Will McCain emerge as the GOP nominee tonight?

I think it’s a reasonable question considering the fact that McCain will likely take the large states such as California and New York which are winner-take-all. Of course, anything could happen and Romney has been on the upswing. Huckabee will take a couple delegates as well. Ron Paul probably won’t take much either, a couple delegates perhaps in some of the proportional states where delegates are divvied out.

However, according to the RealClearPolitics poll averages, McCain is leading in California (by a hair), New York, New Jersey, Georgia (another hair), Alabama, Missouri, Connecticut, Arizona, Illinois and Tennessee. Out of the other states they have polls for, Romney’s leading Massachusetts. Huckabee is close on a few and may take 2nd in couple states over Romney.

My point here is that, as it stands, McCain is looking at a big victory by many regards. If he is able to take more than 50-60% of the delegates at stake, I don’t think he will be stoppable for the nomination. Most media outlets are focusing on Obama/Clinton as they’ve basically anointed McCain already.

On that note, Romney and McCain have been battling bitterly in the press, story from Breitbart:

NEW YORK (AP) – Republican John McCain assailed Mitt Romney’s conservative credentials on the eve of the Super Tuesday presidential primaries, going on national television with a new campaign ad that claims Romney “was against Ronald Reagan before he was for him.”

McCain had eased up on his criticism of the former Massachusetts governor since winning the primary in Florida last week and had begun acting like a general election candidate, focusing his harsh rhetoric on Democratic rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

But with hours to go before voting began in more than 20 states from coast to coast, McCain unloaded on Romney.

The 30-second ad airing on national cable television shows Romney distancing himself from Ronald Reagan, patron saint of modern conservatism, in a 1994 debate when he was challenging Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

“Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush,” Romney says in the ad footage. An announcer then intones, “If we can’t trust Mitt Romney on Ronald Reagan, how can we trust him to lead America?”

McCain also ratcheted up the rhetoric during an interview with the CBS Evening News. Asked about his opponents’ weaknesses, the Arizona senator reverted to the caricature of Romney as a flip-flopper. “He’s had literally at least two positions on every major issue,” McCain said.

McCain’s ad attacking Romney’s record:

In response, Romney released a web-only ad comparing John McCain to Hillary Clinton:

McCain says Romney’s no conservative, Romney says the same about McCain. Perhaps Huckabee or Paul will take advantage of the squabbling and come in with a victory reminiscent of the Giants over the Patriots. Somehow I doubt it, but anything is possible.

We’ll have all the latest on both sides this afternoon and tonight when results start rolling in.