GOP Debate Collapse

Once word got out that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were not going to participate in the final debate before Super Tuesday, the gathering in Atlanta quickly collapsed, leaving just one GOP debate on the schedule in the next few weeks.

“Mitt Romney and Ron Paul told the Georgia Republican Party, Ohio Republican Party and CNN Thursday that they will not participate in the March 1 Republican presidential primary debate,” CNN said in a statement.

“Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate."

Romney's team told reporters that he was "unable to schedule the CNN Georgia debate" because of a crowded schedule before Super Tuesday.

Those kind of excuses were panned on social media.

"Nobody ignores Georgia and wins," said one.

"Mitt's afraid!" said another.

It means there will be just one debate before Super Tuesday, next week in Arizona. Arizona votes on February 28, along with Michigan.

After that, Washington State is on Saturday March 3, then it is Super Tuesday.

Here is the list of the ten Super Tuesday states, and the number of GOP delegates they will offer:

Georgia - 76
Ohio - 66
Tennessee - 58
Virginia - 49
Oklahoma - 43
Massachusetts - 41
Idaho - 32
North Dakota - 28
Alaska - 27
Vermont - 17

Arizona has 29 delegates; there are 30 in Michigan. 43 are up for grabs in Washington State.

On Friday:

* Santorum is in Michigan and Ohio

* Romney stumps in Idaho

* Gingrich is in Georgia

* Paul in Idaho and Washington State

In terms of new polls, Santorum had another one that showed him ahead in Michigan on Thursday; and there was a blockbuster Rasmussen poll from Ohio that had Santorum ahead of Romney by 18 points.

Let's just cut that in half for argument's sake - that's still a sizeable lead in a very important state.

There are 11 days to Michigan and Arizona, 18 days to Super Tuesday.

Every minute you waste now is one you never get back by March 6.

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