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Is Mitt Romney inevitable? Can Rick Santorum win the GOP nomination? Well, let's take a look at the calendar and find out.

2,288 delegates will attend the Republican National Convention. Meaning that a candidate needs 1,144 delegates to capture to nomination without a floor fight.

Let's start with the current state of the delegates:
Mitt Romney has secured 315 delegates, but with all results through last night included is projected to have a lock on 386 delegates.
Rick Santorum has secured 78 delegates, but with all results through last night included is projected to have a lock on 159 delegates.
Newt Gingrich has secured 105 delegates, but with all results through last night included is projected to have a lock on 120 delegates.
Ron Paul has secured 29 delegates, but with all results through last night included is projected to have a lock on 73 delegates.

So what happens if all the candidates stay in? Note I'm not a clairvoyant so these are best guesses. The one thing I'm certain of is that Ron Paul has already achieved his maximum number of delegates.

On Sat, Mar. 10, Santorum is going to kick Romney's ass in Kansas in the Kansas Caucuses and take home all 40 delegates bringing him to 199.
This is winner take all. Neither Romney nor Gingrich is taking home any delegates.
On Tue Mar. 13 Gingrich is going to win both Alabama (50) & Mississippi (40), and on March 24 he'll take Louisiana (46), though the delegate math doesn't really favor more than modest changes in the overall count. This will probably add 80 to Gingrich, 38 to Romney, and 18 to Santorum.
Romney 424
Santorum 217
Gingrich 200
The bottom line is that Mittens will be mired around 25-30% here. Some people think Santorum could win one or more of these states, but I'm judging from Georgia Gingrich-Santorum split will be enough for Mitt to squeak past Santorum. If Santorum outperforms here and Gingrich doesn't win 2 or more states, then maybe Newt drops out.
Romney will probably sweep through the islands (73) taking Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Is., U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Romney 497
If that happens (or Paul wins) no one will care because the media couldn't be bothered to cover the islands. Frankly I don't see Romney losing because neither Gingrich nor Santorum has the money or organization to contest the islands. OTOH if Santorum or Gingrich wins in one or more of these locations it will be big news because it will feed a narrative of a floundering Romney campaign.
Illinois (66) on Tue Mar. 20 will be the big prize and I'm sure the vote there will be a photo finish just like Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio with Romney eking out a win by outspending Ricky 11-1 with negative advertising.
Romney 533
Santorum 247
I'm figuring a 36-30 Romney-Santorum split, but if Gingrich drops out then Santorum wins the state and sweeps the non-Chicago districts and splits the 'burbs giving Santorum a 42-24 split.
Things should get back to form in April with Romney taking home all the delegates in Maryland (37), D.C. (19), and Wisconsin (42). Again, Wisconsin will be a photo finish like Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio, but since it's winner-take-all the delegate needle will finally start moving strongly in Romney's direction.
Romney 631
If Gingrich stays in, Romney sweeps. If Gingrich drops then Santorum takes Wisconsin so instead of a 631--247 Romney lead he's now at 583-295 over Santorum.
On Apr. 24 Romney will sweep through Connecticut (28), Delaware (17), Rhode Island (19), a majority of New York (95), but lose to Santorum in Pennsylvania (69).
Romney 775
Santorum 331
Gingrich dropping brings New York from a near Romney sweep to closer race, but Romney still wins the night and goes up 707-399.
On May 8 we're back to midwest photo finish territory with Indiana (46). North Carolina (55), and West Virginia (31) will be between Gingrich and Santorum as Romney has no hope in these two states.
Romney 830
Santorum 362
Gingrich 246
If Gingrich drops then Santorum could sweep this night to close to 736-502. If Gingrich stays in then Romney is the big winner because North Carolina and West Virginia are proportional and Mittens won't be hurt badly by losses in those two states.
On May 15 Romney returns to winning blue states with Oregon (28). But on May 22 Gingrich will take Arkansas (36) and Santorum Kentucky (45).
Romney 858
Santorum 407
Gingrich 282
All of these states are proportional, but I've allocated delegates as winner-take-all as I think the gains in one state will be losses in others. Now if Gingrich drops then Santorum is the big winner slowly closing the gap on Mitt 772-575.
The biggest prize will be May 29 and Texas (155). Romney should thank his stars that Texas isn't going winner-take-all.
Romney 894
Santorum 490
Gingrich 322
Gingrich dropping should help Ricky tremendously bringing him into shouting distance 808-694.
On Jun 1 Santorum should wrap up Missouri's 52 delegates that he clearly won in the February beauty contest.
Santorum 542
Or if Gingrich is gone Santorum is now in striking distance at 804-746.

Missouri voters should be pissed at their delegate selection process. A meaningless February 7 beauty contest, followed by meaningless March 15-24 caucus, followed by April 21 congressional district conventions, and June 2 state convention where the at-large delegates will be selected. By all rights Santorum should take home all 52 delegates due to his thorough won-every-county drubbing of Mittens in the primary, but Mitt could out-organize him and grab the delegates (see Michigan).

On Jun. 5 Romney still won't sew up the nomination when California (172) and New Jersey (50) award him all their votes, New Mexico (23) most of its votes, but he gets his ass kicked in the Great Plains again in South Dakota (28).
Romney 1,136
Santorum 573
Okay on what planet does South Dakota get more delegates than New Mexico and over half the delegates apportioned to New Jersey?

Gingrich, again, is the key, if Newt dropped back in March after failing to sweep the south then California is in play. I'm certain that Mitt, and his sugar daddies will carpet bomb the airwaves to ensure decisive California and New Jersey wins and Santorum simply won't be able to compete in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, or Philadelphia media markets. But while Mitt looks to win the big prizes, Rick sneaks away with all the delegates in New Mexico and South Dakota. But it'll take a floor fight for Rick to overcome a 1,026-797 Mitt lead.

And that leaves us with Nebraska (35), Montana (26), and Utah (40) to wrap it up.
Romney 1,176
Santorum 634
Gingrich 322
So if Newt stays in then Mitt wins the nomination in Utah and cedes Nebraska and Montana to Santorum.

But if Gingrich had dropped back in March then you can expect Mitt to be fighting for every delegate. Can you imagine a media carpet-bomb in Omaha, Lincoln, Scottsbluff, Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula? Even then Mitt is just at 1,127 and needs Ron Paul's delegates to go over the top.

Poll

Who wins the GOP nomination?

38%49 votes
20%26 votes
19%25 votes
0%1 votes
6%8 votes
14%18 votes

| 127 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

    by DemSign on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 11:07:30 AM PST

  •  Good work, thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eztempo, Boise Grad

    Apparently last night Romney's people stated that they did not expect he would surpass 1,144 by the time the convention comes.
    http://www.salon.com/...

    Even before the results came in, when pundits were predicting it was going to be a good night for Romney, his staff was telling reporters that they didn’t expect their man to win the 1,144 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination by the end of the primaries in June. They were preparing to make the case that he’d won the big states, like Ohio, and had the most delegates (which isn’t the same as winning.) I still think the notion of a “brokered convention” is journalistic fantasy. But the Romney folks were gearing up, even on a night they expected a big Ohio victory, to tell the world they didn’t expect to have enough delegates by June – and then they almost lost Ohio.
    There may need to be some bargaining. I don't expect that would mean they would give it to somebody else, though. It seems more likely to me that he would offer Santorum or Gingrich some candy in the form of posts, promises or what have you in order to pick up their delegates.
  •  Delegates To Go - Rick needs 63%, Newt 66% (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, eztempo

    Romney people cite this to say that Mitt has a lock. BS. Mitt needs 49%. If Newt drops out and Paul remains, that 49% for Mitt will be tough if he gets into a top 2 duel with Santorum.

    BTW, think you have a typo (should be 2,288 total delegates, not 2,088)

  •  Steele last night (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eztempo

    wasn't expecting Romney to necessarily get enough either, saying rather breezily, "As delegates are bound on the first round, there'll have to be deals made for a second one (ho hum, no biggie)." He seems to think that such will be a "mere formality" in their hateshow in Tampa, not being seen as an iota of weakness or anything ...

  •  California (0+ / 0-)

    awards lots of delegates on a district basis, I believe. Which means that whoever loses the state could still rack up lots of delegates.

  •  Hey, thanks for doing the math (0+ / 0-)

    This represents a whole lot more time thinking about Republican problems than I've wanted to spend, but I've been curious how it is that all the 'sages' are saying Mitt probably won't have the delegates he needs at the end of the voting.

    Now I have a "Hotlist" reference to tick off results against.  Thanks.

  •  Only needs 50%, not 50% + 1? (0+ / 0-)
    2,288 delegates will attend the Republican National Convention. Meaning that a candidate needs 1,144 delegates to capture to nomination without a floor fight.
    Doesn't the nominee need 1,145, or is this just another Repug version of democracy?
    •  You need 50%+1… (0+ / 0-)

      …on a yes or no, head-to-head vote. Because at that point 50-50 is a tie.

      50% is a majority when there are three or more options. And often with a multiple options, you simply need a plurality, not a majority.

      Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

      by DemSign on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 08:39:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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