Sen. John McCain barnstormed through a skeptical South on Saturday, campaigning for a Super Tuesday knockout in the Republican presidential race.

“I assume that I will get the nomination of the party,” McCain told campaign reporters, the front-runner so confident that he decided to challenge rival Mitt Romney in his home state of Massachusetts.

Romney, on the other hand, celebrated a caucus victory in Maine and told reporters he plans to do well tomorrow, “planning on getting the kind of delegates and support that shows that my effort is succeeding, and taking that across the nation. … I am encouraged by the support which I’m seeing grow for me.”

The Republican political landscape is different for McCain, Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with nine of the 21 contests on the ballot awarding delegates winner-take-all to the top vote-getter.

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