Mild-Mannered Tuesday: The Pennsylvania/New York/Connecticut/Rhode Island/Delaware Primary Thread

David Graham popped the parody champagne early, inaugurating the Atlantic’s primary coverage for tonight with a list of the “5 Best Lists of Things to Watch in Tonight’s Primaries.” Get it? We’re watching for trivia. Will Newt Gingrich win Delaware? Will Rick Santorum score a respectable pity vote in Pennsylvania? After all, Howard Dean won Vermont even after he quit the 2004 race.

But Mitt Romney is planning to close the book tonight. His campaign has put out the possible lede of his speech: “I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility.” Not quite “I accept the nomination.” Just “it’s over. Back to talking about dogs.”

8 p.m.: Polls close in Connecticut, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Only one of these states – the last one – has downballot races tonight. They’re actually worth watching. Republicans, who control the redistricting process, forced Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz into the new 12th district, and forced conservative Rep. Tim Holden into a new 17th district that’s much more liberal. Labor wants to take out Altmire; the greens want to take out Holden.

9 p.m.: Polls close in New York and Rhode Island. And we’re back to the land of trivia. Ron Paul spent money in the latter state, hoping to cross the threshold for proportional delegate-allocation, like he did in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.