Pennsylvania voters may get a say in who will face President Barack Obama in November.
Although Mitt Romney is the front-runner for the Republican nomination there are a lot of delegates left before anyone reaches the magic number of 1,140, said Joseph DiSarro, chairman of the political science department at Washington & Jefferson College.
Romney emerged as the big winner from the Super Tuesday races, but former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum did enough to "fight another day," DiSarro said.
"This time Pennsylvania is going to be relevant," he said. "I don't think there is much of a question."
Primaries that occur after April 1 are winner-take-all, meaning the overall winner of the state will receive all of the state's delegates. Santorum could make up a lot of ground in some of the upcoming races.
"Pennsylvania being a closed primary and given the pro-life movement is pretty strong I would think he would carry Pennsylvania," he said of Santorum's chances in his home state. "My feeling is Pennsylvania won't be the test."
Somerset County Republican Party Chairman Bruce Hottle agrees that the race will still be undecided by the state primary on April 24.
"I think for the first time in a long time Pennsylvania will be relevant," he said. "If you look at the contests ahead, the primaries in the next two weeks play into Santorum's column. Current polls show he's ahead."
Santorum grew up in Pennsylvania and has ties to Somerset County. His grandfather was an Italian immigrant who settled in the Tire Hill area and worked as a coal miner. Santorum chose the Somerset County Courthouse as the place to officially begin his presidential campaign.
Hottle also believes that if the race comes to Pennsylvania, the candidates will be making stops in the region. He said he does not see Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich leaving the race either.
"The turnpike being a major route, we sit in a good spot for all of them to do a quick stop," he said.
G. Terry Madonna, professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, said the Pennsylvania primary will be relevant but not decisive.
"We won't put one of the candidates over the top," he said.
Although Santorum's campaign has been more successful than many believed, Madonna said it will be hard for him to beat Romney since a lot of the upcoming races allocate delegates proportionally.
"Romney has over 400 delegates; that's one-third of the way there," he said. "Santorum would have to get 60 to 65 percent."
Madonna compared this battle to the 2008 Democratic race between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Obama had a 100-delegate lead going into Super Tuesday.
"Hillary was hoping to take him out on Super Tuesday," Madonna said. "That didn't happen. In the next stage she wins our state by 10 points and Texas by 5 points. But she couldn't catch him. That is the problem that Santorum faces."
A lot will also depend on whether Paul or Gingrich decides to leave the race. Madonna said Paul will not quit the race, but some Santorum supporters are pressuring Gingrich to exit. Madonna said most of Gingrich's votes would go to Santorum.
Madonna has known Santorum since the 1980s. He said he is surprised how well Santorum has done, but added that no one thought he could win the nomination. Many political analysts, including Madonna, believe Santorum may be looking for a vice presidential nod or cabinet position.
"Having said that, one of the things we have to remember about him is he is a passionate, committed, cultural conservative who believes in his heart of hearts in these social and cultural issues," he said. "He ties them to freedom and believes they are the issues of his lifetime."
GOP nominee race may come to Pennsylvania