Will Tonight Be a Late Night in Alabama and Mississippi?

According to MSNBC, polls close tonight in Alabama and Mississippi at 8PM ET. The experts say the primaries are too close to call, with Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich all bunched up together with about 30% each. If the vote goes the way of the polls we could be in for a late night, so rest up.

Politico has a preview of how things may play out:

Mitt Romney has a shot to win both states — polls show him leading or effectively tied in each. But even if the former Massachusetts governor doesn’t take them outright, the apparent resurgence of Newt Gingrich in the Deep South has once again muddled the primary-within-a-primary so that Rick Santorum is going to be denied his wish to get a clean shot at the front-runner.

It’s Gingrich, his candidacy on life support after carrying only his home state among the 10 Super Tuesday states, who is combining regional appeal, his characteristic pugnacity and an aggressive push on gas prices to give Romney the stiffest competition in Mississippi and Alabama.

More important, he’s depriving Santorum of market dominance when it comes to the anybody-but-Mitt crowd and presenting Romney with an opportunity to answer critics who say he can’t appeal to the beating heart of the conservative movement and in the epicenter of the resistance to President Barack Obama. (Read More)

When things are all said and done, if Romney wins the nomination he should send Newt Gingrich a great big Thank You card.