tuesday could absolutely mean Life or Death to America as we know and love it." Here you can find the full transcript of the email. Recent polls show Gingrich's lead in Georgia surging, and two surveys place him ahead of challenger Mitt Romney just 24 hours before the Georgia primary.
Barack Obama (Democrat): In an address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference yesterday, Obama warned that loose talk of war is only helping Iran. In a meeting this morning with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama confirmed, "The United States will always have Israel's back," to which Netanyahu responded, "Israel and America stand together."
Ron Paul (Republican): After coming in second in Washington's caucus vote on Saturday with 24.8% of the vote, Texas Congressman Ron Paul predicts he can win three states tomorrow: Alaska, North Dakota, and Idaho. All three state will hold caucuses on Tuesday, consistent with Paul's strategy of focusing on small states that hold caucuses as opposed to primaries. He tells CBS News' "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer that he believes there is a "good chance we come out with a majority of delegates."
Buddy Roemer (No Party Preference): In a recent interview with Rob Cox, Buddy Roemer talks about his opinions on Washington, the problem with Wall Street, and how he plans to fix both if elected president. Reuters has the full video.
Mitt Romney (Republican): Carried by the momentum from Saturday's Washington caucus win, Mitt Romney made his closing arguments today in Ohio, continuing his pitch as a businessman and stating that he is the only candidate to have spent his life in the "real economy". Speaking of his campaign, he reminds the Canton, Ohio crowd, "I keep bringing it back to more jobs, less debt and smaller government. That's what my campaign is about."
Rick Santorum (Republican): Now neck and neck with Romney in the Ohio polls, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is fiercely campaigning in The Buckeye State. Due to organizational mishaps, however, his campaign did not meet filing requirements in Ohio and Virginia, meaning that he will not be competing for 55 of the delegates tomorrow.
ALSO, going into Super Tuesday, the social media analytics company Socialbakers did a study analyzing the effectiveness of social marketing campaigns across all major social networks (including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+). Here are the findings from their Super Tuesday study, revealing Facebook performance correlations in key campaign milestones: