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Super Tuesday May Narrow Presidential Field

February 5, 2008, 7:09 AM

Millions of Americans are heading to the polls on a day that will be key to this year's race for the White House. The Super Tuesday contests offer an enormous chunk of the delegates needed to win each party's nomination at the political conventions this summer.

Two-dozen contests from coast to coast are delivering 1,023 Republican and 1,681 Democratic delegates. The number needed to win the nomination: 1,191 Republican and 2,025 Democratic.

Party rules are stacked against a knockout for Democrats. All their primaries and caucuses award delegates proportionately, so coming in second counts.

In the Republican field, nine contests offer all delegates to the winner.
John McCain is picking up support from backers of two candidates who dropped out of the Republican presidential race. Some supporters of Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani plan to back McCain today at the West Virginia GOP convention.

Mitt Romney is scheduled to address the convention this morning. He tells his supporters he's going to hand GOP liberals "a little surprise" today.

John McCain has struck back with an ad showing Romney declaring in a 1994 debate that he's "an independent" and is "not trying to return to Reagan-Bush."

Campaigning at a New Jersey fire station Monday, McCain said he's ready to lead the nation and motivate all Americans "to serve a cause greater than their self-interest."
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been racing through the final hours of campaigning before Super Tuesday.

Records show the Democratic rivals have been spending more than one million dollars a day on TV ads in the run-up to the voting across more than 20 states.

Obama spent Monday hitting stops in the Northeast, including the home of the Super Bowl champs. The Illinois senator appeared at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the New York Giants. He was introduced by Robert DeNiro, who was making his first-ever speech at a political event.

Clinton turned talk show host on the night before Super Tuesday, buying an hour of time on the Hallmark Channel for a town-hall meeting from New York.

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