Being somewhat of a politics-geek I’ve been thinking why the Romney camp’s pushing the idea he’s the sole inevitable winner of the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) nominating process; the only answer I can come up with is because he’s nothing of the kind and they’re trying to weaken his opponent’s base. They’ve come to understand the longer Rick Santorum and Newton Leroy Gingrich hang on the fewer delegates their guy wins.
If you run the numbers – specifically the number of delegates yet to be won – it’s abundantly clear Romney’s the only one who can still win the nomination outright prior to the GOTP convention 27 – 30 Aug 12; but it’s not very clear at all if he’ll be able to do so, in fact the odds are fast becoming anything but in his favor. There are 878 delegates left to be picked up by the candidates and 1,144 needed for victory; Romney’s picked up 455 delegates to date and still needs to pick up 691 delegates to win, or roughly 80% of all the remaining delegates. If you eliminate the “winner take all” primaries won so far he’s averaging about 33% of delegates, and that’s not going to get it done; even if he wins all the “winner take all” primaries – which he may, but is doubtful – if Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich remain in the race it doesn’t look probable for Romney, and thus a brokered convention is looming more and more on the horizon.
There are 126 so-called “super delegates” available at the GOTP Convention, made up of state chairs and additional RNC types, but they’re not necessarily going all to Romney, especially considering his “popularity” within the party; even if we were to count all the super delegates to Mitt, he only takes the nomination at that point by a mere 50 or so delegates. Santorum or Gingrich could very much act as spoilers sending this into a brokered convention. At any rate, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Mitt’s the nominee. Not just yet.
Of course the only possible way for Santorum to win now is in a brokered convention and that’s what he’s aiming at, he knows he can’t win any other way; Newt’s reason for hanging on is pure and simple, he hates Romney’s guts for the character attacks following the South Carolina primary; so at this point it’s all about keeping Romney from winning. Ron Paul’s still hanging in there but he’s pretty much inconsequential, basically just siphoning off delegates here and there. Romney’s basically in a begging position where he needs the others to fall out.