Your Ultimate GOP Super Tuesday Primary and Caucuses Primer

By David A. Graham

The delegates, the stakes, and the forecast for the 10 states that will make their choices for the Republican nomination on March 6.

The biggest single day of the Republican nomination battle is Tuesday, when 10 states hold caucuses or primaries. Despite predictions that this year's Super Tuesday -- smaller and later than in past years -- might be diminished in importance, the protracted campaign and inability of any nominee to gain a clear edge have instead positioned it as potentially decisive. For Mitt Romney, it's a chance to finish off his rivals and finally prove that he can win over enough of the party faithful. For Rick Santorum, it's a chance to stop the momentum Romney gained from the Arizona and Michigan contests and claw his way back to the top. For Newt Gingrich, it's probably a last chance to keep a foot in the door. And for Ron Paul, it may present the best opportunity to win a state, a coveted prize that has been elusive so far.

There are 437 delegates at stake Tuesday out of 2,286 total (here is a good explanation of how the number apportioned to each state is decided). A candidate needs 1,144 to win, and Romney currently leads with an estimated 150 delegates; Santorum has an estimated 85. For a state-by-state breakdown of how many delegates each state has and who is likely to win them, click through the gallery below.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/your-ultimate-gop-super-tuesday-primary-and-caucuses-primer/253934/