GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is next facing challenges in Mississippi and Alabama, two states that analysts, and Romney himself, acknowledge may be difficult for him to win. Romney said during an interview on WAPI-radio in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday that the two primaries were indicative of "a bit of an away game" for him, according to the Associated Press.
His nearest competitor, Rick Santorum, has spent the last few days canvassing both states to drum up support.
Here is some of the key information regarding the status of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries.
* On Wednesday, Santorum accepted the endorsement of Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, and he has been telling audiences during his speeches that he alone is the much-needed contrast to President Barack Obama.
* Both primaries will be held on March 13. Two other states, Wyoming and Kansas, are due to complete their caucuses on March 10, while Hawaii will hold its caucuses on the same day as the Alabama and Mississippi primaries.
* Meanwhile, a report early Friday by the Boston Globe has asserted that the majority of advertising and other campaign matters due to be implemented in both states in the coming days are actually being orchestrated and implemented for all four candidates by Super PACs.
* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is hinging the rest of his campaign largely on the primaries in both Alabama and Mississippi. His spokesman R.C. Hammond told the media on Thursday that his candidate had to win every primary from South Carolina to Texas, to be able to secure his party's nomination for president.
* A new poll, conducted on Wednesday by Alabama State University's Center for Leadership and Public Policy showed Santorum in the lead in advance of the Alabama primary, with an advantage of 23 percent to Romney's 19 percent. However, that point gap is within the poll's margin of error, as CBS News pointed out.
* A different poll, conducted by the Capital Research Center, puts Romney in the top spot with 29.9 percent of the vote versus Gingrich's 24.7 percent. Santorum is in third place in that new poll, with 20.1 percent of the vote, according to local news station WHNT.
- Rick Santorum