Alabama, Mississippi: It's a Tossup

Gingrich, Romney, Santorum in race to the finish
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2012 7:05 AM CDT
Updated Mar 12, 2012 7:57 AM CDT
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich smiles as he walks to the First Baptist Church for Sunday evening services in Brandon, Miss., Sunday, March 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(Newser) – As Alabama and Mississippi prepare to head to the polls tomorrow, both states remain up for grabs. Mitt Romney has the thinnest of edges in Alabama, Public Policy Polling finds: He's currently poised to take 31% of the vote to Newt Gingrich's 30%—but Rick Santorum is right behind at 29%. In Mississippi, Newt leads with 33% to Romney's 31%; Santorum is at 27%. Romney's net favorability lags far behind his competitors' in both states, but with more conservative voters divided, he could still emerge victorious. The single thing PPP is sure of? "Ron Paul won't win any of these states ... the other three candidates all have a shot in both of them."

The Deep South's vote was once easy to forecast—but the close races prove that's no longer the case, the New York Times notes. A victory by a pro-corporate Northeastern Mormon might have been next to impossible a few years back; not anymore. Still, don't discount Santorum's sway with evangelicals or Gingrich's tough rhetoric. "The base is split all over the place on this," says an Alabama lawmaker.

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