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US Republicans in Super Tuesday race

(7-03-2012, 04:15)
Polling stations have begun closing on the US east coast, with the first Super Tuesday results expected from the Republican presidential race. Voting has ended in Georgia, Vermont, Virginia at 19:00 local time (midnight GMT). Newt Gingrich is expected to win Georgia, but his margin of victory may indicate if his campaigncan continue. Closing later is the key battleground state Ohio, where Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are running neck and neck. Also voting on Tuesday are Massachusetts, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Idaho, North Dakota, Alaska. The eventual nominee will challenge Barack Obama in Novembers election. Front-runner Mr Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and private equity tycoon, has been riding a wave of momentum after four recent consecutive poll wins. But former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum - who bills himself as the true conservative in the race and a candidate who can win over blue-collar voters - is hoping to halt his rivals winning streak. Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, making a do-or-die effort to reboot his flagging campaign, has a commanding opinion poll lead in his home state of Georgia. " For the third time, were going to come bouncing back," Mr Gingrich told a crowd in Alabama. " With your help by the end of next week, we could really be in a totally new race." Texas Congressman Ron Paul, widely dismissed as a longshot candidate because of his libertarian-leaning views, hopes to notch up his first wins in Alaska and North Dakotas caucuses. " Were going to do well and that will excite us going forward," Mr Paul told about 500 people at a rally in Idaho. " I think its a super-good opportunity for us to get votes and a chance to win the states." Rust-belt Ohio, a crucial swing state, is rated as Tuesdays most coveted prize as no Republican nominee has ever become president without winning the state in the general election. The BBCs North America editor, Mark Mardell, says there will be renewed questions asked about Mr Romneys appeal if he fails to win Ohio. Many believe it is inevitable that Mr Romney will eventually be chosen to take on Barack Obama, our correspondent says, but few feel hugely inspired by the former Massachusetts governor. Super Tuesday states Pick a state to read about the local primary race Ohio Alaska Georgia Idaho Massachusetts North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Tennessee Vermont Virginia The home state of 2008 Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Alaska is seen as a potential first win for Ron Paul. The libertarian was in Alaska at the weekend, making him the only candidate to travel there. But Mrs Palin, the former governor, still commands significant influence among the Republican base, and has veered close to endorsing Mr Gingrich. Newt Gingrichs home state is seen as the former House speakers last stand. He hopes to win big enough in the days largest delegate haul to give his flagging campaign a needed boost - and prove there is still a role for him in the race. However, Mr Santorums social conservative message plays well with this southern states Christian conservative voters. Mr Romney is expected to do well in party caucuses in this western state: About a quarter of the Republican voters here are his fellow Mormons. Idaho Republicans have never before held caucuses, and state officials are urging Republicans to turn out. "This experiment will only work if we have broad participation," Lt Governor Brad Little told the Statesman newspaper. Mr Romney was governor of Massachusetts from 2003-07 and is widely expected to dominate at the ballot box. Massachusetts is one of the bluest - most strongly Democratic - states in the US. Its Republican electorate is seen as more moderate and less energised by socially conservative issues, and thus less receptive to Mr Gingrich and Mr Santorum. One of the most consistently Republican states in the US, sparsely populated North Dakota last voted for a Democrat in the 1964 general election. Every candidate but Mr Gingrich has visited the state, and Ron Paul returns on Tuesday. Mr Santorum has done well in Mid-Western states, while Mr Pauls enthusiastic network of supporters could flood the caucus-style contests. This rust belt states broad electorate makes it a perennial bellwether the Republicans must win in the November election to retake the White House. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are running neck and neck here and a win for Mr Santorum would give him considerable momentum, analysts say. If Mr Romney wins, pressure will mount on other candidates to drop out of the race. One of the most conservative states in the US, Oklahoma seems a natural fit for Mr Santorum and his strident anti-abortion, "family values" message. Most polls showed Mr Santorum in the lead, but the other candidates have also campaigned here, and Senator Tom Coburn, an influential conservative, has endorsed Mr Romney. Rick Santorum maintains a slight lead in recent polls in this Bible belt state. But Mitt Romney has won the endorsement of the states popular governor and is nipping at Mr Santorums heels. "Santorum needs to do well to keep his campaign alive," says the BBCs Paul Adams. "Success for Romney would suggest he is genuinely competitive in the South." A recent poll showed Mr Romney leading in Vermont. It is one of the most liberal states in the country, and strident conservatives like Mr Gingrich and Mr Santorum hold little appeal for its voters. Also, voters here know Mr Romney from his tenure as governor of neighbouring Massachusetts. Only Mr Romney and Mr Paul are on the ballot, because Mr Santorum and Mr Gingrich lacked the organisation to gather the requisite 10,000 signatures. Mr Romney has won the endorsement of Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, the number-two Republican in the House of Representatives. Before Barack Obama won the state in 2008, the last Democrat to do so was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. This whole contest has been driven by the quest of the dominant conservative wing of the party to find somebody who is not Mr Romney, he adds, someone who is a true believer. As the voters gave their verdict, a survey suggested the Republican candidates were viewed unfavourably by swathes of the American electorate. A released on Tuesday showed 35% of Americans looked upon Mr Romney favourably, compared to 32% for Mr Paul, 23% for Mr Gingrich, and 32% for Mr Santorum. The Washington Post called the results " a sobering reminder for the party that the extended primary season has damaged the brand" . Katherine Frenz, 36, taking her daughter to swimming lessons at the YMCA in Hilliard, Ohio, told the Reuters news agency she was voting for Mr Santorum. " Santorums values are more like mine - more conservative," she said. " I see Romney as more liberal and not sincere in his beliefs. He doesnt really know what he stands for. Romney and Obama are very similar." In Georgia, voter Steve Hudson told the BBC that no candidate stood out above the others. " Theres really nothing we can do about that," he said. " We have the people who are willing to do this job coming forward and you know, we cant force an ideal candidate to emerge." Mr Romneys well-funded political machine has far outspent Mr Santorum in Ohio, chopping down his double-digit opinion poll lead in the Midwestern bellwether state. A devout Catholic who opposes abortion and gay marriage, Mr Santorum has sought to exploit lingering doubts among some conservatives about Mr Romney, a Mormon who governed in a liberal state. Total advert spending in Super Tuesday states (until 2 March): $13.4m (£8.5m) - $8.4m of the total from Romney campaign and supporting groups. The number of states holding contests on Super Tuesday is usually lower when an incumbent is running for re-election. In 2008, 25 contests were held on the day. Many states award delegates proportionally, meaning that a candidate could still gain delegates if they lose the popular vote. Since its beginning in 1980, only two Super Tuesdays - 1988 and 2008 - ended without a likely nominee. As well as Ohio, Mr Santorum is also hoping for victories in Oklahoma and Tennessee, although polls show Mr Romney gaining on him in the latter state. Mr Romney is seen as the favourite in Virginias primary - where Mr Santorum and Mr Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot - and as the all but certain victor in his political heartland of Massachusetts. He also has the advantage in Idaho, a state with a large Mormon population, and Vermont. Mr Romney has picked up several coveted endorsements in recent days, including Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, former attorney general John Ashcroft and Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. Well wishes were extended to Mr Romney from an unexpected quarter on Tuesday - during a White House news conference. When asked what he made of Mr Romney branding him Americas " most feckless president since Jimmy Carter" , Barack Obama paused, smiled, and replied: " Good luck tonight," adding: " No, really" . Out of the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination at the party convention in August, more than 400 are at stake in Tuesdays contests. Ahead of the 10-state voting marathon, Mr Romney had a solid lead with 203 delegates, compared with 92 for Mr Santorum, 33 for Mr Gingrich and 25 for Mr Paul, according to the Associated Press. Are you in one of the 10 US states voting today? What do you think of the campaigns so far? Send us your comments and experiences.
bbc.co.uk

US Republicans in Super Tuesday race

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город "Прошлого"
город "Прошлого"
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город "Прошлого"
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