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Santorum Can't Get to 1144 (... And neither can Gingrich)
FHQ ^ | 03/06/2012 | JOSH PUTNAM

Posted on 03/06/2012 8:52:10 AM PST by SeekAndFind

...and neither can Gingrich.

FHQ has been saying since our Very Rough Estimate of the delegate counts a couple of weeks ago that Romney is the only candidate who has a chance to get there. But, of course, I have not yet shown my work. No, it isn't mathematically impossible, but it would take either Gingrich or Santorum over-performing their established level of support in the contests already in the history books to such an extent that it is all but mathematically impossible. Santorum, for instance, has averaged 24.2% of the vote in all the contests. Since (and including) his February 7 sweep, he is averaging 34.7% of the vote. That is an improvement, but it is not nearly enough to get the former Pennsylvania senator within range of the 1144 delegates necessary to win the Republican nomination.

FHQ has modified that original model and put together a spreadsheet that not only better captures the rules in each state, but also allows for a constant level of support across all upcoming contests to be to be plugged in. Let's begin by assuming that Santorum enters with 19 delegates and project a 50% level of support across all the remaining contests with bound delegates. This 50% would apply to not only the statewide vote but the congressional district votes as well. In other words, this would trigger a winner-take-all allocation of delegates in most states that have the conditional winner-take-all/proportional rules hinging on a candidate receiving a majority of the vote.

This is extremely generous. It assumes that candidate X would win nearly all the delegates in states that were not already directly proportional. Less generously, this does not count, like the previous version of this exercise, caucus states with unbound delegates (see Iowa, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, etc.) nor automatic delegates who have yet to endorse.

Where does that leave Santorum? 1075 delegates.

But hold on. What if we add another layer to this by accounting for the thresholds for receiving delegates in the various states (typically 15% or 20%)? This would have the impact of reallocating delegates of those under the threshold in proportional environments to those candidates over the threshold. That would mean more delegates. If we set the number of candidates over the threshold to its lowest value -- 2 candidates in 20% threshold states and 3 in 15% threshold states1 -- that maximizes the number of reallocated delegates.

Where does that leave Santorum? Again, this is assuming winner-take-all rules have been triggered in all the conditional states. It assumes that the likely bare minimum of candidates has crossed the thresholds to receive reallocated delegates. This is very generous.

1162 delegates. That's cutting it awfully close.

Surely the automatic delegates or the unbound caucus delegates would keep Santorum over 1144. Yeah, they could potentially serve as kingmaker until you remember that we just very unrealistically gave Santorum winner-take-all allocation where is was conditionally possible. We gave him a consistent 50% of the vote -- over 15% better than he has performed during his best stretch. Also, Santorum -- given the polls we have access to for today's races -- is very unlikely to reach that level of support across all of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. That means that after today -- a day with over 400 delegates at stake -- Santorum will not be able to get to 1144.

...and neither will Newt Gingrich.

--
Well just a darn minute there, FHQ. Your cooking the books, right? What if you put Mitt Romney in the same model(s) under the same circumstances? Ah, I'm glad you asked.
Even if we simulate a scenario where Romney continues to only win half of the congressional districts, he still gets to 1152 delegates in the second more realistic model and .2

--
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.

--
1 Remember that one candidate is already at the 50% level and it has been rare to see more than two candidates over 20% or 3 over 15% with the top candidate approaching 50%.

2 In states with an odd number of congressional districts, the delegate total was rounded down to the nearest whole district. A five district state would have Romney winning only two districts. This does not apply in states where there is an attempt to allocate congressional district delegates proportionally. In those states, Romney is given the partial total across all congressional districts. Look, if we are going to be generous to Santorum/Gingrich then it is equally as helpful in this exercise to be stingy with Romney. We want to poke holes in his ability to get to 1144. If we poke enough, Romney can be pulled under 1144, but it becomes more and more complicated and less and less realistic.

--
NOTE: The delegate scenarios above were constructed as part of a request from ABC News. 


TOPICS: Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: gingrich; newt; romney; santorum

1 posted on 03/06/2012 8:52:14 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

And it’s real doubtful that Romney can either at this stage of the game.

Another Romney puff-piece designed to imply that Romney is inevitable.

Can you say “Propaganda” boys and girls?


2 posted on 03/06/2012 8:56:22 AM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: SeekAndFind

Santorum runs strongest outside his own back yard.


3 posted on 03/06/2012 8:57:46 AM PST by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Nor can Romney. The convention will be one hell of a party


4 posted on 03/06/2012 9:00:44 AM PST by Why So Serious (There is no cure for stupidity!!!)
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To: SoConPubbie

Of course this is a pro-Romney puff piece but there is an important nugget of truth buried in the numbers that nobody talks about much at all:

In this race, with Romney marginally ahead, Gingrich and Santorum are splitting the anti-Romney vote without necessarily splitting the anti-Romney delegates.

In a state that requires a 15 or 20 percent minimum, the lesser of the 2 non-Romneys (if he falls below that minimum) doesn’t just split the vote, he sabotages the vote in Romney’s favor.


5 posted on 03/06/2012 9:04:07 AM PST by samtheman
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To: SeekAndFind
Where does that leave Santorum? 1075 delegates.

Something tells me Rick could easily make up the missing delegates from the batch that were not counted in this scenario. This reads as an exercise in pushing Mittens.

6 posted on 03/06/2012 9:04:27 AM PST by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Who gives a shi!. If Romney wins he will lose to King Obama and all this crap means nothing. Only Newt could have saved America.


7 posted on 03/06/2012 9:04:50 AM PST by Logical me
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To: SeekAndFind

“Remember that one candidate is already at the 50% level”

And what candidate might that be?

‘Cause it sure isn’t Romney..


8 posted on 03/06/2012 9:05:07 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: SeekAndFind

It is 100% the failure of the GOP that we find our country in this position. PERIOD.


9 posted on 03/06/2012 9:06:39 AM PST by surfer (To err is human, to really foul things up takes a Democrat, don't expect the GOP to have the answer!)
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To: SeekAndFind
The only thing that interests me is if Santorum + Gingrich can get to 1145.

Obviously, Santorum or Romney would be crushed by Obama. Therefore, it is imperative to nominate Gingrich OR someone else who can beat Obama.

In order for that to happen, Romney has to be beaten on the floor first.

10 posted on 03/06/2012 9:08:11 AM PST by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
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To: samtheman
In a state that requires a 15 or 20 percent minimum, the lesser of the 2 non-Romneys (if he falls below that minimum) doesn’t just split the vote, he sabotages the vote in Romney’s favor.

That maybe true, but who would you have drop out?

From one week to the next the lead changes.
11 posted on 03/06/2012 9:09:10 AM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: SoConPubbie

Yes, agreed.


12 posted on 03/06/2012 9:13:17 AM PST by SatinDoll (No Foreign Nationals as our President!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Oh Dear if Mittens already has this thing showed up.

Go ahead and hold the Convention.

At this point I am looking for a Brokered Convention. The GOP-e are going to have a fight on their hands.


13 posted on 03/06/2012 9:16:54 AM PST by Bailee (Vote Newt the Pitt bull we need. Energy Independence and we bow to NO foreign dictator.)
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To: Lazlo in PA

Yep. Good to know an anti-Santorum piece confirms what we all knew - that it is possible for Santorum to win without going to convention.

And it isn’t possible for Newt to do the same.


14 posted on 03/06/2012 9:18:42 AM PST by LeopoldvonRanke
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To: Logical me

—Only Newt could have saved America.—

Personally, I don’t think anyone can. The bus is going 70 MPH and the brick wall is 50 feet in front of us. It really doesn’t matter much who is driving the bus when it hits. As a passenger, I saw the wall and nobody would listen. So I’ve at least gotten as much soft stuff between myself and the seat in front of me as I could for the last 100 feet. We’ll see if it matters...


15 posted on 03/06/2012 9:21:04 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The point now is to get beyond the first ballot at the convention. Then, all delegate pledges disappear.


16 posted on 03/06/2012 9:27:38 AM PST by cotton1706
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To: SeekAndFind

Mitt Romney bravely defended France when Americans were dying in Vietnam. Vive le poulet!


17 posted on 03/06/2012 9:44:05 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SoConPubbie

I don’t want anybody to drop out... or rather, I realize that it’s unrealistic to ask a candidate to drop out.

What I want is for conservatives to coalesce. And to effectively coalesce we have to put aside our personal preferences and go with who has the best chance of beating Romney.

The Gingrich surge (sadly) has come to an end. So I’m advocating we coalesce around Santorum.

If Gingrich pulls out a miracle today (outside of GA), I’ll change my tune.


18 posted on 03/06/2012 10:35:13 AM PST by samtheman
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, I live in Virginia and will not be going to the polls today. With two choices (neither of which I like) and no ability to write-in, why bother.


19 posted on 03/06/2012 10:38:20 AM PST by Library Lady
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To: Library Lady
Well, I live in Virginia and will not be going to the polls today. With two choices (neither of which I like) and no ability to write-in, why bother.

If I were in your shoes, I would vote for Ron Paul as the only way to express a NOT-ROMNEY vote. Anything which keeps Romney from getting the nomination is good for conservatism and the country. I'm not sure what might come from a brokered convention but it can't be worse than Romney.

My suggestion to vote for Ron Paul is in no way an endorsement of him but just a way to vote against Romney.

20 posted on 03/06/2012 11:23:53 AM PST by CommerceComet (If Mitt can leave the GOP to protest Reagan, why can't I do the same in protest of Romney?)
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To: Why So Serious

-——Nor can Romney. The convention will be one hell of a party-——

Sounds good to me!


21 posted on 03/06/2012 11:34:22 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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