Skip to comments.Despite Mitt Romney’s Big Florida Win, the GOP Race Is Not Over
Posted on 01/31/2012 11:10:00 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Romney is being portrayed as having locked up the Republican nomination with his Florida victory, but hes a long way from the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch, and voters in other states deserve to be heard.
Yes, Mitt Romney had a big win in Florida last night. Hes won two of the first four primary states, totaling 84 delegates to date. But he needs 1,144 to clinch the Republican nominationhes just 7 percent of the way there. So call off the coronationgive people in the other 46 states a chance to vote.
Were in the first quarter, says John Brabender, chief aide to Rick Santorum, responding to suggestions that the race is over with a simple, Are you kidding? Likewise, Team Newt and Ron Pauls campaign have sworn to carry this fight on.
And while momentum and money and media perception are all very important, in the end, math matters the most when it comes to capturing the nomination. And it is mathematically impossible for any candidate to win the requisite number of delegates until late April or early May. So unless the other candidates cede the field entirely, there will be a contest. And given the debates still going on inside the GOP, thats healthy.
A significant obstacle in the Romney march to the nomination is the fact that most states in the next two months are proportional, rather than winner-take-allmeaning that Ron Pauls strong supporters can start adding to their delegate count even if they dont win outright, just as social conservatives might rally around Santorum and Newt supporters around Newt. Given that each of the remaining candidates represents a separate conservative constituency, the march to 1,144 is likely to be long. Proportional allocation of delegates will slow Romney down until he can be defeated, argues Brabender, with just a hint of over confidence.
Romneys strengths are considerable at this stage: he has money and organizational advantage that the other candidates cant match. Hes also the long-time conventional-wisdom frontrunner, and Republican history suggests that they settle on the next guy in line after serious flirting with some dark horses along the way. But its also true that even some of Romneys supporters seem reluctant, while his opponents in the Republican Party are intense and so far seem to make up a majority of conservatives. Romney seems to do best in comparison with the alternatives in this problematic field, rather than inspiring passion on his own.
As an independent, I dont have a dog in this fight. But I do have an old-fashioned civic notion about people being able to vote and have their voices heard. The primaries are not just a media exerciseand despite our penchant for short-attention-span theater, we shouldnt just fast-forward to the general election.
February is a relatively slow month, with the Nevada caucus this coming Saturday (where the Paulites are especially well organized), followed by contests in Maine, Colorado and Minnesota. At the end of the month, Arizona and Michigan are the big prizes, with 59 delegates between them.
Super Tuesday is March 6th, with 10 states voting (more than double the states to date), and all of them are proportional. Among these are Newts home state of Georgia and Sarah Palins Alaska. Romney and Ron Paul will have Virginia to carve up between themselves, because Newt and Santorum failed to make the ballot. But states like Ohio, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Tennessee are all likely to be competitive. In total, 427 delegates will be awarded that dayand no one will win them all.
After Super Tuesday, and not today, well have a much clearer sense of who the nominee will be. But still no candidate will have enough delegates to clinch the nomination. At that point, however, calls for other candidates to get out will be appropriate. That is the role that Super Tuesday has played historically and for good reasonat that point at least a representative sample of states will have voted, 20 out of the 50. If anyone is going to be a serious competitor to Mitt Romney, as Reagan was to Gerald Ford in 1976, well know by then.
Nonetheless, it wont be until winner-take-all stateslike Texas, with its 155 delegates, more than one-tenth the total neededstart taking hold in April that the nomination really starts to be a done deal. And thats called earning it.
The point is not that I dont think Mitt Romney will be the eventual Republican nominee barring a mutiny at the Tampa convention. And I fully expect that Romney staffers and spinners will be arguing for the other candidates to drop out ASAP. What bothers me is other people being complicit in their con, the cynicism and/or insider arrogance of observers who want to call the game before its over, before more people have a chance to vote.
In our political process, we spend the better part of a year looking forward to the primaries, following candidates on every step of the early stages of the campaign. And then when the primaries actually start happening in the real presidential year, we cant be bothered to let the process play out.
Its not over isnt a statement of defiance, denial or wishful thinking. Its a fact. The other candidates can continue onand more voters deserve to have their voices heard.
“Anyone here think that Milt will win Texas? “
I would hope not. I guess this year, anything’s possible. But I would think with Perry’s strong backing, Newt would have the inside track to all of Texas’ 155 delegates.
Actually, I’m not convinced Milt can win ANY truly southern state. Florida is much more moderate with all those Northeast transplants than the rest of the south. I would frankly be quite surprised if southern voters start warming up to Milt.
The important thing is Newt needs $ and he needs to get organized ASAP. I like his style of “flying by the seat of his pants” to a certain point, but he also needs to have SOME semblance of organization in these states. Hopefully his Super-Pac can help out with that.
I agree the other states have to be heard from before Mitt gets anointed however:
Rick (my choice) can’t seem to get any traction
Newt IMO is not likeable. He’s whiny and arrogant and turned off a lot of voters in FL because he never made his case against Mitt in the debate. Sorry but he isn’t selling himself well.
Paul is never going to win and he’s only there to screw up the race and possibly lurch us toward a brokered convention.
Unfortunately, we were not dealt a good enough conservative candidate who had major appeal to all. We will be stuck with someone and I hope you all come together to vote AGAINST the chimp-in-chief.
he is unelectable.
He not only lost his Senate Election he got killed.
Damn straight ! Mitt thinking he's got this locked up is really pissing me off...The REST OF US get to vote too...There's no f'ng way that 4 states get to choose for the rest of us !
He’s as unelectable as Newt. Newt’s negatives are through the roof. Women in Florida crushed him like, like... a newt.
“Big” win? He didn’t even get 50% of the vote, voter turnout lagged big time from 2008, his favorabilities with independents have plummeted, and most who indentify as conservative or who value true conservative candidates did not vote for him. Romney is an embarrassment and will LOSE if he’s the nominee.