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TUNING IN

Tightening polls and a diverse slate have turned today's races into something of a national obsession.

On Television: Scrambling to catch up to 24/7 cable TV and Internet outlets, ABC News is clearing its slate of prime-time entertainment shows today to make room for Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer. On CBS, Katie Couric and newly hired political analysts such as Joe Trippi supplant action-adventure. NBC pre-empts for Brian Williams and Tim Russert.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Keep in mind that the winner of the states is probably going to become known well before the delegate counts are finished, and that is going to color the way the results are reported. What matters going forward is who gets the most pledged delegates. The outcome in California, the biggest prize and a major factor in either way of judging the night, won't be known until the wee hours.

On the menu: Bars were readying for a repeat of Sunday night, with politics supplanting football. Drinks have been created - see Barack's Hope and McCain's Straight Talk Espresso Martini on drinksfoodandfun.blogspot.com - and menus designed around the candidates.

Voters fired up: "I can't remember another day like this in my life," said Mary Martire, 56, of Leonia, N.J. She has attended or hosted election night dinners for three decades, but tonight is her first Super Tuesday dinner. Robert Eno is planning a young Republican watch party at a bar in downtown Boston. "It's fired a lot of people up," he said.

IN BIG LETTERS: Georgia will be one of "at least seven or eight" Super Tuesday states where real-time primary results will be displayed on giant digital billboards, said Jeff Golimowski of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Up next:SHELL CLUB

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