Michael Steele's recent appearance on MSNBC might have gone unnoticed as just another talking head discussing the 2012 republican primary. However, while he was discussing his rationale for why he made changes in the nomination process, he raised a lot of eye brows when he made an astonishing claim that that the electoral math does not work out for Mitt Romney.
Michael Steele is absolutely wrong that the electoral math doesn't work for Mitt Romney. For example Mitt Romney won the Puerto Rico Primary today and will probably pick up most, if not all, of the 20 delegates available in that state. Although we won't know the full amount of delegates Mitt will get from today's victory, he continues to maintain his gigantic lead of delegates over other GOP contenders. Here's where the delegate counts stand today:
Lets look at how well Mitt Romney has done since Super Tuesday:
He won six of 10 states, including Ohio, the night’s marquee contest. His win rate was higher than John McCain’s in 2008 on a night that all but clinched the GOP nomination. He has won about 40 percent of the delegates he needs to win the nomination and has more than twice as many as Santorum, his nearest competitor. And the party’s new system requiring the proportional awarding of delegates, though it has slowed Romney’s coronation, now makes it essentially impossible for anybody to catch him.
In fact, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that the electoral math doesn't work for Rick Santorum. He cannot get the necessary 1,140 delegates needed to win. Part of the reason why he cannot become the Republican nomination is because he has struggled to get on the ballot in Virginia, Ohio, Washington D.C. and Illinois:
The stress of a national presidential campaign on Rick Santorum's shoestring budget is again showing its effects, with reports Thursday that Santorum will not qualify for Washington, D.C.'s presidential ballot. Santorum further failed to file a full slate of delegates in Illinois's March 20 primary, meaning — as in Ohio — Santorum will be unable to win some of the state's delegates.
According to ABC News, Santorum's campaign never even approached the District's Board of Elections to try to qualify for the ballot — and the city's 16 delegates that will be up for grabs on April 3. Unlike other states like Virginia — where Santorum notably failed to qualify for the ballot — candidates in D.C. can simply pay a $10,000 fee to secure a space on the ballot. If a candidate is looking to save money, he or she can halve the fee by collecting 296 signatures — a paltry amount relative to other nominating contests.
In Illinois, Santorum has qualified for the statewide ballot, but his inability to file a full slate of delegates means that, at most, he can win 44 out of the 54 delegates available in the state. In that state, candidates must collect 600 signatures in each of the congressional districts; Santorum fell short in the state's 4th, 5th, 7th and 13th districts.Most of those districts are in the Chicago area, which is expected to favor other GOP candidates. But the 13th district, a suburban Republican enclave southwest of Chicago, could have proven more favorable for Santorum.
Not only does the failure to qualify for a full slate of delegates hurt Rick Santorum, but the future primary elections doesn't look good Rick Santorum either:
From now until the end of April, we expect Romney to win not only the majority of nominating contests, but also the majority of delegates awarded in these contests.It’s fair to ask how Romney’s position can be so strong after finishing third in the two major primaries held on Tuesday, Alabama and Mississippi. The most important thing anyone can do on any primary night is to remember the calendar — not the primary schedule but the general election date. The two Deep South primaries appear critical, yet they will be long forgotten by Labor Day, much less Nov. 6. Barring a massive, difficult to fathom shift in this contest, Mitt Romney has a better than 80% chance to be the GOP nominee. No amount of wild tapping on CNN’s magic wall will alter those odds.The reason is that, much like when Hillary Clinton was fighting a front-running Barack Obama in the last few months of the 2008 Democratic primary, the delegate math — and particularly the lack of true winner take all contests — favors the candidate with the big delegate lead.That candidate is Romney. While different news organizations have different ways of measuring delegates, calculations from National Public Radio, the Associated Press and others show Romney with a consistent lead, holding about two times as many delegates as Santorum. Days like Tuesday — when the results in little-followed contests in American Samoa and Hawaii gave Romney an edge in delegates over Santorum at the end of the day — generate great headlines for Santorum, but actually make his daunting odds for a delegate majority even longer.
While its good to have a healthy competition among Republican candidates and to allow more states to have an influence on the nomination process, we cannot forget that the most important competition is the battle to defeat Barak Obama. That is why conservatives need to rally around Mitt Romney so that we can begin the campaign to make Obama a one term president now.