Mitt Romney's campaign is still insisting they won last night even though they lost. "The math is very simple," they say. "Tuesday’s results actually increased Governor Romney’s delegate lead, while his opponents only moved closer to their date of mathematical elimination."

But while Mitt Romney did get more delegates than either of his opponents, he didn't get enough delegates to move closer to the nomination. In fact, according to the math, the task ahead of him is now slightly harder than it was before Tuesday.

I put together a chart illustrating what percentage of remaining delegates Mitt Romney would need to win in order to secure the nomination. The chart shows that number for each day on which there was a primary or caucus contest, using the Associated Press delegate count on the New York Times website at 1 PM ET on Wednesday.

As you can see from the chart, Super Tuesday was a good math day for Romney. He went from needing 49.1 percent of the remaining delegates to needing just 47.7 percent. But yesterday's results reversed that trend: he now needs to win 48.1 percent. That's still an achievable goal, but it's slightly harder than 47.7 percent. On that metric—which Romney's campaign has touted as being the most important metric of the campaign—Mitt Romney is now further away from the nomination than he was before yesterday's results.

The reason is simple: Even though he won more than either of his rivals individually, Romney didn't win more than his rivals combined, and when that happens, it's a bad night for him no matter how you slice the math.

The flip side of this is that it will now be slightly easier for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to deny Mitt Romney a delegate majority. Before last night, they needed to win a combined 52.4 percent of delegates remaining. Now they need 51.9 percent. Here's the chart:

Romney's campaign might respond that Santorum and Gingrich are now further away from winning the nomination than they were entering the night. That's true. Before Tuesday, Santorum needed 62.7 percent of remaining delegates and Gingrich needed 70.2 percent of remaining delegates. Now they need 64.8 percent and 73.8 percent, respectively. Of course, it's also true that Gingrich delegates would be most likely to favor Santorum, and vice versa, so that math might not be quite as important as Romney would like to believe.

The bottom line is that after last night, each of the candidates now needs to win a higher percentage of remaining delegates to secure the nomination than they did before. That means they all had bad nights, at least in terms of the math. And that pretty much sums up the story of the 2012 Republican nomination battle.

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Comment Preferences

• So, by your math(19+ / 0-)

they are all losers.

I think you're on to something.

I hereby propose Lewison's Lemma:

No matter how you add it up, these candidates are losers

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

• I think I've solved the equation!(7+ / 0-)

G + R + S < 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.

[ Parent ]

• Except that's no equation(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
nota bene, tb mare, Anonyman

That, my friend, is an inequality.

I prefer the stronger:
G << 0
S << 0
R << 0
P << i

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

[ Parent ]

• Clever to disguise this as a math equation(4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
tb mare, nota bene, speak2me, rja

so that Republicans can't understand it.

God be with you, Occupiers. God IS with you.

[ Parent ]

• "Nobody" is the winner(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle, blue aardvark

At least in the sense that last night's results make it more likely that nobody will have enough delegates to cinch the nomination before the convention in Tampa.
That's fine with me.  I've been paying attention to conventions, or at least the nominating process, since 1960, and I have yet to see a convention need to go past the first vote.  This may be the year!  And I'm tickled pink to see it's the Republicans facing the possibility, especially with all the bad blood they've already shown.
What's more, the obstructionist tactics that they've been perfecting in Congress may rub off on the convention delegates, if only by force of habit.  That could lead to some major infighting.  Pass the popcorn.

We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

[ Parent ]

• viz: "zombie economics" "how many delegates go to(4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Wee Mama, blue aardvark, tb mare, Matt Z

whom, exactly?"

science, also, they're not so good at.

• Well, it is a science(5+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
joey c, nota bene, tb mare, mdmslle, Matt Z

And we all know how they feel about science - just a snobby elitist way to contradict the Bible.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

[ Parent ]

• you beat me to it by 14 seconds. (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle, Matt Z

"You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

[ Parent ]

• it's like science - know to have a liberal bias. (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames, tb mare, Matt Z

"You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

[ Parent ]

• Yes, just like derivatives!(0+ / 0-)

Which are, as everyone knows, liberal elitist propaganda that are designed to help the uber-wealthy to become even more stinkier wealthier faster.

Which makes perfect sense.

• I love math!(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Wee Mama, blue aardvark, Matt Z

not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

• I thought maths had a liberal biais(4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Wee Mama, blue aardvark, mdmslle, Matt Z

"Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

• Math has a liberal bias(5+ / 0-)

Maths are owned by Karl Rove.

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

[ Parent ]

• or across the pond... nt(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
blue aardvark
• It's too fuzzy(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames, LaurenMonica, Matt Z

maiks brane hert

• Just like "fuzzy" logic...(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
LaurenMonica

and if you got that, then clearly -- you are a liberal elitist left-mongering socialist commie.

:)

Here.

• Nice graph!(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Mogolori, terjeanderson, tb mare

I like the brokered convention column.

• Thanks Jed.(0+ / 0-)

The original graph is from The New York Times. I just added the one row. I think that's okay, but want to make sure I give credit where due.

• If Romney loses Illinois, it's hard to see(7+ / 0-)

how he gets the 50% or so he needs to wrap this thing up before the convention. In fact, I'd guess Romney would end up far short of this total, because looking at the primary calendar, many of his worst states are coming up in May. After a May like Clinton's February in 2008, Romney would be lucky to pull off a win in California a the beginning of June.

• You can't mention(5+ / 0-)

May, though, without mentioning April:

DC, MD, WI, CT, DE, NY, PA, RI. . .

And June:

CA, MT, NJ, NM, SD, and UT.

Those are overwhelmingly Romney states, and many are either winner-take-all or a hybrid system that's likely to give Romney a vast majority of its delegates.

• really good point(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
cardinal

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

[ Parent ]

• Not as overwhelmingly Romney as May is Santorum(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle, IM, Losty

Romney will probably win MD/DC, but will also likely lose WI so the beginning of the month should be a wash narrative wise.

April 24th is a pretty good day for Romney, thought because PA is in there too, his actual delegate gain from that day might be small, and he probably won't get any big momentum from these because they will be in the North East, so could be discounted to an extent.

California is not an overwhelmingly Romney state. It probably leans Romney, but since Santorum will come into CA with the big mo, he could easily take it. Romney will win UT, and probably NJ and NM, but he'll also probably lose MT and SD.

On the other hand, Santorum should dominate May:
He should easily take IN, NC, and WV at the beginning of the month. NE should also be his mid month, and Oregon's a toss up. Then comes AR and KY, clear Santorum states. Last but not least is TX, right at the end of a big run of momentum for Santorum; I'd guess he'd win there by a big margin.

• You could be(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
IM

right; but a lot of the discrepancies between our takes on the race will be resolved on account of who has momentum at the critical points. For example, I could see Romney winning IN, since he also won MI and OH (IL will be a crucial test of this). Also, TX is as much Western as it is Southern, so I don't see it as automatic Santorum territory. It's hugely expensive to advertise here, so Romney will be able to do what he did in Florida. And I don't see Santorum coming anywhere close in CA, unless the momentum has shifted drastically. There's just no evidence he has any sort of foothold in the West. Romney's big-money conservatism is tailor-made for the Orange County brand of Republicanism, though I could see Santorum doing well in the Central Valley.

For the sake of chaos, I hope you're right. But I still see Romney with the clear upper hand in the "will he or won't he reach 1144?" race, short of a momentum shift larger than we've seen so far.

• Indiana I think should be even better for Santorum(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
terjeanderson, cardinal

than OH and MI, because its more rural. But as you said, the whole thing depends on momentum. I don't see many opportunities for Romney to build momentum though; late April is his best opportunity, but even that shouldn't give him that much momentum.

Polls out of Texas have been quite poor for Romney, and Romney hasn't done particularly well in the Non-mormon west, so I don't think Texas being western as well as southern is a big help to Romney.

Polling out of California has shown it being a few points more towards Romney than the nation as a whole, so if Santorum has a lot of momentum and a modest national lead at the end of May, he could take it.

If Romney wins IL though, getting to 1144 might be a lot easier for him because he could come out of March with some momentum.

• yep. but look! JUNE!!! Duuuuuuude! that's(4+ / 0-)

effin awesome!

so April goes Mitt's way.

May goes SOME OTHER WAY

June goes Mitt's way.

JUNE!!!!!!

per-fect.

[ Parent ]

• That's true.(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames, mdmslle

We're not even halfway through the chaos. Woo hoo!

• And let's not forget how the establishment(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle

thought that a protracted primary would be "good" for choosing a nominee. They saw what McCain did back in 2008 and figured -- "hey -- what could go wrong...?"

Welcome to Itchy and Scratchy land -- where nothing can possiblye go wrong... actually, that's the first thing that's ever gone wrong...

• Mitt is trying to multiply by one --(0+ / 0-)

and trying to divide by zero.

• Here we go again...(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle

Okay. I've posted this comment multiple times, and I've yet to see anyone really pounce on it. So, I'll probably just give up on it -- but I figured I might try ONE LAST TIME to rescue my (incredibly awesome) humor here.

You can't divide by zero.

You cannot. It is mathematically impossible to do. Why? I don't actually know why -- other than that when you feed a mathematical phrase into any computer on the planet -- yes, even (and especially) old computers like, say, from the 1950s -- that has a "zero" in its divisor --

you get an error.

I believe that it is because, well, you can only divide by a number that is an integer that has a positive or negative value. Dividing by zero is like dividing a field of crops by using, well, nothing. You know --- no plow, no horse, no tractor, no shovel -- nothing.

What I find to be immensely funny is how Romney keeps on talking about mathematics like it's his religion -- and yet everyone knows that his actualreligion might not specifically forbid the use of math -- but also doesn't particularly mind itself with mathematics.

And to top it off, the Republicans have practiced, for the longest time (for as long as I've been alive anyway) what they like to call the "51% rule" -- meaning divide and conquer.

But you CAN'T DIVIDE BY ZERO.

And Mitt Romney is, if nothing else, a big, fat ZERO.

:)

• does a rec count as a pounce? nt(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames

[ Parent ]

• I'll take whatever I can get...(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle

Just like Mitt Romney (ugh shiver)

• I'd like to see the Gingrichian math graph(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames, Marie

overlaying this one. They are both consulting Professor Rove for the numbers, I think. Your real world calculations are useless at clown college, Jed.

• On that note --(0+ / 0-)

Can anyone tell me whether Gingrich could, legitimately, hand all of his delegates to Santorum?

I have no idea how things work in the 8th dimension.

• You can't (1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames

"hand" delegates to another candidate. The best you can do is release them and recommend that they vote for whom you endorsed.

• Okay. So why doesn't he(0+ / 0-)

do that?

OH -- that's right -- I forgot (well, not really):

He's a big, fat, asshole in a (bad) suit.

• In addition to (1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames

the "asshole in a bad suit" factor, he also has a massive ego (which I suppose is implied in your comment). But more importantly, his aides have said on more than one occasion that he will do anything to avoid Santorum getting the nomination, because they think he can't win in the fall.

• Okay! So then Newt is doing exactly what we(0+ / 0-)

want for him to do then...

...which is really starting to make my skin do weird stuff. The flesh on my fingers is literally turning inside-out, my fingernails are falling off, and my hair is suddenly becoming frayed.

• Fortunately for your health,(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames

I don't think he is doing what we want. If he were to exit, Santorum would gain some (but not nearly all) of his supporters. For those of us who want a long, bloody battle between Santorum and Romney, that would probably be the best scenario.

• Maybe -- maybe not.(0+ / 0-)

Honestly? ANYTHING that impedes Mitt's march to the nomination is good. Even having Paul hanging around in the shadows isn't a horrible thing either...

• The best he can do is release them(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames

And then they can do whatever they want.

• Brokered Convention!(11+ / 0-)

I want yelling, screaming and fistfights on the floor of the convention. I want Glenn Beck there without a shirt and with a bandanna around his head like Rambo. I want disgusted Fox News hosts confused about whose side they should be on.

This head movie makes my eyes rain.

• Will Mitt Get to 1144(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames
• I see you're (5+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Cedwyn, Satya1, Armando, SammyJames, Matt Z

doubling down on your fuzzy math. Oh well.

As I pointed out in your last post, the fact that Romney needs a slightly higher percentage of the remaining delegates is wholly irrelevant to what sort of a night he had, unless you somehow believe that he should yield exactly the same percentage of delegates in every state. He'll win some with 100% (Utah = winner take all), and he'll lose some (30% or so in the deep South, just as predicted). It's just not relevant if you're trying to assess what the evening did to his chances of getting to 1144.

• i agree(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
cardinal, Armando

his required percentage take is a meaningless measure, since the remaining votes/delegates are in states that are more comfortable for romney.

and math is math; no matter what the optics of last night are, the delegate counts break down the same.

Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

[ Parent ]

• There's a problem(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
cardinal, Cedwyn

in that the delegate numbers are"fuzzy" because we don't distinguish between pledged and unpledged delegates. If we take the 495 delegates the AP says Romney has, and assume there are 1,093 remaining pledged delegates up for grabs, as Green Papers does, then Romney needs 649 of those, or 59%, to get to 1,144. Ideally, these numbers would be shown graphically using bars to represent the uncertainty inherent to delegate counts.

"I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

[ Parent ]

• There's an even BIGGER problem --(0+ / 0-)

NOBODY CARES.

Seriously -- nobody gives a flying rat's ass what the "final number" is. Nobody gives a flying fuck, because they're ALL a bunch of fucking YAHOOS.

Rilly.

But don't take my rant personally -- I'm not coming down on you. I'm simply pointing out how the media couldn't care less, and in a way, it IS too bad, and you ARE correct to point out this stuff. It's sad, because the entire political season since January 3rd or whatever it was has seemed like the dog-and-pony show (or the Donkey and Elephant show -- or maybe just the Elephant show) that it really is.

Meanwhile, people are debasing each other all over the planet.

Let's hope that something happens that brings nations and people within them together -- soon.

• another good point(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Armando, cardinal

I want to see this dragged out as long as possible too, but the contorted math and assumptions we're playing with at DK looks like mere wishful thinking sometimes.

Frankly I think Romney did about as well as expected despite his blowhard pronouncements.  The fact that he hung in there with these two southern states as well as he did is keeping him right on target as far as I'm concerned.

It would take Santorum to win the popular vote in Illinois to get everyone to rethink the nomination IMHO.  And even if that occurred Santorum would not take the most delegates in IL.

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

[ Parent ]

• If by which you mean "fuzzy logic"(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
cardinal

then they are definitely doomed -- the lot of them.

They don't believe in logic. Only in fuzzy!!!

Warm & Fuzzies!!! Just like we used to have at day camp!!! (Which is exactly what the convention is going to be like -- a day camp. Yes, a single day, upon which they will have lots and lots of camp...)

• romney's changes of getting to(3+ / 0-)

1144 are good but not guaranteed. That's all that matters.

I understand your point about the percentages cited in this diary. I find it a bit weird. But at the end of the day, every race that romney doesn't do better than he did last night (which is an awful lot of them) makes it harder for him to get to 1144.

Ideally he should not have had to split delegates virtually evenly in MI. Or AL or MS. So these half-wins make it harder for him to get there. And if he keeps up with these weak wins he may find that he can't get there at all.

Frankly I'm not sure what else Romney can do. Clearly the ad war and 11:1 spending is not as effective as he needs it to be against opponents with far less money. And in addition to that, the poll numbers are NEVER on target. He consistently underperforms even the pre-polls and exit polls. People are voting for santo but aren't admitting it when asked. That's a hell of a place to be for Mitt and his team.

I'm not sure what he can do.

[ Parent ]

• I see your point. Surely, Romney would (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Satya1, mdmslle

have loved to yield more delegates last night. And there's no question that, in balance, he's the weakest frontrunner from a major party in my lifetime.

But, to project delegates in any meaningful way, you have to set up a baseline expectation for each state (see, for example, the Frontloading HQ blog, or a couple of our own diarists who do projections). Last night, as we would expect, Romney's baseline was very low because MS and AL, by all accounts, should be among his worst states. By winning 1/3 of the delegates, he did as well as he needed to do in those states to keep up with the projections that have him attaining just over 1144.

Now, if he loses IL or another upcoming race he's supposed to win, that will be a game changer.

• agreed. we'll see what happens. overall(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
cardinal

its gotta suck to be him right now. He thought he'd be done with this by now, I;m sure. Hell, the man started out in November running against Obama, as if.

Pfft.

[ Parent ]

• Santo/Newt 2012!!!!(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Hohenzollern

GOP dream ticket!  LOL!

• Mitt is better off with Newt out...(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames, nota bene

Even if the Newt votes go 3/5th to Santorum because Mitt is in a race to get 1144 votes more that to beat Santorum at this point.  He's better off losing 55-45 than winning 35-30-25-10 because he gets more delegates with the loss.  Same could be said in states he'd win - he might win by a closer margin, but he also would come away with more delegates.

• romney's a liar. i don't believe i've ever seen(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames, Matt Z

a politician lie with the impunity he does. and that's saying something.

it's as if he believes that saying something makes it so. I realize that in his world, often, that probably is the case and there's just not a lot fo folks around who will say, "No, MItt. That's not true" so he's used to just making strong affirmative sounding statements and letting those around him scramble amongst themselves to MAKE it true or cover up how FALSE it actually is.

That's not going to work in the general.

This guy is in for a load of ass-hurt.

• NO!!! HE'S TELLING THE TRUTH!!!(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle, Matt Z

He's DEFINITELY telling the truth! He said that he might win Mississippi, and he might have won! He also said that he was the most conservative candidate in the entire field of candidates -- and since he's the only (candidate) then he is, by golly, the MOST CONSERVATIVE ONE!!!

Look -- you just need to understand the guy. I mean, for crying out loud -- he's been campaigning for FIVE YEARS. DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?! HE'S THE NOMINEE!!! HE HAS BEEN RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN LONGER THAN THE CURRENT PRESIDENT'S SINGLE TERM!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOP--

(We apologize for the interruption. We will return shortly to our regularly-scheduled commentary as soon as Sammy James has been dunked in a vat of hydrochloric acid and is forced to repeat, about 1,000 times, "I am so poor that it hurts.")

Thank you.

• this makes no sense(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle, SammyJames
• OH, but it DOES!!! E=MC Nuggets!!!(0+ / 0-)

Really!

No -- DOUBLE-Speak unthought double-DOUBLE Truth!

• WHAT MAKES NO SENSE IS(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Matt Z

E=MC Hammer.

It's HAMMER TIME!!!

Time to get hammered...

• Ah, but it makes as much sense...(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Armando

...as Romney's claim that the delegate math means he's locked things down.

The real reason Romney will probably win the nomination is that he's their best candidate and has the best organization and has by far the most money—not because of math. Yet his campaign continues to say math is the reason he'll win.

• I liked your other post better(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Jed Lewison
• On the Other Hand(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames

This stretch of the primary season is suppose to be a rough patch for Romney. Romney was expected to lose ground in the second half of March, and yet he has won the plurality of the votes since Super Tuesday. From this metric, Romney won because he did better than expected and still maintains a comfortable majority delegate lead. In addition, Romney can expect to win the great majority of the superdelegates.

I actually believe that we are better off facing Romney than Santorum. Romney is weak in the Midwest and if he won wouldn't move the political center as Santorum could. Right now, I believe that Santorum is the most dangerous man in America and woman's rights would be set back a century if Santorum would get elected president with majorities in both congress and the Supreme Court.

• Psst... they're all going to lose...(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Nice Ogre

Don't worry. My dad last night said that, although he is as rabid an Obama supporter as I am, he would almost prefer to see Newt Gingrich become president (ONLY if a Republican could win this year).

I agree with him, by the way -- because Newt Gingrich is at least intelligent. He's a big, fat liar, an asshole, and a loser -- but he isn't quite AS dumb as dirt as the rest of the GOP nominee candidates.

So -- in other words -- the best hope that the Republicans have going forward is the guy with the fewest delegates, the worst unfavorables, and can't even win on his own turf.

Reality bites -- fantasy sucks.

• there's no question romney will be the nominee.(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
SammyJames, IM

BUT

Romney was expected to lose ground in the second half of March, and yet he has won the plurality of the votes since Super Tuesday. From this metric, Romney won because he did better than expected
The problem is that delegate count is only one metric. Yes, it's the metric that will determin the nominee, but if you ask people whether Mitt has "lost ground" since, say, January, the common answer is going to be YES.

In November and December and even January he was busy running against Obama. He was inevitable. But the optics now are very different. And it IS a metric. He will be the nominee. It seems even GOP voters realize that. But he's in really bad shape. It's lost the air of inevitability and he's clearly not running against Obama anymore.

[ Parent ]

• Look -- they can't play fair with REAL elections(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle

so why should they be "fair" with the cartoon network that comprises the entire GOP machine?

Seriously -- if anyone thinks that Romney is "destined" for anything, they need to get an EEG first, and then do a bit of research on the last forty years or so of Republican hegemony over politics in this country.

Starting with the Watergate scandal, and ending with the demise of the Cheneyocracy, we see that we've had five six (counting Cheney) Republican presidents and two Democratic ones. The biggest scandals in the two Dem presidencies were an inefficacious use of our military in the first one (brought on by a blunder involving geopolitics), and a blowjob in the second.

Compare this to the at-times dire predicaments that we've faced under R's rules, and you see how they can and will eat their young. Live, preferably.

• On the Other Third Hand (May be Foot)(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
mdmslle

My conversation with conservatives makes me believe that they felt that "this time it was different." There was a feeling that the anti-establishment was going to rise up and overthrow the establishment. Back last summer and through the fall, there was a feeling that once a credible anti-Romney candidate was found (Most likely Perry) Romney was going to have a real rough time winning the nomination.

But you are right, after Romney won the Florida primary, there was a feeling that Romney would cruise on to the nomination.

• Most counts are overestimating actual delegates(4+ / 0-)
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SammyJames, nota bene, yellowdog, IM

While I don't buy the Paulista theory that somehow they will magically overwhelm the final stages of delegate selection in various caucus states, I do think there is a core of truth in some of what they (and to some degree Santorum) claim may go on in those states.

Most of the media delegate counters (CNN, NYT, etc) are arbitrarily assigning delegate allocation in the early caucus states based on proportion of the vote received in the straw polls conducted at the precinct level caucuses.

In reality, we really don't know how those delegates will turn out to be distributed. They represent about 200 of the delegate total - the states of Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, Washington, Alaska, and most of the Wyoming delegation. Right now CNN is assigning 66 of these to Romney, 77 to Santorum, 9 to Gingrich, and 38 to Paul... but those numbers are simply fiction.

Unlike the Democratic rules, where the presidential preference votes at precinct caucuses are strictly used to allocate delegates to the next stage of delegate selection (county, district and/or state conventions), there is no formal relationship between those votes and delegates in the Republican rules. Indeed, because of party rules that prohibited most states from holding any binding caucuses before Super Tuesday, they explicitly cannot be used to determine delegates.

The result is that no one really knows what the make-up of delegates to the next level of delegate selection is, as all of the delegates selected have no candidate designation behind their names.

Rather than assuming these precinct,  county, etc delegates reflect presidential preference votes, the reality is far more unpredictable. It is possible that in some precincts a candidate who narrowly won was organized enough to make sure that they elected all of the delegates out of that precinct - but it is equally possible that they weren't organized at all and that more committed activists stuck after the preference vote to make sure a runner-up candidate swept those delegates (as the Paul people claim).

No media organization is tracking the actual presidential preferences of these precinct and county delegates as the process moves forward - so their assigning of delegates based on preference votes is nothing more than a potentially very misguided guess.

They also don't account for the ways that campaigns can make deals to see to it that their delegates are elected.

For example, even if the precinct delegates in Maine exactly reflected the straw poll vote, nothing would stop the Paul campaign (36%) and the Santorum forces (18%) from banding together to elect a slate of delegates that denied Romney (38%) from winning any national convention delegates. (That happened in 2008 in West Virginia, where the McCain forces (16%) at the state convention threw their support to Huckabee (33%) to prevent Romney (41%) from winning the delegation).

I don't pretend to know whether successful "Anybody but Romney" coalitions will manage to block him winning delegates at the state level, any more than I know that Romney's establishment support will allow him to dominate even in states where he had weak caucus showings. I don't know if Ron Paul's secret delegate strategy will produce more delegates than he is currently being credited with, or if local Gingrich delegates will join the Santorum forces. I don't know if Santorum will benefit because his hard right activist base is more likely to show up and vote at these upcoming meetings, or if Romney's party regulars and superior organization will enable him to persevere in these meetings.

I don't know any of those things - but neither do CNN, the NYT, Chuck Todd, or anyone else who pretends to tell us how the delegates from these early caucus states will be distributed. But I do know that they are applying simplistic formulae to a very dense and complex process of delegate selection and inexact RNC rules. That means about 200 of the delegates they are assigning to candidates should, at the very least, be presented with a huge asterisk.

(One other variable to be considered - if Romney goes into the convention with less delegates than the combined anybody but Romney candidates, he may be vulnerable to a challenge to his winner-take-all delegations in Florida and Arizona. Both of these states violated RNC rules against winner take all primaries before the end of March, and as a result, could face a credentials challenge. His opponents might attempt to use this in an effort to weaken him further at the convention. Anyone remember the battle over the California delegation between McGovern and the ABM coalition in 1972?)

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

• The one thing that I DON'T doubt(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
terjeanderson

is that there are plots forming right now on several sides of this nomination process.

Remember -- just because they're paranoid doesn't mean that nobody is out to -- well -- to GET them.

• What will the convention vote require?(0+ / 0-)

Can a candidate win with, say, 40% to Gingrich's and Santorum's 30% each?  (Made-up numbers just for sake of example).  Or does Romney require 50%+1 on the first vote?  I can see him maintaining a plurality over Gingrich and Santorum, particularly since California and New York haven't voted yet (they haven't, right?), but it seems that jumping above 50%+1 will be difficult.

Is your math above based on the need to maintain 50%+1?

"What Washington needs is adult supervision" - Barack Obama