Rasmussen Reports, take a bow. You're the first polling organization to apply some science to Arizona's primary since January, since the Republican race settled into the current Romney-Santorum phony war. With trendlines:
Mitt Romney - 39% (-9)
Rick Santorum - 31% (+17)
Newt Gingrich - 15% (-9)
Ron Paul - 7% (+1)
It's a dogfight! Santorum is surging! But no candidate has stumped in Arizona this month, and Mitt Romney's Super PAC is the only organization spending money for a candidate. The reason: Arizona has a winner-take-all primary. There is no upside for competing there unless you're close. Michigan has a proportional delegate selection process: Even if Santorum collapses there, and his David-Goliath act fails, he'll get a few delegates. But he won't repeat Mitt Romney's 2008 mug game, when he tried to steal Arizona away from John McCain -- lots of conservative voters, angry about immigration law -- fell short, and won nothing.
For all the talk of state "wins," there hasn't been much attention paid to the way delegates are assigned on Super Tuesday. (Arizona and Michigan make up the last mini-Tuesday before we go super). Idaho's caucuses? Winner-take-all, 32 delegates. Georgia, where Newt Gingrich wants to prove himself again? Partially proportional by district, 76 delegates, which means it's possible for Romney to get more from the tiny caucuses out west than Gingrich will get from his adopted state.
TODAY IN SLATE
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.