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Third, Y’all

Jim Burroway

March 14th, 2012

My favorite headline of the day came from the Associated Press yesterday morning: “Voting in Alabama, Mississippi could clarify race.” As if. If anything’s clear, it’s that Republican voters don’t want anybody to win the nomination, and it looks like they just might get their way.

AL MS HI
Santorum 35% 33% 25%
Gingrich 29% 31% 11%
Romney 29% 30% 45%
Paul 5% 4% 18%

The man with the money, the candidate with not only every issued covered but every position for each issue, the establishment’s favorite who who came in second in the race for the 2008 nomination and is therefore “next” — that’s who came in third in Alabama and Mississippi. Third! That’s, you know, after second. Ronmey managed to pull in a first place showing in the Hawaii caucuses, and he also captured all nine delegates in the American Samoan caucuses.

In this race, every delegate counts. The delegate count, which is always an approximation, looks like this according to CNN.

Delegates
Romney 489
Santorum 234
Gingrich 139
Paul 66

A total of 1,144 delegates are needed to win the nomination. It’s hard to see Romney getting there before the convention. According to the CNN count, there are still 1,356 delegates, including superdelegates, up for grabs. Romney needs to win 48% of all the remaining delegates to capture the nomination. The next big prize is Illinois, which if Michigan and Ohio are any indication, means that Romney will probably split that state. Whether its enough to make up for the loss he’s likely to receive in Louisiana and the Missouri caucuses, it’s hard to say. April will be kinder to Romney, with Deleware, Maryland, D.C., New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island coming up, but Santorum is likely to win Pennsylvania. Wisconsin may end up a tie like Ohio. But the primaries go south, literally, in May, with contests in Nebraska, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas. That will be rough territory for Romney.

The only way he can win is for the superdelegates to step in and throw their weight behind Romney. That is a very real possibility. Romney’s picked up some powerful endorsements in the party, but those endorsement’s haven’t meant much when it comes to votes. Santorum  or Gingrich won despite major establishment endorsements for Romney in Tennessee (Gov. Bill Haslam), Oklahoma (Sen. Tom Coburn), South Carolina (Gov. Nikki Haley), Minnesota (former Gov. Tim Pawlenty) and Kansas (former Sen. Bob Dole)

But as hard is it will be for Romney to wrap up the nomination, it’ll be even harder for anyone else to catch up and surpass him. If Gingrich’s ego were to somehow deflate like a popped balloon and all of his delegates went to Santorum, he’d only increase his haul to 373. (And there’s no way Paul’s giving up his delegates.) In the unlikely event that happens, Santorum would still have to pick up 57% of the delegates outstanding. Without it, he needs to win 67% of those remaining. Gingrich needs to pick up 74% and Paul needs 79%. So it means that when the Republicans hit Tampa this summer, there will still probably be a lot of horse trading going on.

Comments

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Lynn David
March 14th, 2012 | LINK

Hate to even think it but should Romney not get a clear majority, it could be that Gingrich (and possibly Paul?) would release his delegates for Santorum. Though you’d think the back-room dealing would seek to annul such an idea.

Ben In Oakland
March 14th, 2012 | LINK

Romney did well in samoa and Hawaii because of the mormon connection, the same thing that queered it for him in THE SOUTH.

JohnAGJ
March 14th, 2012 | LINK

As long as Santorum doesn’t get the nomination, that’s all that matters to me in this. Romney is a used car salesman but isn’t the nightmare IMO that Santorum is.

Gene in L.A.
March 14th, 2012 | LINK

Anyone who wants the President to be re-elected should hope for Santorum or anyone else but Romney to win. None of them would have a chance in the general election. Romney’s the only one who can make it a horse-race.

TwirlyGirly
March 14th, 2012 | LINK

JohnAGJ wrote:

“As long as Santorum doesn’t get the nomination, that’s all that matters to me in this.”

I agree 100%.

Gene in L.A. wrote:

“Anyone who wants the President to be re-elected should hope for Santorum or anyone else but Romney to win.”

I agree 100%

And therein lies the problem. At this point, it’s a roll of the dice either way. I’m not too fond of having my future, and the future of my country, determined by a roll of the dice.

Both points of view are valid. Santorum is a nightmare, but it’s possible enough people realize this they’ll vote to re-elect President Obama even if they don’t like him, just because they’re scared of Santorum. Or, maybe they really don’t care about – or believe – Santorum will actually do the stuff he’s said he wants to do, and they’ll vote for Santorum anyway.

If Romney gets the nomination, we don’t have to worry about Santorum. But, will those who hate President Obama care enough about marriage equality, abortion rights and birth control to NOT vote for Romney? Not to mention, Romney is snuggling up far too close to the Christian Reconstructionists, and that makes me really nervous.

Who knows? It’s scary either way.

Timothy Kincaid
March 14th, 2012 | LINK

Yesterday at the post office a man and a Russian immigrant woman were politely debating some issue – I think involving previously soviet states. The one thing they agreed upon was that they strongly supported Romney. As did some woman walking by who overheard and chimed in.

It’s the first time this political season that I’ve heard strangers discuss candidates and, I think, the first time I’ve heard anyone actually enthusiastic about Romney.

mike/
March 14th, 2012 | LINK

y’all know how funny this really is?

these southern morons in the repug party were so frightened that John F Kennedy would bow to the Vatican when he ran for president they put up one stink after another & pulled out all the stops.

yesterday, they voted for a person who not only is an out-and-out PAPIST but is tied to Opus Dei! an fascist RC organization, if you read about it, that would do anything & everything to reverse the Protestant Revolution!

do they think Frothy’s going to stop at contraception and taking away choice? he’ll take away choices, all right, but not the ones they are thinking of.

get out your hair shirts & cilices, people! you are gonna have to atone big time…

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