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Hundreds of GOP delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Mar 05 2012 05:56:20 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 06 2012 04:23:03 PM CST

The Republican presidential shuffle is about to be super-sized.

READING, Pa. -

The Republican presidential shuffle is about to be super-sized.  Hundreds of delegates from 10 states are up for grabs Tuesday.  

Combined, there are 419 delegates to win. Georgia and Ohio have the most, but Tim Blessing, a professor at Alvernia University in Reading, said look out for Tennessee's competition for 58 delegates.

Where the Republican presidential candidates campaign will give you some sense of what states to watch on Super Tuesday.

"Gingrich is barnstorming through Tennessee," said Blessing, who also expects Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney to push hard there. "As of this [Monday] morning, the last two polls indicated that really it's dead even between the three of them."

Blessing said Gingrich is expected to win his home state of Georgia and many of its 76 delegates.

"Now wouldn't it be interesting if Gingrich won Georgia and Tennessee," said Blessing. "All of a sudden Santorum is in deep trouble."

Besides socially conservative Oklahoma, Blessing said Ohio is the state Santorum needs to win.

"Santorum has to win more than Oklahoma tomorrow," said Blessing. "It's just that simple. If he doesn't win it, he's out of money. He's got to win two, he needs to win three."

Blessing said he feels if Romney is the true front-runner, he'll win Ohio. 

"Romney can just roll on, but losing Ohio for Romney would thrust Santorum back in the lead and, of course, coming in third in Tennessee could thrust Gingrich into the lead," said Blessing.

He said there are a whole bunch of scenarios that could happen, but Blessing said Romney could be successful if he wins seven out of the 10 Super Tuesday states.

"He can close the door tomorrow," said Blessing. "He can shut everybody else out tomorrow, but he's going to need to hit Tennessee and he's going to need to win Ohio to do it just right."

Blessing said it is possible Ron Paul could have his first win on Tuesday. The possible contenders are Alaska and Idaho, but it will be hard to do.