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Super Tuesday still

has biggest payout

Super? Maybe not this time. But it will have the biggest payout of the Republican presidential primaries.

Super Tuesday, slimmed down to half its 2008 size, probably won't settle much.

It could nudge Newt Gingrich out of the race, or lend Ron Paul more credibility. But it won't be easy for either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum to score a decisive advantage, because delegates are handed out by share. A close second can pay off almost as well as first place.

What's at stake:

Delegates for grabs Tuesday: 437.

Delegates already won: 353. Romney, 203; Santorum, 92; Gingrich, 33; Paul, 25.

Delegates needed for the nomination: 1,144.

-- The Associated Press

For candidates,

cost is super, too

Super Tuesday is super expensive.

A week's worth of heavy advertising in all 10 states would cost a candidate about $5 million.

That's a lot even for Romney's well-financed campaign, prompting him to make a plea for donations amid his Michigan victory speech. Gingrich is getting another multimillion-dollar boost from Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who donated the money to a super PAC that will run advertising in key states. -- The Associated Press

Ohio may be crucial

for eventual nominee

Ohio is the race to watch. Political junkies get all misty-eyed over this Rust Belt swing state, and not just because of the 63 delegates. No Republican nominee has ever become president without winning the state. -- The Associated Press

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