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Mitt Romney
Weakest. Frontrunner. Ever.  (Joshua Lott/Reuters)
A Republican candidate needs 1,144 delegates to secure the nomination. According to the NY Times, the current delegate count is:

A huge caveat is in order here—those delegate estimates are based on a guess of how delegates will be awarded according to election results. That's not how many are selected, however. In Iowa, for example, there is a three-round process to select the final delegate slate. That's why the NY Times' delegate list is different, significantly so, than CNN's. The fact that no one can get an accurate read as to the state of the GOP race is yet another sign of how f'd up the GOP is. Add to all that chaos the fact that up to a quarter of those delegates are unbound, and can vote for anyone they want in the end, and things get that much more confusing.

But let's assume that the NY Times estimate is roughly accurate. That means that Romney has to win 729 of the 1,541 delegates left, including about 100 remaining super delegates. That would be fairly easy in a winner-take-all primary system, such as we saw in 2008 on the Republican side. Winner-take-all means that if win a state, you get all of its delegates. However, most states this year are apportioning their delegates proportionately.

Of the states that have yet to vote, only a handful are winner-take-all contests—Maryland, Washington DC, Wisconsin, Delaware, California, New Jersey and Utah. Together, they add up to 400 228 delegates, but well over half of them—California (169) and New Jersey (50) doesn't vote until June 5. And Utah's 40 winner-take-all delegates won't be awarded to Romney until June 26.

The rest of the states will allocate their delegates proportionately, meaning that Romney has to reach his final goal in small increments, each one bleeding precious time and money. And for every Illinois, in which Romney should do well, there's a Texas, where he won't.

Much of the punditry talks about how impossible it is for the not-Romney's to get to 1,144. And they're pretty much right—Santorum needs 968 of the remaining 1,541 delegates. Gingrich needs 1,039 of them. Paul needs 1,097. Sure, it's mathematically possible for them to get to 1,144, but it just ain't gonna happen.

But what they can do is prevent Romney from getting the delegates he needs, which would then give us that mythical creature called the "brokered convention." But that's just fantasyland. It won't happen.

None of these candidates will give up their claim to the nomination to a white knight (and you know he'd be a "he" and "white," no matter how much Sarah Palin would desperately hope otherwise). If it happened, the surprise GOP nominee would emerge from a bitter convention with no campaign organization, no money, and facing a hundreds-million defining ad-blitz from the Obama campaign and its allies. Furthermore, as Republicans found out in 2008 with Sarah Palin, you kind of want your candidates properly vetted before thrusting them on the national stage.

If Romney can't close the deal at the California, New Jersey and Utah contests in June, he'll make a deal with one of the other candidates in order to cross the magic line, and it would happen before the RNC convention. If Ron Paul has enough delegates to push Romney over the line, he could trade them for VP nominee Rand Paul. Santorum could offer his delegates up in exchange for being the veep nominee himself. Gingrich could ... nevermind. He'll hoard his pittance of delegates and declare himself emperor in his own mind.

Twice Romney could've put an end to this clown show—in Michigan and in Ohio. By failing to win convincingly despite spending tens of millions against underfunded joke opposition, he ensured that this race will continue into spring, and possibly (hopefully!) beyond.

Update: Turns out California is proportionate, not winner-take-all, which makes Romney's task a little more difficult.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 02:52 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So what's the considered opinion of the learned (6+ / 0-)

    masters of election gobbledy-goop? What do the tea leaves say, when does Romney cinch the nomination? My prediction (based on the shape of my egg yolks this morning) is he wins it after Newt drops out (nods off) in two weeks. By then Santorum will have successfully alienated everyone in America who isn't a member of his immediate family so Mitt will be the last man android standing.

    "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

    From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 02:58:15 PM PST

  •  Is California winner take all? (6+ / 0-)

    Online reports seem to vary. Wikipedia says winner take all, Green Papers says:

    Delegate Selection: Winner-Take-All (by district and statewide),
    172 total delegates -
    10 base at-large
    159 re: 53 congressional districts
    3 party
  •  Good analysis (9+ / 0-)

    Romney will be the nominee.

    It will take a while to make it official, but the contest is over.

  •  They really aren't a political party anymore. (6+ / 0-)

    It's a coalition of people who hate progress.

    If only the monied interests could just buy the election like SCOTUS wanted them to.

    Or GOD could anoint someone.

    Or Gingrich could anoint Gingrich.

    Or Ayn Rand would come back and declare Paul the winner....

    Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

    by mungley on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:03:16 PM PST

  •  And Santorum raised $9M in February to (12+ / 0-)

    Romney's $11.5M. The spending is going to even out.

    And the next few contests are not Romney country. Next week we're in Dixie - Alabama and Mississippi; and Kansas. Look for Romney to finish second in Kansas and third in Alabama and Mississippi.

    So here's what Santorum can do. He can try to win AL and MS. If he does, he might knock Gingrich out of the race. And then things get very scary for Willard.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:03:53 PM PST

  •  Washington DC - not state! (4+ / 0-)

    Wisconsin and Maryland are Winner-take-Most: WTA statewide and WTA each CD.

    New Jersey and Delaware are actual WTA states.

  •  If Romney was well-liked, and wasn't from MA, (10+ / 0-)

    he'd have this wrapped up by now.

  •  Thank god for the egos involved. And even better (0+ / 0-)

    is the fact that whenever whatever deal finally does get cut, it is virtually guaranteed to bring the final Romney ticket to the right of where he would have positioned it at if left to his own devices.

    (And will anyone be surprised to see it include Jeb Bush at Ni. 2?)

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:08:35 PM PST

  •  what i find telling (11+ / 0-)

    is that romney is losing most of the deep red states (other than the ones with large mormon populations) while winning mostly blue and purple states, in most of which he is polling behind obama. in other words, he's struggling with the gop theocratic base, he's struggling with independents and crossover voters, and he's most solid with a very narrow gop core. probably the kleptocratic core. which will not be enough to make him competitive come november.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:11:43 PM PST

    •  If You Overlay The Ohio Primary Map..... (9+ / 0-)

      .....With the 2008 Ohio Democratic Primary Map, Romney's areas of support are basically the same as President's Obama's against Secretary Clinton.

      The problem for Romney is the areas where he won last night will be overwhelmingly Democratic in November, and his base of support in the general will have to come from the areas where Santorum won, and that rejected Romney by 2:1 margins.

      •  and he's winning places like michigan (8+ / 0-)

        and massachusetts, where he has zero chance aginst obama. he isn't firing up the base and he's not impressing anyone who voted for obama four years ago. he's going to have low base turnout and few swing voters.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:29:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right -- but those are the same (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laurence Lewis, Losty, vidanto

          areas where we need a major GOTV push, too.  I remain an Obama supporter -- the alternative is unthinkable -- but I'm not feeling the energy this time around that we had in '08.

          I call him Rick Scumtorum because he IS scum: pond scum, with the brain of an alga.

          by Youffraita on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:35:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i think turnout will be good (0+ / 0-)

            this will be a 99%/1% election, and that alone will get democrats to the polls.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:52:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That apathy was before the assault on women (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vote4Obamain2012, drmah

            Hell hath no fury like a women (or man, either) whose daughter has just been gratuitously called a slut, whether directly or by association. Like the icy, polite rage of David Friend, CEO of Carbonite. From their Facebook page.

            A Statement from David Friend, CEO of Carbonite:
            “No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”
            Plus the Komen and other attacks on Planned Parenthood, and all of the vitriol about birth control disguised as Holier-Than-You-All religious Libertarianism.

            You don't win elections by viciously insulting more than half of the articulate voting population. There just aren't enough bigots any more, no matter how loud each one may be.

            See also Rush Limbaugh loses 42 advertisers.

            Busting the Dog Whistle code.

            by Mokurai on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 04:52:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  and he's losing places like Georgia (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandy on Signal, vidanto

          and Tennesee, where he has a great chance of beating Obama.  

          Republicans - they measure our national success by corporate profit margin, not the well being of the citizens.

          by egarratt on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 04:05:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I still can't wrap my mind around Romney (0+ / 0-)

          getting a swell of GOP votes, regardless of preferences, during the general because of the sheer hatred so many have for the president.

          Maybe it's just where I live, but there is so much animus against the president (low info voters). It's very conservative here but I don't imagine Romney getting anything BUT help from the other primary candidate supporters in the general.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 04:55:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Romney's weakness in the South is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Losty, cany

      overblown. It's like when they said that Obama couldn't win since Hillary was beating him in places like PA and OH. The South is GOP country; whoever the GOP nominee is will sweep most of the South (NC, FL, and VA being the only uncertain ones).

  •  Huckabee was vetted. (5+ / 0-)

    And he did the living out of a suitcase thing for enough time to qualify as a campaign vet. He would please most Republicans more than any of the 4 running today. If the delegates get to the convention and Romney is behind Obama by more than 5 in the polls, look out for Huckabee.

    •  huckabee's the only one i worry about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, wishingwell

      but he really needed to run a campaign this time around, i'm not sure he can parachute in at the end and make it work.

    •  Huckabee? He has no chance after (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      he pardoned a guy who subsequently killed 4 cops in Washington state.

      Boehner (n) North German: variant of Böhnhaas - someone who does a job they don't have the qualifications for and who typically delivers shoddy work

      by Calouste on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:42:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  People forget the baggage these candidates have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah

        because they're out of mind, out of sight. I am not scared of Huckabee at all, particularly if anyone thinks he can ramp up a national campaign overnight.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 06:49:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's really nothing compared to (0+ / 0-)

        the problems and issues of the 4 guys in the race. I think Huckabee's biggest weakness is the fact that Huckabee rhymes with Fuck-a-bee, and it would be easy for the Obama people to make fun of him by calling him Fuckabee.

    •  Any chance he could be 'forced' on Romney (0+ / 0-)

      as VP?

      Given the hostility of the campaign, Gingrich or Santorum would be hard to swallow... but pushing someone more Theocratic than he would have preferred seems like a possible consequence.

      "All things are not equally true. It is time to face reality." -Al Gore

      by Geek of all trades on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:56:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would think that people of all (0+ / 0-)

        political persuasions would agree that Newt Gingrich as about as unsuited for VP as any American could be. VP's have to hew to the White House line and keep their mouths shut. Gingrich wouldn't last a day without saying something controversial.

      •  The GOP won't try to "force" (0+ / 0-)

        someone on Romney. Those on the right, correctly, don't think he can win. So it doesn't help them that much to get one of their own at the bottom of the ticket. They are going to tell him to step aside and take the VP slot, and that if he doesn't they will not work for him, and he'd get destroyed if he lost the far right in addition to much of the center. They all know that he is a proven liar, a liar who lies to all of our collective faces, all of the time, despite evidence like videotape that confirms the lie. So they are not going to believe that he can win. Many on the right might even prefer Obama (though they'd never admit it).

  •  At least Mitt has a likely, if time consuming (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, wishingwell, drmah

    and expensive, path to the GOP nomination.  And that only because Santorum shot himself in the foot before MI and that carried over into OH.  What he doesn't have is a plausible path to the WH.

  •  Are FL and AZ winner-take-all? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexDemAtty, Losty

    While FL and AZ giave their delegates as winner-take-all, they moved their races.  In addition to only receiving 50% of the total delagates they would have received otherwise, they are forbidden from giving their delagates in a winner-take-all fashion.  Theoretically, this could be challenged in court, and the states could be forces to apportion their delagates in a proportional fashion.

    Article on Florida and winner-take-all

    At least one Republican has announced he plans to file a challenge to the state's delegate system with the Republican National Committee. The challenge could be heard in May. By that time, there's a chance the nomination will be effectively wrapped up, so it won't make a difference. But the race is volatile. So this could become a bigger issue.

    And it's not just candidate backers who say that's the case. Michael Steele, former RNC chairman, said the state should lose half its delegates AND award them proportionately.

    "I know," Steele said. "I was there. I helped write the rules."

    Said RPOF spokesman Hughes: "He's not the chairman now."

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:35:25 PM PST

  •  Palin won't run (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, drmah

    She knows she'd get throttled, and being a beaten presidential candidate would end her time in the spotlight.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:35:32 PM PST

  •  Romney's problem late in the game... (0+ / 0-)

    Is that he'll start running against Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal etc as Republicans who don't like Romney will fall in love with the idea of forcing a brokered convention.  

    Every time a GOP power broker or MSM type talks about a brokered convention it the "none of the above" folks who hate the current field sit up and take notice.  

    How soon before see rise a concerted effort by some power player on the right to organize the vote for a brokered convention?  Palin is already all but screaming it.  

    Don't like any of the current candidates?  Want a new choice? Vote anybody but Romney to keep him from reaching the threshold.  

  •  I agree that Romney makes a deal before (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vote4Obamain2012, askew, schnecke21

    the RNC if he cant get the magic number of delegates.

    And I think of the ones listed, Santorum for VP nominee is the most likely.

    •  I think he cuts a deal with Paul... (8+ / 0-)

      This has always been Paul's end game.  He keeps poaching caucus delegates from Santorum because Santorum doesn't have the understanding or organization when delegates are chosen.  

      Paul won't demand VP for himself or Rand.  He'll drive a much easier bargain I think  - prime time speaking gigs at the convention, proper deference shown to Paul delegates etc.  Would Romney promise full audit of the Fed?

      Paul will be seen as the savior of the convention and show party bosses that Rand and other libertarians deserve a spot at the table and in the party.  

      This is why Paul and Romney don't attack each other - they're on the same team.  Paul's delegates are Romney's delegates.  

  •  The rules were re-written (0+ / 0-)

    to prevent a Palin run if she had not maintained her popularity in the mainstream GOP. She lost that after she claimed that she was the bigger victim after the shooting of Rep Giffords.

    Not one single person thought about what would happen if the base could not unite over a choice they liked and so would end up with a default choice of one no-one really liked.

    All we have to do is laugh in their faces. The woman they wanted was so used to quitting that she withdrew before the race started. At least that makes Santorum happy.

  •  Cal is one of those pesky open primary states... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    ...I suspect there'll be some Hilarity going on there....

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:45:20 PM PST

    •  GOP primaries can close race to DTS (0+ / 0-)

      democrats just generally choose not to.

      •  Wada minnit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming

        wasn't there an open primary law passed a coupla years ago?  I specifically recall turning the air blue when I read about it in the NY Times while back in NJ with Pop....

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 05:33:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  presidential primaries are different (0+ / 0-)

          state, senate and congressional primaries put all candidates into one huge pool and send the top two to the general, irrespective of party, but presidential primaries are not bound by that rule, and parties can restrict primary ballots to members of their parties, or let DTS or other party members vote, as they see fit. democrats tend to let greens and DTS vote, the GOP vacillates but at this point will have a closed primary IIRC.

          there was a supreme court ruling on whether states could force parties to have an open primary for presidential elections, that junked the ca. 2000 open primary system, where everyone could vote for everyone.

  •  But what kind of deal would put him over? (0+ / 0-)

    Do any of the also rans really want to be VP? Ron and Newt are too old to wait for another turn at the presidency. Any job that requires Senate confirmation is probably too risky for Ron and Newt. So Rick is his best choice and would he insist on some culture war poison pill that would cinch it for Obama?

    Or, the superpac oligarchs could just buy the nomination in a smoke filled room.  

    •  Ron Paul wants his son Rand to succeed him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vidanto

      as head of his movement.  If Rand Paul got the VP nomination, that would put him in excellent position to become president at some point.  Whether or not the Romney/Rand Paul ticket won the election this year.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:59:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Paulites I know say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming

        that Rand isn't interested in VP. I don't know how credible that is -- but being on a losing ticket as #2 is a good way to derail a promising career.

      •  Although it would be wonderful (0+ / 0-)

        I'm really dubious that they will hand the VP slot to some wacko extremist like Rand Paul or Rick Santorum. In the general election, that would have a Palinesque effect. Remember also that Romney has moved to the wacko right to win primaries so he'll have to move at least a tiny bit back toward sanity to run a real race. Saddling him with a right-wing extremist as a VP candidate is going to make that very difficult to do. It would be great because I think either of those guys seals an epic defeat for the ticket.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 06:53:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rand Paul as VP wouldn't fly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, cardinal, vidanto, wu ming

    Ron Paul would squander his whole reputation for not wheeling-dealing, and for what? He knows Romney/anyone can't win in 2012.  And Romney wouldn't go for it, because whatever Rand's faults, he wants to cut defense and get the hell out of Afghanistan.

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:54:38 PM PST

    •  Why wouldn't Romney agree to cut defense (0+ / 0-)

      and get out of Afghanistan, if that's what it would take to get the nomination?  Isn't politics the art of compromise?  I thought economics was what Romney really cared about.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:57:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Romney is a cheapskate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    He wants his rivals to get out of the race, but he isn't offering them anything in return for them to do that.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:57:51 PM PST

  •  I look forward to the 60 Minutes interview (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maynard G Krebs, vidanto, Bagger, Hugin

    with Mitt Romney three years from now when he explains just how fucked up the GOP was in 2012 and how he regrets compromising on every basic human principle he ever had.  And I hope Morley Safer says "Shut the fuck up, you lying sack of shit."

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:59:15 PM PST

  •  Diary Pimp (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vidanto

    I suppose I can pimp my series of diaries on the GOP delegate math, but they haven't seemed to garner much attention so I'm not sure I will continue.
    Read here.

    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 03:59:45 PM PST

  •  "proportional" and "winner-take-all" are more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming

    complex that that.

    In California for example 159 delegates are winner take all, just at the congressional district level with 3 delegates awarded to the winner of the CD.  10 at-large delegates are winner-take-all at the state level.

    I don't get your update.  

    Each states seems to have a different system for applying the rules whether they are mostly proportional, winner-take-all or a hybrid.

    Also, because of the threshold of usually 15% - 20% for at-large delegates among many states, that tends to eliminated the 3d place candidate from being awarded any of those.  Look at Georgia for an example of how having a 3rd placer and 4th placer come in under 20% sets the winner up to receive most of the at-large delegates.

    Kos, this is good because of a focus on delegate math, but many of the detailed features of the system are going to prove some of the diary's conclusions incorrect.

    Romney is on the road to winning the nomination and sure it will take awhile to  earn the delegates but barring an enormous change, the path is quite obtainable for him.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 04:04:56 PM PST

  •  Looks like the winner-take-all states faver Romney (0+ / 0-)

    DC, Delaware, NJ, Utah, Maryland... all blue states (except Utah which is Mormon-dominated), meaning that Romney should do very well there. I'd imagine that winning all those would net him a huge chunk of delegates - maybe more than he's won so far - that would easily push him over.

    16 years old, proud progressive, Phillies phan.

    by vidanto on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 04:31:48 PM PST

  •  Couldn't the CA GOP change their rules (0+ / 0-)

    before the CA primary?

    (if they so chose to. But I don't know if they'd even want to).

    Update: Turns out California is proportionate, not winner-take-all, which makes Romney's task a little more difficult.
  •  I may be too late to this thread but could someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky Kid

    please explain to me why we don't just have a nation wide primary a year before the election?  You could still do the delegate dance, but at least it would be over at once.

    Everyone (that's willing) goes to the polls to pick their party's candidate at the same time.

    Is this ever discussed?  Is there a reason why it isn't done this way besides tradition?

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 04:56:28 PM PST

  •  Romney needs 47% of the remaining delegates (0+ / 0-)

    to clinch.

    But, he has won 56%, according to the table in the diary, so far -- many of those when it was far less clear than it is now that he is the front-runner.

    I fail to see his problem.

    Mark E. Miller // Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

    by memiller on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 05:47:48 PM PST

  •  I keep saying: the Fix has been in for a long time (0+ / 0-)

    It's one of the reasons Romney is so petulant about not having the nomination wrapped up in that inimitable "why don't you just all turn over and pretend you're enjoying it" way he has. He knows the fix has been in for him from the establishment from day one. The GOP is an oligarchy. From denying Santorum an extra delegate in Michigan to keeping Santorum and Gingrich off the ballot in Virginia to secretly adding voting Super Delegates to miscounting the Maine caucus numbers, as much of the machinery of delegate selection as they can suborn, they will. And at the end of the day Romney's going to be the nominee.

    The only novelty here is perhaps some of the GOP faithful are realizing how badly they've been screwed over and how the tea party and its supposedly independent movement are just viewed as pawns in the Great Game of GOP establishment politics. The tea party should really have started out as a genuine third party if they truly wanted to make a long term difference in American politics, because anything that goes into the GOP maw comes out as either masticated regurgitated pablum or full-digested bullshit.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 05:52:25 PM PST

  •  Mitt is a terrible liar. (0+ / 0-)

    Mitt is a 1% country-club Republican who lies to the base by posing as a severe conservative just like them, only more severe.  He is a terrible liar so they see through him and hate him for it.

    Newt Gingrich is much better liar, a born liar who will lie when the truth would do, just for fun. He tells the base that his an angry outsider just like them, in spite of being a Washington influence-peddler with an actual office on the actual K Street.  Newt's biggest mistake was telling the truth about his moon base fantasies.  He should have kept lying; he was making headway,

    Santorum and Paul aren't lying at all, which is what makes them the scariest of the bunch.  

    It is going to be a long year.

  •  What no one has really mentioned... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    Isn't it possible for Gingrich and Santorum to make a pact? Yes, Gingrich's delegates aren't enough to boost Santorum up to first place at the moment. But his delegates along with being the only credible Not-Romney in the race ... couldn't he win? Or is the West and Northwest too much for Santorum to overcome even in the best of scenarios?

    Proud supporter of nuclear power!

    by zegota on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 06:54:36 PM PST

  •  If momentum fails (0+ / 0-)

    Aren't the non-Romneys more likely to cut a deal with each other, than either one with Romney?  If Romney were in a position to need to make a deal with Santorum or Gingrich to get across the 50%+1 line, wouldn't that only be the case if, because he was shy of the majority, Gingrich + Santorum would also = 50%+1?

    I think the most likely outcome in the R nomination fight is that momentum will eventually kick in.  One of them, probably Romney but conceivably Santorum, will pick up speed and easily clear a lopsided majority of the remaining delegates.

    But if you don't believe that, or just insofar as you believe that it is possible that momentum won't kick in, and therefore none of the folks in this four-way contest get to 50%+1 on their own, you need to follow the very different logic and dynamic of that situation.  In a nomination world in which momentum kicks in and the front-runner sails into 50%+1, the frontrunner calls the shots, period, so, sure, any deal-making is Romney-centered.  But if he can't get over the line, and there are three other delegate holders out there whose aggregate delegate count does get past 50%+1, then front runner is just one of the chumps who has to cut a deal to stand a chance of winning.  If you need two of the top three's delegates to win, and any combination of two does it, then the front-runner has no advantage whatsoever.

    Bottom line, if you believe that no candidate is going to get 50%+1 on his own, that he will need some deal before or during the convention to win, then you believe that Romney's chances of being the eventual winner depend entirely on the willingness of his opponents to cut a deal with him rather than each other.  Maybe the odds of that are 50/50, but I wouldn't put them any better than 50/50, and probably quite a bit worse for Romney.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 06:54:53 PM PST

  •  Is my math off track?In no primary has a candidate (0+ / 0-)

    taken more than 40 % of the Republican vote.  It seems as long as all these candidates stay in and contiure to split the vote between them, no one could possibly get the numbers needed to avoid going to a brokered convention.

  •  That White Knight Scenario (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugin

    "If it happened, the surprise GOP nominee would emerge from a bitter convention with no campaign organization, no money, and facing a hundreds-million defining ad-blitz from the Obama campaign and its allies."

    Let's take these points from the last and move backwards.

    Well, if the R nominee is a surprise, our side won't be ready with any sort of blitz, because we won't know who's being blitzed until the last day of their convention.  We're not going to be rushing into any sort of action until we digest the totally new configuration that a surprise opponent will create.  And then when we do launch into trying to define this person, with only weeks to go until the election, there is no way we could possibly do more damage than the current crop of R candidates have already done each other and themselves.  That's exactly why this scenario would unfold, because the R field this year has destroyed itself through the umpteen festivals of pandering to their crazy base that their debates turned into.  The fact that the this new R candidate had not been forced through this gauntlet of definition by their crazy base would be his or her greatest strength, not at all a weakness.  The Rs may not want a brokered convention, but if they have to endure one because no one enters it with a majority locked up, the very best outcome they could hope for is exactly that a nominee emerge from deadlock who is not one of the tainted four they now have on offer.

    No money?  You've got to be kidding.  In this post-Citizens United world, one lone wingnut billionaire is all their  nominee will need.

    No organization?  The other side is organized all the time, vertically and horizontally, for a permanent campaign that their whole movement wages all the time everywhere over every issue, not just every four years over the presidency.  The need to put together quickly a campaign specifically for the presidential run would be a much greater handicap for our side, much less so for theirs.

    Bitter convention?  Well, if none of their four ends the primary season with a lock, if the thing has to be decided at the convention or by some deal before the convention, sure, this is going to be a more "colorful" convention than usual -- it's not going to be a coronation and festival of forced good feelings all around.  But that's true no matter who their nominee ends up being.  Probably the one sort of nominee who would face the least bitterness, resentment and rancor would be anyone but one of the four current candidates.  Any of the four only gets the crown by way of what the others will see as corrupt bargaining and betrayal.  The White Knight gets it because the convention deadlocks and can't settle on any of the four.  As long as this White Knight doesn't have his fingerprints all over the convention's inability to settle on one of the four -- and I don't see the convention needing any help to deadlock if no one enters it with a majority -- the four and their delegates have no reason for bitterness against the White Knight.

    "None of these candidates will give up their claim to the nomination to a white knight."

    I wouldn't expect them to give up such a claim, if they had such.  But they don't.  They're not heirs of the blood royal, each with a claim to the throne by birth to uphold.  They're four candidates with a certain number of delegates pledged to vote for them for a certain number of ballots.  The White Knight emerges if and only if the voting goes for many ballots and none of the four is even moving towards getting to 50%+1.  What the four original candidates might want to claim at that point becomes more and more irrelevant the more ballots they go without putting it away.  Unless the rules have changed since the last time one of these things went more than one ballot, the last legal claim to delegate loyalty disappears after the third ballot, and many bound delegates only owe a first ballot vote to their candidate.  After the third ballot at the latest, the candidates can claim all they want, but it won't amount to a warm bucket of that stuff Garner had so little use for.

    I think the most likely outcome here is that momentum finally kicks in and one candidate, probably Romney, racks up the remaining delegates by a wide and easy margin, with plenty to spare past 50%+1, and that well before the convention.  But if it does go to the end of delegate selection and no one has 50%+1, or even close enough that superdelegates can't step in to end it, I don't think a deal among the four is the most likely outcome.  I don't see them coming to agreement on power sharing on their own, I don't think either Santorum or Gingrich is particularly interested in being Romney's VP, and I don't see the party establishment coming together to nudge them towards a deal with each other.  A surprise candidate has its potential disadvantages, but none seem to me nearly so great as the actual baggage that all four non-surprise candidates now carry.  The least rancourous way to end this, and get a fresh unsullied candidate in the bargain, will be to let the process go to its natural conclusion.  Let the convention deadlock and be unable to name any one of the four the winner.  Only if it ends that way, with the public process resulting in rejection of all four, will their side be able to get a fresh candidate without recriminations of conspiracy and betrayal.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 10:41:34 PM PST

  •  very nice (0+ / 0-)

    analysis of why a brokered convention may have some benefits for the GOPer.

    However I agree with you that the chance of 50+1 pre-convention or after a couple of rounds precludes this eventuality from occurring.

    As you note: "The White Knight emerges if and only if the voting goes for many ballots and none of the four is even moving towards getting to 50%+1."

    That situation will not arise, for many reasons.

  •  Using that TX article as reference is pretty weak. (0+ / 0-)

    That poll is weeks old, and, TX looks like they won't have their primary until late May or early June. Had they been able to be part of Super Tuesday as originally planned the entire race right now might have been very, very different with Santorum walloping the field. But, it didn't happen and I think Santorum's lead will evaporate there as it has in almost all the States so far.

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