Super Tuesday live blog

UPDATE at 11:42 p.m.:

It appears the night belongs either to Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum, pending the final outcome in Ohio. At this writing, with 91 percent of the precincts in that state reporting, Romney has finally pulled ahead of Santorum by half a percentage point. The late-reporting counties have been urban ones, and Romney is performing well in them. If he does indeed add Ohio to a list that includes Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia (and, based on very early returns, probably Idaho and Wyoming), while finishing second in Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee, this will have been a big night toward turning the off-and-on front-runner into a highly likely nominee.

Even if he loses Ohio, Santorum did well enough by winning primaries in Oklahoma and Tennessee and the North Dakota caucuses. Despite his victory in Georgia, Gingrich had the roughest night. He will get the lion’s share of the delegates in Georgia, the most delegate-rich state on Super Tuesday, but the rest of tonight’s results make it difficult to see how his success here translates elsewhere.

Looking ahead to next week: Santorum’s strength in Oklahoma and Tennessee may give him enough momentum with Southerners to upend Gingrich in next week’s contests in Alabama and Mississippi. If he does, Gingrich’s strategy of holding onto the party’s core Southern region will be undone. Gingrich needed stronger showings outside Georgia tonight to make the argument that he had a chance beyond his old home state. He didn’t get them.

UPDATE at 8:47 p.m.:

As of now, Newt Gingrich is above the 50 percent mark in congressional districts 3, 4, 8, 10 and 13. That’s important not only because it means Gingrich would get all three delegates in them instead of the two he would get for a mere plurality, but also because those are districts Mike Huckabee, favorite of social conservatives, won four years ago. Combine that with the 50 percent of the evangelical vote Gingrich won, and it’s clear this is one state where his two divorces didn’t hurt his vote totals.

In Tennessee, meanwhile, Rick Santorum appears to be the likely winner if exit polls are to be believed, with Romney in second and Gingrich in third.

ORIGINAL POST:

From CBS News’ report on the Super Tuesday exit poll, an early signal that this could be a good night for Newt Gingrich:

At least seven out of 10 voters in all seven primary states today said gas prices were an “important” factor in their decision, the early exit polling shows. The issue matters most to voters in Georgia, where 81 percent said it was important. The issue was significant in other Southern states as well: 79 percent of Oklahoma primary voters called it important, as did 77 percent of Tennessee voters.

“Most important” for many voters was the economy — 58 percent of Georgian voters surveyed said that was the case for them — and electability was also high on the list. But Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee are, by far, the most important states for Gingrich tonight, and those large groups citing gas prices as an important factor in their decision bode well for a candidate who says he’d lower gasoline prices to $2.50 a gallon by unleashing domestic supplies and approving the Keystone XL pipeline, among other measures.

Check back throughout the night for further updates.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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105 comments Add your comment

md

March 6th, 2012
7:07 pm

Except Gingrich isn’t electable……..he scares the jesebus out of independents……

Stephenson Billings

March 6th, 2012
7:11 pm

I’d be concerned about the “independents” if the “independents” actually stood for something….

Shark Punch!

March 6th, 2012
7:22 pm

Gas prices, really? In the 2008 campaign, Obama promised he’d fix all our economic and social woes and buy everyone a puppy. The gullibility on both sides is saddening.

@md: This independent could probably bring himself to vote for Gingrich in the general election, given the alternative.

arnold

March 6th, 2012
7:28 pm

Gas prices are determined globally. Newt has no control over them. What idiots are the voters for Newt.

md

March 6th, 2012
7:28 pm

“I’d be concerned about the “independents” if the “independents” actually stood for something….”

Doesn’t matter what they stand for, they elect our Presidents……..simple math canceling.

ragnar danneskjold

March 6th, 2012
7:30 pm

Mr. Newt is almost as unelectable as was Ronald Reagan in 1980. Of course, back then we had a lousy economy and rising energy prices, and international threats from marginally-irrational enemies, notably including Iran. Nothing like now.

Rafe Hollister

March 6th, 2012
7:33 pm

I am amazed at how many people voted for Newt. Why people got so energized to vote for someone who will not be nominated and could not win if nominated, amazes me. I guess it was a protest vote, unhappy with Romney and no one else to vote for.

I always thought I was as conservative as anyone, but I just don’t see that Newt is this big conservative that they think he is. Romney is going to get the nomination and the sooner we all unite and get behind him, the better our chances are going to be.

ragnar danneskjold

March 6th, 2012
7:35 pm

Misery Index:
Nov 1976 12.68
Nov 1980 20.15
change: 7.43

Nov 2008 7.87
Feb 2012 11.23
change: 3.36

Difference this time may be a rational House of Representatives.

md

March 6th, 2012
7:44 pm

The difference between reagan and now……we have many more that prefer to have their hand held.

Stephenson Billings

March 6th, 2012
7:48 pm

“I am amazed at how many people voted for Newt. Why people got so energized to vote for someone who will not be nominated and could not win if nominated, amazes me. I guess it was a protest vote, unhappy with Romney and no one else to vote for.”

Well Huckabee won GA in 2008. But I’m sure a lot of others, like me, voted for the person who I believe most closely holds my beliefs and who I think will be the better President, not who I think is “most electable” (especially after the McCain and Dole debacles).

Stephenson Billings

March 6th, 2012
7:51 pm

The Myth of the Independent Voter Revisited

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/aia2009082001/

“Unfortunately, almost everything that you’ve read or heard about independent voters recently is wrong. True independents actually make up a small segment of the American public and an even smaller segment of the electorate; the large majority of those who call themselves independents actually have a party preference and these independent partisans think and act almost exactly like regular partisans. And the major goal of modern political campaigns is not appealing to a mythical bloc of independent voters, but unifying and mobilizing partisans.”

ld

March 6th, 2012
7:55 pm

Why are the AJC comments stalling and scolding me for posting twice when it is not showing the comment even once?

Oh, yeah, what was I thinking…..

I didn’t gush over Newt.

md

March 6th, 2012
7:55 pm

Still don’t get it do you……even the ones that identify with a party cancel each other out…..that small group in the middle that “swings” makes the difference, hence the term swing voters. And they make the difference.

ld

March 6th, 2012
7:58 pm

Not only is Newt counting his chickens before they hatch….

but..

Tapping the national energy reserves even before Isreal gives Iran a smackdown is a VERY STUPID idea.

ld

March 6th, 2012
8:00 pm

Independent voters are any voters that will seriously consider voting for either party. Given the loathing of Congress, that is likely a lot more than most die-hard party faithful — of either party — want to acknowledge.

ld

March 6th, 2012
8:03 pm

Then there are those that, like me, registered just before their eighteenth birthday as an Independent and have seen no reason to change that designation–we can always find something to dislike about any of the candidates. Sometimes we are not really voting FOR anyone– sometimes we have to just hold our nose and vote against all but the least obnoxious.

Stephenson Billings

March 6th, 2012
8:03 pm

“Only 11 percent of the respondents were “pure independents” with no party preference. And because these pure independents turned out at a much lower rate than either regular or independent partisans, that number shrank down to 7 percent among those who actually voted.s here”

Yes, let’s compromise our ideals, etc. for a whopping 7% of voters……

Stephenson Billings

March 6th, 2012
8:12 pm

The Republicans first have to shore up their base before worrying about that 7%…….

Dusty

March 6th, 2012
8:33 pm

Well, I’m as happy as can be that Georgia voters thought about the candidates and decided Newt was the strongest one among them.

Sure, Romney is a nice man, makes a fine Master of Ceremonies, keeps his hair combed and would love to be president. Sartorum might be OK in another ten years. And the good ol’ doc, well, puleeze. This is a four year, hard job and not one in which to start rocking the boat. He’s innovative but obsolete.

Welcome home, Newt. And stand tall. We expect a lot from you ’cause you’ve got a lot to give. Keep up the good work.

Ayn Rant

March 6th, 2012
8:33 pm

Dumb and Dumber! What has Gingrich proposed that would fix the economy? Are people so stupid that they can’t understand $2.50 cent would make the price of petroleum too low to support pumping and shipping oil from anywhere except the Arab states and West Texas.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

March 6th, 2012
8:38 pm

“I’d be concerned about the “independents” if the “independents” actually stood for something….”

Stephenson, I’d be worried if I couldn’t get independents. They decide EVERY national election.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

March 6th, 2012
8:41 pm

Oh, and the proof that Georgia voters are some of the dumbest on the planet for going for Gingrich?

In exit polling, 61% said that Gingrich being from this state wasn’t a factor in their vote.

Really?

The guy hasn’t won a single state since SC early on, and has finished fourth in a couple of states lately, and he all of a sudden wins GA convincingly, but it wasn’t because of his ties here?

Seriously?

md

March 6th, 2012
8:45 pm

“Yes, let’s compromise our ideals, etc. for a whopping 7% of voters……”

Except ideals move as one moves along the spectrum…..they are not necessarily the same for an “r” close to the middle as for one on the far right.

And did anyone really expect Romney to prevail in the Baptist south?

jconservative

March 6th, 2012
8:56 pm

Will Gingrich win more than one state?

Including tonight we will have concluded 22 primaries/caucuses and Gingrich will have won two.

His campaign is dead. There just has not been a funeral yet.

jconservative

March 6th, 2012
9:03 pm

2008 election results:

Obama – Electoral 365 – Popular 69,456,897

McCain – Electoral 173 – Popular 59,934,814

Difference?

The independent vote went to Obama.

Dusty

March 6th, 2012
9:03 pm

Tiberius,

I hope you are not from Georgia because you tend to overlook our good qualities.

Yes, the people of Goergia can think independently. We have seen a lot of Romney and heard a lot about him over the years. We’ve listened to him on TV. We saw him trying to run Massachusetts. We enjoy his fine facade but don’t think much of his leadership.

We’ve also heard a lot about Newt Gingrich and much of it has been in his service to our country in Washington. We’ve seen the press and politics try to insult and incriminate him. (See Luckovich’s cartoon for today and see what I mean). We’ve seen him come out strong with sharp perception, a quick mind, a great education and plenty of experience. We do not confuse personal life with other abilities even though we prefer perfection. Clinton made us tough in that capacity .

So lay off down grading the people of Georgia. We will vote independently for whom we think will do the best job no matter their “home” state. WE thought Gingrich was the best man for the job.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

March 6th, 2012
9:08 pm

Here’s what happens when you mess with Conservative Talk Radio-

Since the market opened on Monday through its close today, Carbonite stock (NASDAQ:CARB) has plummeted nearly 12 percent, outpacing the drop of the NASDAQ index in that same time period by nine-and-a-half points. It was also one of the biggest decliners on the NASDAQ on Tuesday.

Buh bye, Carbonite.

Maybe the goonies that talked you into deserting Limbaugh will give ya a green energy “loan.”

And then again, maybe not.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

March 6th, 2012
9:14 pm

Obama to Romney: ‘Good luck tonight’

So what else do you need to know?

All you Romney backers, how does it feel to be outed?

md

March 6th, 2012
9:16 pm

Sorry folks, but Newt gives an acceptance speech and harps about his undoable 2.50 gas, comparing it to the natural gas market. His advisers need to explain to him that India and China want oil, not natural gas…..their cars run on gas…….

And harking back to his days of speaker, he needs to understand that those same people over there were all riding bikes……….there is no comparison.

Just FOUR good ol' boys, wouldn't change if they could, fighting the system like Good ol' boys would.

March 6th, 2012
9:18 pm

@Stephenson Billings

March 6th, 2012
7:11 pm
I’d be concerned about the “independents” if the “independents” actually stood for something….

***************************************************************************

Republicans NEED to be concerned about ANGRY white women thanks to RUSH LIMBAUGH..

But the Black, Latino, Asian, and other women GOT WHITE WOMEN’S BACK.

They better celebrate while they can……………..:)

Obama in 2012.

Dusty

March 6th, 2012
9:19 pm

md,
In the Baptist South, the Presbyterian South, the Lutheran South, the Methodist South, the Catholic South, the majority voted for whom they think will make the best and strongest president.

Most churches are preaching the Gospel, not politics. I don’t think you have been to many churches or you would know that. Only a few get in the news because of politics. They are unusual even though the press and the uninformed try to make it appear as the usual. It isn’t.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

March 6th, 2012
9:19 pm

Congratulations to Mitt Romney on winning Taxachussetts.

You go girl!

Just FOUR good ol' boys, wouldn't change if they could, fighting the system like good ol' boys would.

March 6th, 2012
9:22 pm

@I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin…

March 6th, 2012
9:08 pm
Here’s what happens when you mess with Conservative Talk Radio-

Since the market opened on Monday through its close today, Carbonite stock (NASDAQ:CARB) has plummeted nearly 12 percent, outpacing the drop of the NASDAQ index in that same time period by nine-and-a-half points. It was also one of the biggest decliners on the NASDAQ on Tuesday.

Buh bye, Carbonite.

Maybe the goonies that talked you into deserting Limbaugh will give ya a green energy “loan.”

And then again, maybe not.
***********************************************************************

GIVE US A BREAK.

Rush Limbaugh don’t have that kind of INFLUENCE.

Rush is going to be RUSHED OUT OF TOWN.

Just FOUR good ol' boys, wouldn't change if they could, fighting the system like good ol' boys would.

March 6th, 2012
9:23 pm

Santorum GOT some UGLY children.

His wife aint much to talk about either.

Is that why he is so ANGRY and OBSESSED WITH SEX ?

Just FOUR good ol' boys, wouldn't change if they could, fighting the system like good ol' boys would.

March 6th, 2012
9:28 pm

Rick Santorum’s mother looks like she wants to VOMIT.

She is probably saying to herself……..”I created this monster.”

Dusty

March 6th, 2012
9:32 pm

9:18

Buzz off! There are not a handful of angy white women in the USA who have time to go zipping around getting upset over a radio commentators comments. Do you live in a vacuum?

When women get upset over something, it has to be something WORTHWHILE. A few silly comments does not create a crusade. You know why? Because women of all colors can think and they discard trash when they hear it. You can stop trying to make a big deal out of nothing.

md

March 6th, 2012
9:35 pm

And you would be correct Dusty, as I do tend to avoid churches…..my last forays in tended to be biased toward that groups believing they all had the monopoly on being “right”. And some were none too nice when it came to those evil beings called Mormons (which is another group that thinks it has the monopoly)……..it was what it was, and I didn’t care for much of it at all when nobody holds that monopoly, including the non-believers.

As for the vote, I don’t think too many would argue that the Bible belt is full of Christians, many of which do not include Mormons among their group.

Am I wrong?

jconservative

March 6th, 2012
9:37 pm

List of companies that have dropped LImbaugh’s show:

AccuQuote Life Insurance – Allstate Insurance – AOL – Bare Escentuals – Bethesda Sedation Dentistry – Bonobos – Carbonite – Cascades Dental – Citrix – Goodwill Industries – Hadeed Carpet – JCPenney – Legal Zoom – Matrix Direct – Philadelphia Orchestra – PolyCom – ProFlowers – Quicken Loans – Sears – Sensa – Service Magic – Sleep Train – Sleep Number – St. Vincent’s Medical Center – Tax Resolution – Thompson Creek Windows and Vitacost.

Limbaugh has an audience of about 20 million. But there are 310 million consumers in the USA.

But he will survive and continue. Wiser? Sure. Will this effect his show? No.

Dusty

March 6th, 2012
9:39 pm

9:23 & 9:28

More trash.

Just saying..

March 6th, 2012
9:40 pm

Newt enthusiasts: Enjoy throughly. Last hurrah.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

March 6th, 2012
9:45 pm

As usual, the libs misunderestimate Limbaugh, just sayin…

And their goony censorship kkkampaign only causes more decent people to vote for Santorum.

Thank you, heathens! Keep up the good work!

Dusty

March 6th, 2012
9:54 pm

Yes, md. @ 9:35 You are wrong.

I’ve have been going to church all my life and I don’t remember ever hearing a serious discussion on Mormons, much less a derogatory one.

I’ve never seen visitors quizzed on the faith that comes with them. Everyone is welcomed to worship and enjoy the service. If a person desires to become a member of our church, the pastor does have a conference with them to insure that they know the beliefs of our church and our denomination and still want to join us. We want people to enjoy the blessings of Christianity, not force them into anything. Christianity is based on love and redemption, not bias and hate.

MarkV

March 6th, 2012
10:07 pm

Dusty,

From the bottom of my heart thank you and all those who voted for Newt (as well as those elsewhere who voted for Santorum), thus making sure that the fight for the Republican nomination will continue.

Bernie

March 6th, 2012
10:10 pm

Newt says, “We’re going to win the nomination!”

America says “when PIGS FLY!”

Dusty

March 6th, 2012
10:13 pm

MarkV

I am glad you are pleased. I hope all goes well for our country in the choices we make.

Good night, Gettin’ late!!

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

March 6th, 2012
10:19 pm

Republicans have several good choices. Democrats have a dog turd that won’t dry up and stop stinking.

David

March 6th, 2012
10:28 pm

It would appear the Republican Party is fractured, divided over “smaller government” or “more moral laws”. Pity they couldn’t find a candidate that embodied both of those principles. And I’m not really sure where Newt falls in that category. He seems to be running on a platform that he will put people back to work. That sounds like a democratic platform to me. You may say democrats are socialist but they are united in that. They do say, “united we stand, divided we fall.” It does not bode well for republicans that republicans are so divided over who they want as a candidate, or what exactly they want from that candidate.

Phil O'Smiley

March 6th, 2012
10:46 pm

My favorite part of the night? The news coverage continues to interject clips of President Obama’s phenomenal afternoon speech, in between the GOP train wreck updates. It is quite clear that President Obama is the only adult in the room.

Don't Tread

March 6th, 2012
10:59 pm

Socialism is repugnant in a country that was founded on limited government and individual freedom, regardless of how many Democrats embrace it. But of course, we know the end justifies the means, right? (At least as far as Democrats are concerned.)

getalife

March 6th, 2012
11:09 pm

Our President’s talk with corporate media today was very good.

He is getting very comfortable with the job like President Clinton.

Mostly foreign policy but used most of his stump speech on the other issues.

Lets face it, his reelection will happen and I am very optimistic about our future.