MILWAUKEE -- Republican presidential candidates were battling for delegates during Super Tuesday election. Voting across 10 states marked the busiest day of the Republican race for president. So what does Super Tuesday mean for Wisconsin, as voters will head to the polls for a presidential primary in just four weeks?
Even though no one in the state of Wisconsin was casting a ballot Tuesday night, whether Wisconsin voters' votes will matter in four weeks could be decided after Super Tuesday results roll in. FOX6 News spoke with three of the state's top political observers to see how Super Tuesday could shape the Republican presidential nominating contest in Wisconsin.
Super Tuesday is not what it used to be. With 10 rather than 20 states casting ballots, there isn't as much at stake for the Republican presidential candidates. That may be a good thing for Wisconsin, with the presidential primary just four weeks away. "We have to keep our fingers crossed that nobody has a fabulous night. In other words, we in Wisconsin will benefit if all four candidates are still standing after (Tuesday night's) results," UWM Professor of Governmental Affairs Mordecai Lee said.
Political Consultant Chris Haworth points out that 437 delegates are at stake on Super Tuesday, but a candidate needs 1,144 to win the nomination. "The party is vetting everyone possible to the 'nth' degree. Wisconsin will still be in play if Santorum and Gingrich actually show well (Tuesday night). However, we still have six more election days prior to the Wisconsin primary, so it's going to take a lot," Haworth said.
Marquette University Political Science Professor John McAdams says the race will not end mathematically on Tuesday, but it could end psychologically. "Whether this thing gets to Wisconsin is more dependent on the psychology - the perception that it's still a race that matters, and a perception that Romney is not really inevitable," McAdams said.
Lee says half a century ago, when Wisconsin was one of the first states to vote in the primaries, the state played a major role. However, with the exception of the protracted battle in 2008, the primary has been a non-factor because the primary is held so late. "What happened was, everyone else wanted to get in on the fun, and so Wisconsin, in the second half of the 20th century, really got eclipsed by everybody front-loading," Lee said.
Still, Lee says no matter what happens in the primary season, the Badger State will be a key battleground state in the general election. "Wisconsin is such a divided state that it's possible we're actually going to decide who gets to be president, and that's really amazing," Lee said.
Wisconsin has 42 delegates at stake on April 3rd. If the race continues to be a question mark, the state of Wisconsin may start seeing campaign stops in the Dairy State soon.