Live Chat: Alabama - Mississippi - Hawaii starting at 7:30pm

Join Political Writers for a Live Chat: Alabama - Mississippi - Hawaii starting at 7:30pm

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2012—Starting at 7:30pm (EST), join Communities pundits Jim Picht, Catherine Poe and Gayle Falkenthal as they host a live discussion of the results of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, and the results of the Hawaii caucus as they come in.

Alabama and Mississippi are must-win states for Newt Gingrich and his “southern strategy.” He’s the only southern candidate, he’s won in only two states so far (both in the South), and has come in last or second-to-last in most of the races run in the last month. If he fails to win both states tonight, he claims he’ll go on, but his days as a serious candidate will be over.

Rick Santorum has to do better than Gingrich to keep making the claim that he’s the best conservative alternative to Romney. If Gingrich outperforms him, he’ll be a damaged candidate. 

These possibilities combine to make tonight’s primaries much more interesting and important than their delegate counts would suggest. Romney can have his “turning point” tonight, if he’s lucky, and either Gingrich or Santorum can have his legs cut out from under him. Or the states can be split, and the endless campaign can go on. And what about Ron Paul in Hawaii? If he doesn’t win there, will his supporters’ enthusiasm finally slump into dissapointment? 

Your thoughts, observations and predictions will be welcome as we interpret the unfolding results.

Join Political Writers for a Live Chat: Alabama - Mississippi - Hawaii starting at 7:30pm

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Jim Picht

James Picht is the Senior Editor for Communities Politics and teaches economics and Russian at the Louisiana Scholars' College in Natchitoches, La. After earning his doctorate in economics, he spent several years working in Moscow and the new independent states of the former Soviet Union for the U.S. government, the Asian Development Bank, and as a private contractor. He returned to Ukraine recently to teach principles of constitutional law and criminal procedure at several Ukrainian law schools for a USAID legal development project. He has been writing at the Communities since 2009.

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