Delegate Math Trumps Momentum On Super Tuesday

Of the four remaining candidates left in the GOP presidential field, Mitt Romney's campaign is the only one built to secure 1,144 delegates (out of 2,286) needed to win the nomination, says delegate analyst Josh Putnam. ABC News' Michael Falcone weighs in:

Mitt Romney's Michigan win last week and follow-up victory in Washington State took the oxygen out of the Santorum balloon. And even a Santorum wins in Ohio tonight won't fill it back up.

This is the point in the campaign when math trumps momentum. And math is on Romney's side.

No matter what happens tonight, one thing is clear, it is all but impossible for Rick Santorum to catch Romney in the delegate race. The proportional allocation of the delegates, Santorum's weakness in the primary contests thus far, and Santorum's own inability to qualify for many of these delegates puts him behind with no real ability to catch up.

Math was never our strong suit, which is why we asked Josh Putnam, a professor of politics at Davidson College and author of the Frontloading HQ blog to crunch the numbers for us. His analysis: Unless Santorum gets over 50 percent across all of the states on Super Tuesday, it is essentially over.

Santorum's only hope to reaching 1144 delegates - the magic number needed to win the nomination, is to win every single one of the remaining 44 contests -- including Romney strongholds like Utah and New Jersey -- and win them with at least 50 percent of the vote statewide and in every single congressional district. That is, of course, impossible.

This doesn't mean that Romney's path to 1144 is a cakewalk. But, do Santorum and Gingrich really want to stick around to simply to stick it to Romney?

As Putnam notes; "It is possible but not probable that Gingrich/Santorum deny Romney the ability to get to 1144. That is a tough argument to take to potential voters; that we can't get to 1144 (and probably can't win a contested convention) but help us keep this guy from getting there."

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@Sarah_SV tweeted link to this page. 2012-03-06 12:28:47 -0500
No more #GOP story time; starting today it's a delegate-grab numbers game where math trumps momentum http://t.co/TSIzLapE #SuperTuesday
@CivicForumPAC tweeted link to this page. 2012-03-06 09:08:05 -0500
Delegate Math Trumps Momentum On Super Tuesday - http://t.co/9gs91Ekh #GOP #TCOT
published this page in In The News 2012-03-06 09:01:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy