It is Super Tuesday with 10 states voting: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. You can find my primer for tonight here and find part one of the live blog here.
To recap: So far Newt Gingrich won Georgia. Mitt Romney won Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia. Rick Santorum won Tennessee and Oklahoma. Ohio the big prize tonight Remains extremely close.
9:29 pm – With 99% reporting in Virginia it is Romney 59% to Ron Paul at 41%. At 41% that is a pretty big protest vote against Romney.
9:34 pm – In Ohio with 35% of the precincts reporting it is Santorum 39%, Romney 35%, Gingrich 15%, Paul 9%. The big urban areas for the most part haven’t reported so far and that is where Romney is expected to do best.
9:42 pm – Romney is speaking now.
9:45 pm – It appears that Rick Santorum is doing very well in the small North Dakota caucus, where there was basically no polling before today. With 26 percent reporting, it is Santorum 41%, Romney 26%, Paul 25%, Gingrich 8%. While North Dakota doesn’t have very many delegates, another win for Santorum would really help shape the spin tomorrow.
10:00 pm – With 55% reporting in Ohio it still remains incredibly close. It is Santorum 38%, Romney 36%, Gingrich 15%, Paul 9%.
10:08 pm – CNN is projecting that Rick Santorum will win the North Dakota caucus by a big margin. This is the third win for Santorum tonight.
10:23 pm – Santorum is still maintaining his narrow lead in Ohio. With 70% reporting it is still Santorum 38%, Romney 36%, Gingrich 15%, Paul 9%.
10:33 pm – Ohio continues to tighten up as more votes come in from the urban areas. With 74% reporting is Santorum 38%, Romney 37%, Gingrich 15%, Paul 9%.
10:38 pm – It looks like the very large Mormon population will deliver for Romney in Idaho. With 12% reporting in Idaho it is Romney 78%, Paul 11%, Santorum 8%, Gingrich 3%.
10:41 pm – With 81 percent reporting in Ohio only 6,000 votes currently separate Santorum and Romney.
10:48 pm – With 85 percent reporting in Ohio Santorum’s lead is down to less than 3,000 votes. Indications are that Romney will end up pulling off a very narrow victory in Ohio once the Cleveland vote is counted.
11:08 pm – With 86 percent reporting in Ohio Romney has taken a lead of roughly 2,000 votes over Santorum.
11:17 pm – With 88 percent reporting in Ohio Romney’s lead has grown to roughly 4,000 votes. There is basically no way for Santorum to still win this based on where the vote hasn’t been counted.
11:32 pm – Mitt Romney has won the Idaho Caucus! That is four wins for Romney so far with a good chance he will eventually end up winning Ohio and Alaska.
11:40 pm – With 91 percent reporting in Ohio, Romney leads by about 6,000. While the race is so close the networks will likely wait for all the votes to come in to make the call, all signs and models clearly indicate Romney will win.
Final Thoughts – Tonight was a solid night for Romney. It could have been better but it was still very good. Romney will win between 5-6 of the ten states that voted today. Not only did Romney win more states tonight he will win way more delegates. What is important is how Romney won. Thanks to huge margin of his victories in Idaho, Virginia and Massachusetts he will net a huge share of overall delegates.
The other decent news for Romney is that Gingrich solid victory in his home state of Georgia will keep him in the race. Romney clearly has a problem in the South but as long as both Santorum and Gingrich are in the race they should continue to help split the region.
While nearly losing Ohio will be a painful lose for Santorum, he still had a respectable showing winning Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota. Santorum did well enough to justify staying in the race.