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Inside the Boiler Room: Gearing up for Super Tuesday

With three weeks to go before Super Tuesday, NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro discuss the expectations for the Republican candidates and the impact of the states given the change in delegate allocation from 2008.

With three weeks to go before Super Tuesday, Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro discuss the expectations for the Republican candidates and the impact of the states given the change in delegate allocation from 2008. 


Thanks Jody, Iowa for the question!!

Video edited by NBC's Matt Loffman. Transcribed by NBC's Lauren Hollstein.


DOMENICO MONTANARO: Welcome to another edition of Inside the Boiler Room. I’m Domenico Montanaro along with Mark Murray. Mark we have a question from Jody from Iowa, long time commenter, who says “How do you see Super Tuesday shaping up for these candidates? Is there a change Santorum can end up winning more than previously expected? How will the states without winner take all impact Romney and others?

MARK MURRAY: That’s a really interesting question. Let’s break it down in a different couple ways. Super Tuesday has about a dozen contests, you know four years ago when we had Super Tuesday it was twenty some odd contests. Now it’s about a dozen and it’s in different parts of the country and you can make the argument that all three candidates, so Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have some states where they can end up getting delegates or even some wins. For Mitt Romney, Massachusetts is actually on, and he should do very well in his home state.

Also Virginia is a Super Tuesday state, Mitt Romney is the only guy on the ballot there, along with Ron Paul. And then you look at all of the southern states, Georgia, Newt Gingrich’s home state is on there, Tennessee, and then there’s Oklahoma where Rick Santorum has been campaigning and hitting a lot of churches which has been an interesting development.

DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yeah, yeah I think Rick Santorum can probably wind up peeling off a couple of states that Newt Gingrich thinks he’s going to do well in. There are eleven or twelve states on Super Tuesday, five of them are traditionally southern states, one of them like you said, is Virginia. Gingrich isn’t even on the ballot even though it’s his home state. The other four, so you only have four southern states, in Oklahoma, like you said, Rick Santorum is getting pretty big crowds. He can do pretty well there and what if Newt Gingrich doesn’t win Georgia? I mean it’s possible.

MARK MURRAY: It’s very possible. And let’s not forget Ohio. In fact, a lot of the reporting that we're getting is that Ohio is going to be the one contest where you’re going to see Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich all compete and maybe the winner of Ohio ends up becoming the winner of Super Tuesday.

DOMENICO MONTANARO:  Yeah, I do think though that Super Tuesday will wind up shaking out a little bit because there’s not many delegates at stake to be able to give us a better view going forward over the next couple of months as to where this thing is actually headed, what the lead is and just how we will be able to handicap what’s going to happen by June.

MARK MURRAY: We will and just the last part of Jody’s question had to do with the proportional delegates versus winner takes all. I remember four years ago on Super Tuesday a lot of the states like New York, California were winner take all which really helped John McCain who won them. This time around their proportional so even some of the states where Mitt Romney might not be suited all that well to do, talking about some of the southern states, he’s the one candidate who’s going to be able to do well proportionally in all of the contests on Super Tuesday

DOMENICO MONTANARO: We’ll see. Thank you Jody.