Search This Blog

Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Math

Santorum got the headlines for winning Mississippi and Alabama. But  Romney seems to have won more delegates for the night.  From this morning's RCP count:







R
S
G
P

50
11
19
12
0

40
12
13
12
0

20
8
3
1
0

9
9
0
0
0

Total



40
35
25



Romney screwed up by letting expectations rise about Mississippi and Alabama.  But the result vindicates his decision to follow the Obama 2008 strategy of steadily building up a delegate count by getting a big chunk of big primaries and overwhelming chunks of smaller caucuses.

Byron York lays out Gingrich's strategy: keep Romney from winning 1,144 delegates and then overtake him in a contested convention.
"Our goal first is to keep Romney well below 1,000," Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said an hour before Gingrich addressed a small crowd of disappointed supporters gathered at the Wynfrey Hotel. "It doesn't have to be 1,000, or 1,050 -- it has to be below 1,100." If Gingrich succeeds, Hammond continued, "This will be the first time in our party in modern politics that we're going to go to the convention floor."
...
To buttress the case, top Gingrich aide Randy Evans sent a memo to reporters on Tuesday noting that the Republican race is about to reach its precise mid-point in the awarding of delegates. By the time the race reaches Louisiana on March 24, about half of the required 1,144 delegates will have been awarded. Will Romney win at least half of those, or 572 delegates? If not, then what is the case that Romney is the inevitable nominee?
"Mathematically, the numbers are just not there," says the Evans memo. "Instead, with four candidates remaining, the GOP nomination now moves into uncharted waters, with history in the making."
The Romney campaign disputes Gingrich's calculation: "His math is wrong -- we've won OVER 50 percent of the delegates thus far," writes one Romney aide. But the fact is, Romney's lead is not overwhelming, as long as a rival candidate is thinking not about overtaking Romney but just about keeping him from reaching 1,144. Whatever the case, Gingrich's delegate argument is a rationale for his staying in the race, even after losing two states, Alabama and Mississippi, that some Gingrich advisors called must-win, at least before he didn't win them.