The race for the Republican presidential nomination is about to take a big step forward, with 10 states weighing in Tuesday on the biggest day of voting yet in the two-month-old campaign.
With several key contests set for so-called "Super Tuesday" -- from the swing state of Ohio to the delegate-rich Georgia -- the four remaining candidates have pursued varying strategies for capitalizing on the day's voting and gaining momentum.
Mitt Romney remains the front-runner and could use a dominant showing Tuesday to all but eliminate doubt about his inevitability. But Rick Santorum continues to present a strong challenge, and polls have remained close in Ohio, a Midwestern industrial state where voters have an uncanny history of picking winners in presidential politics.
Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, is banking the future of his candidacy on winning in his home state of Georgia, where he holds the lead in polls. And Ron Paul continues his strategy of looking for delegates in caucus states, which are more easily dominated by highly motivated supporters of the small-government, low-tax candidate.
Primaries in Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, Oklahoma and Tennessee, and caucuses in Idaho, North Dakota and Alaska make Tuesday the busiest day of the primary season.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and venture capitalist, already has a big lead in the number of delegates accumulated in primaries and caucuses held so far, and he is trying to project confidence.
"I hope that I get the support of people here in Ohio tomorrow, and in other states across the country. I believe if I do, I'll get the nomination," he said.
Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, is going all out in Ohio in an effort to regain the momentum that slipped away in his loss to Romney in Michigan last week. He had held a sizable lead in Ohio but Romney has closed that gap.
President Obama, meanwhile, is seeing his poll numbers rise in tandem with signs that the struggling U.S. economy may be on a course toward sustained recovery. A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Monday shows him defeating all of the Republican candidates in hypothetical head-to-head matchups.
He also has been helped considerably by the Republicans having been driven badly off their economic message by a detour into a rancorous and nasty debate over whether religious-affiliated institutions -- not churches -- should be required to offer health insurance coverage for contraceptives.
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I'm not sure why the media always wants to help Obama, and cover for him. The Obama regime has made this economy the worst it's ever been, possibly beyond repair. The idea that the economy is getting better is a flat out lie! Obama and his cronies are covering up facts, and distorting truth. We can't be in the hole for 15 trillion dollars and see any sign of economic recovery. That's just stupid to buy that.
Obama is bad for our nation, bottom line. While we prefer any of the GOP candidates over Obama, I hope Gingrich takes the lead again today on SUPER TUESDAY.