*** Big stakes on Tuesday: After the weekend contests where Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum fought to a delegate draw -- with Santorum winning Kansas, and with Romney winning Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, and more delegates out of Wyoming -- we now turn to Tuesday's primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. And the stakes, once again, are pretty high for the candidates.
Romney sneaking out a win in either of the contests would prove that he can win in the South and that conservative GOP voters are beginning to coalesce around his candidacy. But losses in them would confirm that Romney continues to have problems with these voters and -- more importantly -- that the primary season will last through April if not longer.
For Santorum, wins in both Alabama and Mississippi would prove that he's the chief conservative alternative to Romney, and that he has the momentum to keep this race going. But losing them would suggest his campaign is running out of gas.
And for Gingrich, winning both states would keep his candidacy alive, but losses in these southern states would reveal that he’s become a political zombie, propped up solely by Sheldon Adelson and the pro-Gingrich Super PAC. Those are the stakes for tomorrow.