Santorum And Gingrich Cannot Win The Nomination

Josh Putnam does some delegate math and argues that it’s impossible for either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich to get the majority of delegates needed to win the Republican nomination for President:

The bottom line here is that Romney has enough of a delegate advantage right now and especially coming out of today’s contests that it is very unlikely that anyone will catch him, much less catch him and get to 1144. The latter seems particularly far-fetched given the above scenarios. And that is a problem in this race. Well, a problem for Gingrich and Santorum anyway. If all either of them can take to voters is an argument that all they can do is prevent Romney from getting to 1144, then neither has a winning strategy. That sort of strategy has a half life; one that will grow less effective as, in this case, Romney approaches 1144. Complicating this scenario even further for Gingrich and Santorum is the fact that if neither can get to 1144 or even close to it, neither is all that likely to be the candidate to emerge as the nominee at any — unlikely though it may be — contested convention.

These contests today may not be decisive in terms of settling the nomination, but they very much represent a mental hurdle in this race. That Santorum and Gingrich cannot get to 1144 without vastly over-performing in the remaining contests (relative to how well they have done in the contests thus far) ushers in a new phase in the race.

But how long will the “keep Romney from 1144 plan” last? With southern contests scattered throughout the rest of March, Gingrich and Santorum will have legitimate chances at wins. However, that means Illinois on March 20 and the bulk of April end up being rather tough terrain. Wins on Romney’s turf become imperative to stay alive at that point for Gingrich and Santorum. By that point, though, Romney will still hold the delegate advantage and favorable contests in front of him. That is not a good combination for anyone hoping to catch him in the delegate count.

…or even keep him under 1144.

You can read the entire post to understand why Putnam reaches this conclusion, but it seems to me that he’s pretty much on-point. Given how today is expected to go, there simply isn’t any realistic shot for either Santorum or Gingrich to pass Romney in the delegate count. So, they will have to decide for themselves if they want to continue a campaign that is only going to hurt their party’s nominee, or if they want to do the responsible thing and bring this race to an end. My guess is that, after tomorrow, you are going to see the GOP Establishment rallying around Romney in a way we haven’t up until now, and that there will be both public and private pressure on the rest of the candidates to bring this process to an end already.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Patrick says:

    These primaries were so promising a few months ago. I mean Trump, Cain Bachmann and Perry looked poised to give us a real laugh. Instead we only got a sad joke..

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    Ah, well it was fun while it lasted. Thanks for all the laughs, boys.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    I can’t tell from the assumptions, but its worth pointing out that Santorum only has slated 44 delegates in Illinois, where 69 are up for grabs in two weeks. It suggests another Ohio-like problem where he is bound to underperform in delegate counts.

  4. PD Shaw says:

    69 = 67

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Indeed, the fat lady has warmed up and is on her way to the stage.

    Looking ahead to the Obama-Romney matchup in November, it does need to be mentioned that Romney is a lot better of a general election candidate than a GOP primary candidate. That said, however, it will be extraordinarily difficult for Romney to win this contest.

    Obama will receive 98% of the black vote on heavy turnout. Somewhere between a couple of million to several million evangelical conservatives will sit out the election. Obama has behind him the entire weight of the national mass media. The unions. College and grad school dolts. Multi-millionaire liberals. Government workers. FDR-era Democrats. So on, so forth.

    If I were a betting man I’d say that Obama currently possesses at least a 75% chance at reelection.

    If the economy were to turn south this summer, however, especially if layoffs were to spike in the early fall, then Katy bar the door because we’d be in for a razor-close election in which Romney would have a substantial chance to prevail. Speaking of which, can you fathom the prospective reaction among liberals in the media and in the academe if yet another Republican “unexpectedly” were to take office with a majority in Congress and a large majority of the state governorships?! Yikes.

    No matter what happens it’ll be quite the interesting electoral season. Just how dumbed down is America? Ultimately that’s the real question.

  6. JohnMcC says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: You’ve used that 75% number before, Mr Romanoff. And the Intrade Prediction folks still have Barack with only a 60.5% likelihood of winning. There might be some money for you to earn on that split.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    Obama has behind him the entire weight of the national mass media. The unions. College and grad school dolts. Multi-millionaire liberals. Government workers. FDR-era Democrats. So on, so forth.

    Those poor beleaguered Republicans…why, they’re history’s greatest victims…

    Speaking of which, can you fathom the prospective reaction among liberals in the media and in the academe if yet another Republican “unexpectedly” were to take office with a majority in Congress and a large majority of the state governorships?! Yikes.

    As opposed to the reaction among conservatives if the GOP loses with Romney…”another damn McCain!”…set’s up nicely for Palin in 2016…

  8. PD Shaw says:

    The Math is always worth considering at least the day after a vote to put in perspective. According to Josh Putnam’s calculations, which include MS, but not AL, HI or Samoa so far:

    Romney has 58% of the delegates assigned so far, with the rest at Santorum (21%), Gingrich (18%) and Paul (3%). So what Romney’s detractors are saying when they say he’s not sealing the deal is not that Romney is failing to get a majority of the votes available, he clearly is getting a majority of the delegates, but that he’s not getting a supermajority of votes to offset the uncertainty of the unbound delegates. Sounds Clintonesque, Hillary that is.

  9. PD Shaw says:

    Oops wrong thread.