Super Tuesday proved to show frontrunners in the presidential race for both the democratic and republican candidates. Following the big voting day, candidates’ likelihood of winning their party’s nominations was heavily weighed.
Mitt Romney, republican candidate and former governor of Massachusetts, lost key states, including Florida and California, which were likely to inhibit his chances at winning the Republican Party’s nomination. Romney’s suspension from the presidential race came last Feb. 7, just two days after Super Tuesday, during a speech he delivered to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
During Romney’s remarks, he noted that the decision to step down was not an easy one. "If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding surrender to terror," said Romney.
Romney concluded by saying, "I hate to lose." He was gracious in thanking those that advocated for him in his efforts to attain the republican nomination, crediting his supporters with his success. "I entered this race because I love America…America must always remain, as it has always been, the hope of the Earth."
Over the course of 2007, Romney spent a reported $37.5 million of his own in support of his campaign. In 2008, Romney is estimated to have spent even more.
The remaining contenders for the Republican Party nomination are Senator John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Representative Ron Paul of Texas.
Senator John McCain, republican candidate from Arizona, said in his speech to the CPAC that same day that he and Romney had spoken on the phone, "we agreed the importance to unite our party." While Romney landed votes from voters considering themselves ‘very conservative;’ McCain got votes from the more broad category of moderate voters.
McCain is now being seen as the frontrunner for the Republican Party, with wins in dominant states backing him. With this surge of momentum, speculation over McCain’s presidential candidacy eligibility has become a new issue for the Senator to address.
In Section 1 of Article II of the Constitution states "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President." McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936. The Panama Canal Zone was under US sovereignty from the time period 1903-1979.
Although in theory this would take McCain out of the race, many parts of the world, including the Panama Canal, have a law that would apply to McCain, and his birth there. According to this Law, 8 USC 1403, "Any person born in the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States."
For the time being McCain is clear to pursue the presidency of the United States, and with Romney out of the running, the only obstacles in his path seem to be the democrats, winning the conservative vote and breaking the pattern of a nation voting in the opposite party after having an unpopular president in office.