March 14, 2012

More Math Hurts Santorum's and Gingrich's Head
Why a Brokered Convention Will Pick Romney

Earlier today I was complaining about Gingrich's ego and Santorum's tiny little hands and in a comment someone mentioned something about if the current trend continued then Romney wouldn't be able to garner the "magic number" of 1144 delegates.

The point being, I think, that in a brokered convention Santorum or Gingrich could get the unpledged delegates to come over to their side and thus a path to victory for one of them.

Here's the problem with that: 463

Why is the number 463 significant? That's the number of unpledged delegates going to the convention this year. The problem with that path to victory is that these 463 "unpledged delegates" are generally elected officials and party activists. Of those 463, 340 are "soft pledges" and 123 of them are members of the RNC.

That is, most of these 463 "unpledged delegates" are actually pledged. Right now Romney has most of their votes. Of the rest, these are the same people who have been backing Romney from the get go. They are the establishment.

Of these 123 truly unpledged delegates (who are the equivalent of the DNC's "Superdelegates") 33 have already said they are supporting Mitt Romney.

Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul combined have only managed to garner support from 7 of them. That's not a trend which bodes well for Santorum or Gingrich in their now hoped for "brokered convention" scenario.

Now, if I have my political "narrative" right: Romney is the "establishment" candidate, and Santorum and Gingrich are the anti-establishment candidates.

Odd, I know, given that one is a twice elected US Senator and the other is the former Speaker of the House, but that's the narrative I'm hearing.

Why would the establishment jump ship and join ranks with the anti-establishment candidate(s)?

Especially if and when Romney has the most delegates? Even if Gingrich backs out, what's the argument from Santorum that the guy with less votes should be nominated over the guy with more votes?

Mathematically there is no path to victory for Gingrich. He's finished. He's now just a spoiler candidate.

And the pathway to victory for Santorum makes assumptions about which way unpledged delegates will go that just don't seem reasonable.

Unless Gingrich gets out NOW and throws all of his delegates behind Santorum, then there's really no way that either of them can win -- even in a brokered convention -- short of a dead hooker being found in the trunk of Romney's car.

Okay, so a brokered convention is more likely today than it was yesterday. But given that in a brokered convention Romney is still likely to win, then what's the point?

I know Santorum fans are putting their hope in the brokered convention scenario. But if I'm right then the only person that benefits is Obama, not Santorum.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:56 PM | Comments |