The New York Times' primer on tonight: "Forty-three presidential nominating contests in 24 states. Channel upon channel of the commentators talking about exit polls. The biggest prize of the night -- California -- being decided well after most viewers have headed for bed. A total of 3,156 delegates allocated under arcane rules on what could be the most significant night of the 2008 campaign to date."
It's close on the Dem side. Obama said he expects a "split decision."
The Boston Globe does a little delegate math on identity politics. "The size of Obama's victory over Senator Hillary Clinton of New York among African-American voters could prove crucial to the eventual outcome of the race: If Obama wins by big margins in heavily black areas, he could gain a trove of delegates to the party's national convention that would be the equivalent of winning several small states. That is because many predominantly black congressional districts, particularly in the South and Midwest, are delegate powerhouses that will send more than twice as many representatives to the Democratic convention in August as some mostly white districts in the same state."
The last round of Reuters/C-Span/Zogby Feb. 5 tracking polls:
New Jersey: Clinton 46%, Obama 41%; McCain 53%, Romney 24%
New York: McCain 56%, Romney 20%
Georgia: Obama 49%, Clinton 29%
Missouri: Obama 45%, Clinton 42%; McCain 37%, Huck 27%, Romney 25%
California: Obama 49%, Clinton 36%; Romney 40%, McCain 33%
The Clinton campaign emails First Read this color:
* 12.2 million calls made yesterday
* Chelsea giving out coffee and donuts at the New Haven Fired station this morning
* Clinton did all morning shows and will be on talk radio and doing satellite interviews into Feb. 5 states for the bulk of the day
* Clinton called into the Tom Joyner show this morning
* More than a quarter million viewers of the national town hall last night on our website
* Rain in OK, St. Louis, and snow in NM
Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman looks at Obama's red-state appeal. "As Democratic voters in 22 states go to the polls today, Obama's support in Republican-leaning 'Red States' will give him more ammunition to challenge Senator Hillary Clinton for a majority of the 1,681 delegates at stake, experts say. Obama … is favored to win most of the five Republican strongholds -- Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, Colorado and Kansas -- holding caucuses."
CALIFORNIA: How big was the early vote? It could be the difference between Clinton winning and losing tonight. "Although mail-in voting is expected to be a record high for a primary in California, the ballots haven't been arriving particularly early, said Weir, the Contra Costa County clerk-recorder. In all, about 4.1 million mail-in ballots are expected -- nearly half of what Weir said was the state's anticipated voter turnout. More than 1 million of the outstanding absentee ballots, Weir said, probably will be dropped off at polls or arrive in the mail today."
MASSACHUSETTS: Clinton, Obama and McCain all campaigned in the Bay State yesterday.
"Secretary of State William F. Galvin predicted that more than a million voters [in Massachusetts], more than 30 percent of the state's 4 million voters, will show up at the polls, drawn largely by the excitement spilling out of this year's elections."
The Boston Globe splashes cold water on Romney's optimism. "But today Mitt Romney, who likes to say that everything he touches turns into a success, is facing the jarring prospect of a loss in a Republican presidential race to which he devoted two years of his life and at least $35 million of his fortune."
NEW YORK: "Hillary Clinton is favored to carry her home state of New York on Super Tuesday, but Barack Obama is looking to limit the size of her victory, and her share of the 232 delegates up for grabs."
With the polls showing a tightening, the New York Post dubs Obama the "Ba-rocket."
But could today's Giants' parade hurt Obama?