Waiting for the Republican Superman!

March 5th, 2012 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, March 5 (IANS) Will Mitt Romney emerge on Super Tuesday as the Republican Superman who would challenge President Barack Obama in November? Or would he stumble again to make the fight for party nomination excruciatingly long?

That’s the question facing the former Massachusetts governor ahead of “Super Tuesday” primaries in ten states with 437 delegates up for grabs.

With 203 delegates already in pocket from eight previous wins, the last five in a row, he could well break away from the pack and get closer to the magic figure of 1144 to significantly boost his chances of clinching the party nomination.

But he may trip yet again and let former Senator Rick Santorum, a distant second with 92 delegates from four previous wins, gain an advantage in the critical general election swing state of Ohio, where the two are engaged in a close fight like the one last week in Michigan. Santorum also sees opportunities in Tennessee and Oklahoma.

For trailing former speaker Newt Gingrich with a delegate tally of 39 from a sole victory in South Carolina, a win in Georgia, the State which sent him to the Congress, is considered crucial. If he can’t win there, he may as well pack his bags and go home.

Bringing up the rear is the tenacious anti-war, libertarian-leaning, unorthodox House member Ron Paul who boosted his delegate tally from a measly 18 to 25 Saturday with a 25 percent second place finish in Washington.

He hasn’t won a state so far but with his fervent core support is determined to go all the way to the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida in August, where the party candidate would be formally nominated.

Asked by CBS Sunday if he was running to win the nomination or simply secure enough ballots to be a force at the convention, Paul said his goal was both.

“I don’t see why there has to be an either-or,” Paul said. “If you’re in a race to make a point or promote a cause, the best way to do that is to win.”

Taken together Tuesday’s contests in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia, represent a rich regional and demographic diversity making it hard for anyone candidate to make a sweep.

Ahead of the Super Tuesday contests Romney got a shot in the arm by winning Washington State caucuses Saturday with 38 percent votes and picked up two conservative endorsements Sunday from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Republican Senator Tom Coburn

The backing from Coburn and Cantor, a tea party favourite, could give Romney a boost among right-wing voters who so far have questioned his conservative credentials, CNN said.

But Super Tuesday would be a make or break day for Romney. He could cement his front runner status or he might see the prize slip through his fingers as it did four years ago!

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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