I was going to write a diary entitled "Mitt Still Has Enough Delegates" showing how the math still points to a Romney nomination. But I can't support that finding after looking at the numbers.
As it stands right now, relying on the projections most favorable to Romney, he has the following delegates:
12 from IA
9 from NH
50 from FL
14 from NV
13 from CO
6 from MN
17 Superdelegates on Record.
I assigned Huntsman's 2 delegate to his endorsee, Romney.
To that, I assumed wins in all of the "winner-take-all" states except Wisconsin. I think this is a defensible assumption,
especially in the case of California where Mormons and money, as well as a number of other factors, help Mitt. I also gave him Utah, a winner take all state. Others were simply assumed in order to show that the math would work.
AZ - 29
PR - 20
MD - 37
DC - 16
DE - 17
CA - 169
NJ - 50
UT - 40
Then I gave Mitt about 30% of the delegates in the proportional representation states, a low assumption if it directly correlated to the popular vote and assuming a 2-way race. But under the current conditions, with Paul siphoning a certain percentage away, this doesn't come to much.
My total was 985. 1,144 are needed to win. There are 117 unaccounted for Superdelegates. If they all break for Romney, that's not enough.
At about this point in 2008, the math started to show that Obama had things locked up barring some disaster. Here, you have to make assumptions about Mitt's future success that seem to me to be untenable in order to make that conclusion. One of those, a big one to me, is that Gingrich gets out before Super Tuesday and, coupled with that, his support in the South all goes to Romney.
What is also clear from this is that it is unlikely that Santorum can close the deal anytime soon. A fortiori, neither can Gingrich.
This means that unless Mitt starts winning majorities now (of delegates) in proportional states, there could be a brokered convention. And that probably means he will have to put Gingrich or Santorum on the ticket and give major platform concessions to them, which I think basically means it's 1964.
Please let me know if you have any good sources or other articles on this.
8:05 PM PT: Apparently, CA is not winner take all purely. I can't find a definitive answer on this, but I think you have to subtract 20-30 delegates here. This makes it worse on Romney.
I'm wondering if I didn't make the same mistake on other states assumed to be winner take all.
Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 9:02 AM PT: Apparently, Froth has failed to qualify for the Indiana ballot. Between that and Virginia, you have to add several in for Mitt. This doesn't change the result.
I would also add that huge momentum swings have been the norm in this primary and one big set of Mitt wins would probably dry up the funding and put him on a set of wins that would get him more than majorities in some of the later primaries.
On the other hand, if he doesn't close the deal on Super Tuesday, there's no reason to think that these percentages will go his way.
In other words, on the current path, it's a brokered convention. But the current path hasn't remained stable long in this primary.
Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 8:21 AM PT: Today's PPP poll shows Romney at 23%. He clearly cannot win the nomination at that level of support, and, in fact, is unlikely to win many of the winner take all states.
I'll be interested to see whether he can win a bulk of delegates in Maine today.
Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM PT: If Paul wins Maine today, or even denies Mitt a pure majority, I think it is time to recognize that there is a serious chance of a brokered convention here.
Maybe it's early enough that some people's heads will get beaten together and that result will be avoided. But this diary isn't about what I believe will happen long term based on my gut. It's based on what the current course of events points to, barring the unforeseen, because I can't foresee it.