The four surviving Republican presidential candidates have all visited Washington state ahead of today's caucuses. Pointing out his enthused base and the general organizational skills of his campaign -- something Rick Santorum's campaign has been criticized by Mitt Romney and others for lacking -- The Los Angeles Times says it's not outside the realm of possibility that Ron Paul could win, though they note Romney also has "strong organization" in the state. (Organizational abilities will decide this election! My eighth grade homeroom teacher is nodding in emphatic agreement.) Then again, Washington's caucuses are mostly a symbolic win at best, The New York Times points out, seeing as the vote is a "nonbinding straw poll" that has no bearing on who is ultimately awarded the state's 43 delegates.
So what does matter? Ohio matters, a great deal, and so all the candidates have been focusing on the state ahead of its Super Tuesday vote. Of the ten states voting Tuesday -- also Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia, and the start of Alaska's two-week caucuses -- a win in Ohio is by far the most coveted, a swing-state battleground that can decide elections. Meanwhile, in the crimson stronghold of Georgia, Newt Gingrich is counting on an easy win, the former House speaker having represented a suburb of Atlanta for over 20 years. (The state offers 76 delegates, the most of any on Tuesday.) Santorum is holding out for a win there, too, which is looking unlikely, but could snowball into momentum across other southern states, the AP reports.
Speaking to reporters, the face behind the fading hopes stayed upbeat as he dove into a five-dollar footlong. From the LA Times' Politics Now blog:
“I’m not worried at all," he told reporters after greeting supporters at a Subway sandwich shop here. "As you know, this was back in November and December. Things were a little different than they are now. If you look at this campaign, we spent valuable and limited resources back in November and December to get on almost every single ballot, and we didn’t have money to do anything in Iowa…. I’m very, very proud of the work we have done.”
No word on whether or not he upgraded to the drink-and-a-Sun Chips deal.