7:00 p.m. According to Intrade, Newt Gingrich has a 99 percent chance of winning the Georgia primary.
6:25 p.m. Exit Polls Show Voters Had Trouble Deciding According to the New York Times, Georgia had shown relatively sharp late movement in the polls, with Gingrich gaining several points in the polls over the course of the past week. Exit polls find there are more late-deciding voters in Georgia than the other Super Tuesday state.
31% of voters in Georgia made their decision either today or in the past few days, according to the exit polls. That figure is somewhat lower elsewhere: 27% in Ohio and 24% in Tennessee.
9:00 a.m. Georgia Contest Heating Up: PolicyMicer Dana Jones explains, "The Super Tuesday atmosphere in Georgia is intense! I've lived in Georgia all of my life and I can say that this state is strongly Republican. I learned that early on in life when we did a mock election in 5th grade. At that time, Bill Clinton was running against George Bush and it caused tons of conflict amongst everyone.
“If you were a Democrat around here, you just didn't fit with the flow of things. I doubt that any president will ever change that sentiment. The political ads are from other candidates bashing each other.
“Last night, I saw one on Channel 2 during ABC Nightly News that put down President Barack Obama then candidate Newt Gingrich. The commercial basically said that Obama isn't doing the job, Newt Gingrich can't beat him, so then it encouraged us to vote for Mitt Romney. That was just too much!
“The weather is nice today, slightly colder this morning than in the past few weeks. I think a good amount of people will go out to vote. The funny thing is, I'm seeing the most political conversation happening on Facebook and not elsewhere. There, people are posting comments about everything. I found an image circulating on Facebook featuring a gas pump and a post it from Glenn Beck's blog:
Monday 2:30 PM PolicyMic Pundit Tyler Bugg predicts that Gingrich will win by a landslide in Georgia.
As Gingrich said at a business breakfast: “Let me be clear: I have to win Georgia, I think, to be credible in the race.”
As Bugg explains: "Acting on claims that he must have a better home state showing than Romney did in his native Michigan a week ago, Gingrich has made immense spending investments in Georgia radio and TV ad time, and it seems to be working. "
But as PolicyMicer Tom Carey explains, "The momentum in GA is swinging towards Santorum and Romney for two reasons." The attack ads on television and the print media writing many articles regarding Gingrich past. They are keying on his dalliances and the ethics problems in Congress.
"On a daily basis, the Atlanta Journal Constitution is writing a negative article regarding Gingrich.
"There was a poll done just recently which reflects the sentiment in the state. Even people who support Gingrich don't believe he has the best chance of defeating Obama.
I know that begs the question of why are people supporting him, but I think it has to do with favored son status and they might even like his positions and defiance of the establishment ... the whole South will rise again mentality.'"
Sunday 1 PM: A new poll released Saturday shows Newt Gingrich has a double-digit margin over his opponents in Georgia, a Super Tuesday state in which the former House speaker has heavily staked his campaign resources.
Gingrich has the backing of 38% of likely Republican primary voters, while Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are statistically tied for second place, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
The poll indicates Romney is slightly ahead of Santorum, 24% to 22%. The two-point margin falls well within the poll's sampling error.
Friday 11:35 AM Georgia's college students are engaged in this election, and they seem to be trending for Gingrich.
11:30 AM Gingrich will focus is rallying today in Savannah. He'll also speak in Brunswick at 2:30 pm ET and Valdosta at 6:00 pm ET.
11:25 AM NPR explains that for Newt Gingrich, Georgia is on his mind (referencing Ray Charles, of course:
11:22 AM Mitt Romney plans to return to Georgia on Sunday, two days before the primary, for his second visit to the state following a Feb. 8 rally in Atlanta.
11:19 AM Mitt Romney's wife Ann Romney spent Thursday with volunteers making phone calls for her husband in Georgia. She told supporters that Barbara Bush, the mother of President George W. Bush, has brought her a "maxed out check" of $2,500 to support the Romney campaign.
THE BACKGROUND: Newt Gingrich is staking the future of his presidential campaign on Georgia, which makes it the second-most important Super Tuesday contest only to Ohio. If Gingrich does not win in Georgia, his campaign cannot continue moving forward.
"I have to win Georgia, I think, to be credible in the race," the former Speaker admitted.
The Peach State will award 76 delegates in the Super Tuesday primary, the largest prize of all ten states in the March 6 mega-primary. And polls show that Gingrich has a real shot to win his home state.
In four polls taken between February 20 and 26, Gingrich led by an average of nine points, and Nate Silver says he has an 86% chance of winning.
If Gingrich revives his campaign in Georgia, he is hoping to turn his attention to Alabama and Mississippi one week later, followed by Louisiana. But, prominent conservative strategist Karl Rove has said this Southern strategy will fall flat. Rick Santorum agreed, saying on his Thursday visit to the state, "You gotta be able to go out and prove that you are electable other than in your own backyard."
Georgia awards its delegates proportionally (it is not a winner-take-all state), which makes Gingrich's path much more difficult.
PolicyMic will be updating this page with live updates on Georgia as they come in. Check back for more over the weekend.
If you're in Georgia and have a tip about the campaign and Super Tuesday mood, comment below or let us know.
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