HolyCoast: What Happens After Super Tuesday?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

What Happens After Super Tuesday?

Super Tuesday is supposed to give us a pretty mixed bag of results. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich could all have wins that day, but Romney may have a rough outing. Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics thinks the path to the nomination may not be that easy for him:
What's interesting is that from Super Tuesday forward, only 1,580 delegates remain. This means that Romney would have to win 50 percent of the remaining delegates, Santorum would have to win 58 percent, and Gingrich and Paul need around two-thirds of them to reach a majority.

Now, in theory, this should be easier for Romney to do: 434 delegates would be awarded in the South, 389 in the Midwest, 89 in the Mountain West, 194 on the Pacific Coast (including 169 in California), 244 in New England, and 230 in other places (RNC delegates and territorial delegates).

When you consider that a lot of the New England and Pacific states are winner-take-all (or some variant of that), while the Southern and Midwestern states are proportional, Romney's path becomes clearer.

But he will have just taken a drubbing on Super Tuesday. The headlines will be terrible, which may put downward pressure on his polling numbers in New England or in the Mountain West. That would help Santorum, but winning nearly 60 percent of the remaining delegates is a tall order for him, especially with Gingrich and Paul gobbling up delegates here and there.

In short, I think the Republican primary campaign is an even bigger mess than most realize. I'd increase the odds of a convention where no candidate has a majority of the delegates to around 20 percent.
The entire analysis of the upcoming races can be found here. It looks like this could go on for awhile.

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