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.
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.
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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:
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.