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Up next in the Republican presidential primary

Patience, everybody. The Republican presidential primary isn't over yet.

Super Tuesday brought Mitt Romney closer to the nomination, even as it hammered home his difficulty winning conservatives and working-class Republicans. At best it will be weeks before he can lock down the nomination by capturing 1,144 delegates.

The pressure on Newt Gingrich to drop out is likely to grow from some party leaders who see him mainly siphoning votes from Rick Santorum. At the same time, party leaders anxious about a drawn-out primary will raise questions about whether Santorum can do anything other than block Romney from locking down the nomination before the Tampa convention in August.

Santorum had a strong night Tuesday but still lacked the organization even to qualify for the Virginia ballot or a full slate of delegates in Ohio.

Coming up Saturday are caucuses in Kansas, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands (67 delegates combined), followed by Tuesday primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, and caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa (119 delegates combined). All four of the major candidates can win at least some delegates from these contests.

Gingrich, having now only won South Carolina and Georgia, has the shakiest case for continuing his campaign.

Up next in the Republican presidential primary 03/06/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 11:48pm]
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