Arizona might have less symbolic importance than Michigan, but it is probably of more practical significance. That is because it’s one of the few Republican states to award its delegates on a truly winner-take-all basis, without any qualifications or complication. Get one more vote than your rivals in Arizona, and you take all 29 of its delegates.
The most tangible advantage in Arizona belongs to Mitt Romney, and it is because the state has a reasonably high Mormon population. In the 2008 primary there, Mormon voters constituted 11 percent of the electorate — and Mr. Romney won 88 percent of their votes, versus 8 percent for John McCain.
If Mr. Romney posts similar numbers among Mormon voters this year in Tuesday’s primary — and there’s no reason to think that he won’t — that works out a nine-point built-in advantage in the state.
Without that Mormon edge, in fact, the state would essentially be a toss-up. Mr. Romney is now projected to win the state by 11 points over all, according to a FiveThirtyEight forecast model, which works out to an 89 percent chance of winning given the uncertainty inherent in the forecast.