Next week is the all-important Super Tuesday, the single biggest day on the Republican Presidential primary calendar. There will be ten states voting that day: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia.
For very different reasons, in three of these ten states Mitt Romney has such built-in advantages he should win them without any worry.
- Idaho – Idaho is the second most Mormon state in the Union besides Utah. Roughly 27 percent of the state are members of the LDS. If the pattern of Mormons turning out in large numbers to vote for Romney holds up next Tuesday, he should win the Idaho caucus by a huge margin.
- Massachusetts – This is Romney’s real home state. It was the state where he lived for much of his adult life and the state where he served as governor. Home state advantage should give Romney the win.
- Virginia – Mitt Romney will win this state simply because Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are the only two on the ballot. Because of the state’s tough ballot requirements, neither Rick Santorum nor Newt Gingrich qualified. This makes it virtually impossible for Romney to lose the state. What will be interesting to see is how many anti-Romney voters actually turn out to cast a protest vote for Paul.
Right off the bat, even if Romney doesn’t try he is basically guaranteed to win three of the ten contests next Tuesday. In addition, there are two other states voting on Super Tuesday where the conditions favor Romney.
- Vermont – It borders Massachusetts where Romney was governor and New Hampshire where Romney won big after years of aggressive campaigning. Vermont shares some media markets with New Hampshire and it is likely Romney campaigning in New Hampshire had real some spillover effect in Vermont. Vermont is also a very liberal state with an open primary. Unless Operation Hilarity is incredibly effective at getting Democrats to vote strategically for Santorum, the lack of many “very conservative” voters should help Romney.
- Alaska – It is a caucus state, so the Romney campaign’s superior organization should help. Alaska also has a relatively marginal LDS community. It is the 7th most Mormon state with just over 4 percent of the state a member of the church. If, in what is likely to be a low turnout caucus, they turn out in a big way for Romney, that could put him over the top.
Despite the number of Southern states voting on Super Tuesday, a case-by-case analysis indicates that overall, the day looks favorable for Romney. Given his big advantages, even if Romney underperforms next Tuesday he should still win five of the ten states.