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Old Mon, 27th Feb '12, 8:09pm   #126
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@ LKD,

Christie isn't so much the typical Rush Limbaugh / Donald Trump kind of blowhard. Blowhard may not even be the right word. He's more of a lose one's temper and chew somebody a new a-hole at a news conference kind of blowhard. As he's done on several occasions. It's this kind of "straight talk, no bs, screw political correctness, no more Mr. Nice Guy" kind of schtick that endears him to conservatives so much, and he's clearly smart and capable. But he doesn't have the kind of temperance required to be an effective chief executive. He's not the most popular guy in his own state, either, so there's that. I generally like Christie, though - I just don't see him in the oval office. I don't think he does either, despite the pressure he's getting.

@ Aldeth

Agreed.
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Old Mon, 27th Feb '12, 11:55pm   #127
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The interview with Christie I saw was several months ago, maybe even a year.

I guess I am a stereotypical Con, then, because I like the idea of straight, no PC talk.
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Old Tue, 28th Feb '12, 6:45am   #128
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I guess I am a stereotypical Con, then, because I like the idea of straight, no PC talk.
BS...er, I mean...Straight talk? Right...that's it.

Quote:
It's this kind of "straight talk, no bs, screw political correctness, no more Mr. Nice Guy" kind of schtick that endears him to conservatives so much, and he's clearly smart and capable.
He just believes his own brand of BS with conviction and doesn't like to be disagreed with much. He has no patiece for debate.
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Old Wed, 29th Feb '12, 3:16pm   #129
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Romney won easily in Arizona - as expected (in fact he out-performed his polling numbers) - and narrowly in Michigan - and I suppose that's as expected too, as the polls were incredibly tight in the days leading up to the contest. Polls had Romney up 2% in the days preceding the primary - within the margin of error, so "too close to call" - and he ended up winning by 3%.

That said, Michigan is one of the states that isn't a "winner take all" system. The way it works in Michigan is that there are 30 delegates at stake. Michigan is divided into 14 Congressional Districts. You get two delegates for each Congressional District you win, and then the winner of the entire state gets two more. (So in theory, it is possible to "win" the state as a whole, and still come out with fewer delegates - not that this happened in this case.)

Romney won eight districts, and Santorum won six. So Romney gets two delegates for each district, and the bonus two for winning the state overall, for a total of 18 delegates. Santorum walks away with 12. Tuesday is "Super Tuesday". There's a big slate of states that hold their primary that day, and we'll know a lot more then. The polling has been relatively light in those states up until now, but here's the breakdown, of states that have had at least two polls so far.

Virginia - Romney is a lock to win here. Neither Gingrich or Santorum qualified for the ballot there. So the only names you can pick from - unless you so chose to write them in - are Romney and Paul. Virginia requires you to collect 10,000 signatures to appear on the ballot by November 1st - that's a heck of a lot more and a heck of a lot earlier than most other states. Looks to me like the Santorum and Gingrich campaigns dropped the ball on this one.

Georgia - Gingrich is still ahead by a mile. He's got a 12% lead over Santorum, and a 20% lead over Romney, but that's the only state Gingrich is likely to win next week.

Oklahoma - Santorum is ahead by over 20% to both Gingrich and Romney - he looks very safe there.

Tennessee - Santorum is ahead by 17% on Romney, and no one else is even in double digits - it's not a lock, but things look very good for Santorum here too. Tennessee isn't winner take all unless one candidate gets over 50%, which looks unlikely at the moment, so Romney is likely to get some delegates.

Ohio - for a while this one was essentially a 3-way tie, but more recent polling places Santorum about 8% ahead of Romney, with both of them way ahead of Gingrich. Obviously, more people who hopped off the Newt bandwagon went to Santorum. Every recent poll in Ohio has had Santorum ahead, and beyond to poll's margin of error, so he should win, but like Michigan, Ohio isn't "winner take all", so Romney will likely walk away with a portion of the delegates.

The other states to vote on Super Tuesday, but for which no reliable polling data is available:

Alaska - winner take all - I'm guessing Santorum has an advantage here
Idaho - winner take all - I'm guessing Santorum again
Massachusetts - not winner take all, but Romney should clean up anyway
North Dakota - winner take all - simply based on demographics, this looks like an easy win for Santorum
Vermont - not winner take all, but Romney should perform very well
Washington - winner take all (they actually vote Saturday) - other than knowing Romney polls well on the west coast, I don't know which way the Republican electorate leans here, so I guess I'd give Romney the advantage.
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Old Wed, 29th Feb '12, 5:41pm   #130
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Idaho has a huge Mormon vote. Romney.
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Old Thu, 1st Mar '12, 3:00pm   #131
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A point that I had not previously considered. (Mostly because I didn't realize the Mormon population of Idaho was particularly large.)

I've done some research on it since your post, and I wanted to find out comparatively, how large the Mormon vote is in Idaho. For example, the number of voters identifying themselves as Mormon is about the same in California as it is in Utah - in both cases there's about half a million. However, since the overall population in Utah is much smaller than California - 2.8 million versus 37.7 million - the impact of the Mormon vote is much larger in Utah. If anything, the half a million probably understates the impact of the Utah voting block. Not everyone in that 2.8 million people is eligible to vote, and Mormons as a group are more politically active, being more likely to vote than the typical voter.

Since about 77% if Mormons vote Republican nationwide, this can have a large impact on elections. More so in states like Utah, where they form a significant portion of the electorate. Less so in states like California - as a whole there isn't enough of them to swing an election unless it was going to be a very close vote to begin with.

So the question - and I haven't been able to find an answer to this - is Idaho more like Utah in which the Mormons represent a significant percentage of the electorate, and therefore can dominate an election if they line up behind a particular candidate, or is it more like California where they can influence an election, but not decide it unless it's close? I imagine the answer lies somewhere in the middle, but knowing where it's closer to would help. And I still haven't seen any polls from Idaho either.
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Old Thu, 1st Mar '12, 3:21pm   #132
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I would say Idaho has a higher Mormon population by percentage.
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Old Mon, 5th Mar '12, 4:41am   #133
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Idaho has pooploads of Mormons in terms of percentages, but to my knowledge it isn't a populous State to begin with. A win there won't do much for anyone in terms of delegate numbers. It might do something minor in terms of optics.

One of the guys I served my mission with was from Idaho. He was a first class douchebag, but that's not really relevant here. He told me that Idaho has more millionaires per capita than any other state. Not sure if that still holds true or if it ever was true, but if millionaires tend to vote for other financially successful people, then that might be a boost for Mitt.

On an unrelated note, could Romney and Santorum ever cut a deal and have one be second place on the ticket? It would help unify the party!
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Old Mon, 5th Mar '12, 8:58am   #134
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On an unrelated note, could Romney and Santorum ever cut a deal and have one be second place on the ticket? It would help unify the party!
Is there a reason why they wouldn't? I thought picking a VP from among the other presidential contenders was one of the more usual practices.
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Old Mon, 5th Mar '12, 3:35pm   #135
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On an unrelated note, could Romney and Santorum ever cut a deal and have one be second place on the ticket? It would help unify the party!
As has already been stated, it's quite common. Biden ran for president in 2008 before being selected VP. In 2004, Edwards ran for president before becoming the VP nomination. If you want to go back a few years, Reagan picked the first Bush as his VP, and Bush had against him in the primary. Of course, it doesn't always work that way. Dick Cheney never sought the nomination. While Lieberman attempted to run for president AFTER his nomination as Gore's VP, I do not think he ran in 2000. So there is evidence for and against such a theory. It wouldn't be unprecedented.

The other thing that you do is try to go opposite in you VP pick. Since Romney is considered a moderate among the GOP, it would make sense to pick a VP that was more extreme in their views - not unlike McCain picking Palin in 2008. Then again, "going opposite" is the 2nd rule. The first rule is "do no harm" when you pick a VP, and the lesson from 2008 is obvious. So we'll see.

On that note, I'm now looking at Romney's nomination as more or less inevitable. I don't think there's going to be a brokered convention. He has more endorsements, more money, a more organized campaign - and here's the important parts - has won more states and more delegates than any of the other contenders. Super Tuesday is tomorrow, and he did win Washington state yesterday to improve his standing. Unless something totally shocking happens tomorrow, his lead will only expand. Yes, there's 10 states to vote, but because Gingrich and Santorum failed to qualify for the ballot in Virginia, and Massachusetts being up for a vote too, Romney is essentially starting with two wins already.
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Old Mon, 5th Mar '12, 4:04pm   #136
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I think Santorum would alienate the moderate vote. A Romney/Santorum ticket would be slightly better than the McCain/Palin ticket (and still lose). Romney needs to pick a well respected, slightly moderate running mate -- a woman or minority would be preferable. But he won't.
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Old Mon, 5th Mar '12, 4:20pm   #137
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Oh going back to Idaho for a moment - 538 reports that Idaho's percentage of Mormon voters is 27%. That's the second highest in the nation after Utah.
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Old Mon, 5th Mar '12, 6:37pm   #138
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Romney needs to pick a well respected, slightly moderate running mate -- a woman or minority would be preferable. But he won't.
Why not? Who WILL he pick, do you think? Or, put another way, what kind of VP will he pick?

And I should clarify -- I know that it is theoretically possible for a brokerage to occur -- my question was, given the animosity between the two, could they ever reconcile to the point of being on the same ticket?

One thing I don't like about Romney is his heavy use of attack ads. The sad fact is that they work -- stating your own position and focussing on your own strengths doesn't seem to work anymore, more's the pity.

That said, he's gone after his opponents so hard, I wonder if he's inflicting irreparable damage on the GOP.
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Old Mon, 5th Mar '12, 7:54pm   #139
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One thing I don't like about Romney is his heavy use of attack ads. The sad fact is that they work -- stating your own position and focussing on your own strengths doesn't seem to work anymore, more's the pity.

That said, he's gone after his opponents so hard, I wonder if he's inflicting irreparable damage on the GOP.
There is no doubt that he's inflicting damage, what's unclear is whether this is a transient change or of the irreparable damage you state. Of special concern in that poll is that 40% of respondents in the poll have a more negative view of the GOP after this drawn out primary, 63% of respondents (including 69% of independents and 56% of Republicans) when asked to describe the primary process in one or two words used negative words like “Unenthusiastic,” “discouraged,” “lesser of two evils,” “painful,” and "disappointed.”

Also troublesome - his favorability/unfavorability splits are worse than almost all recent presidential hopefuls: it’s 28%/39% (and 22%/38% among indies). Obama was 51%/28% and McCain was 47%/27%, per the March 2008 NBC/WSJ poll; Kerry was 42%/30% at this point in ’04; George W. Bush was 43%/32% in 2000; and Bob Dole was 35%/39%. Obama has a net unfavorable right now too - but it's only -2%. Romney's is -11%.

The one point of solace for Romney is that unlike Obama, there are still a lot of people who haven't made a decision on him. Per the latest survey, Obama is 44/46, meaning only 10% of the respondents don't have an established position on him. With Romney at 28/39, nearly 1/3 of all voters haven't made up their minds, so it's possible if he gets a lot of undecideds to break his way this can improve.

I don't think we're on the path to a brokered convention - Romney is on a glide to the nomination. He's going to have at least half the delegates come convention time. In a lucky break for him on Super Tuesday, most of the states he leads in are "winner take all" states, and most of the states he's behind in offer proportional allocation, provided you get at least 20% of the vote. Take Oklahoma for example. Even though Santorum is a sure winner there, he'll likely only get 2/3 of the delegates. You get three delegates for each Congressional district, but these can be divided up 2-1 or even 1-1-1. Then the overall winner gets his proportional share of the other 25 at large delegates.

So Romney gets all of them in states he wins (like Virginia), and he still gets some of them in states he loses (like Tennessee and Oklahoma).
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Old Mon, 5th Mar '12, 10:23pm   #140
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I think the top three VP prospects are Rubio, Christie and Santorum. Thune is often discussed as is Ryan along with Haley. I don't know if I'd classify any of these as moderate, but there is some diversity in the group. Although I don't think he can pull enough moderate votes to win with any of these running mates.

I think if you look at where Romney is weak (foreign policy) the choice for VP becomes somewhat obvious -- Rice. But I doubt he'll do that.

I ultimately think Romney will choose someone meeting the "white, male, affluent" criteria. And he'll lose if he does.
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 5:18am   #141
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Tight race in Ohio!
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 2:19pm   #142
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News here are calling it for Romney - is there any chance that Santorum may get it yet?
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 2:41pm   #143
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It looks like Romney in Ohio - by less than 1% of the vote - but that's a huge win for him. Romney's problem areas are the south and the midwest. The GOP isn't too concerned about the south, as those vote heavily Republican, so they feel they'll win most of those states in the general election. The midwest is a whole other story. You've got to be able to win some of the states in the midwest if you're going to win the presidency. Up until now, the only midwest state he won was Michigan, which is his home state, and so this was big.

Romney also won Alaska in a squeaker. He won comfortably in Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

Santorum notched three wins, all rather comfortably - North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Gingrich won Georgia, his home state, which is only his second win of the primary season (along with South Carolina). I believe Alabama and Mississippi vote next week, and I suppose those contests might be decently favorable to him as well.

No matter how long this goes on, I don't see a way Romney isn't going to win this. He's winning a little over half of the delegates, and if he continues on this trajectory he's the nominee. He doesn't need any more big wins, he just can't get shellacked somewhere. The result in Tennessee is fine. He didn't win - in fact he lost by nearly 10% and was 1% away from 3rd place - but he got over 20% of the vote, which is the threshold in Tennessee for getting a piece of the delegate pie. That's the strategy at this point. Win where you're supposed to win, and get a portion of the delegates in states that are unfavorable to you. That's enough at this point. It's Gingrich and/or Santorum that need to pull off a big win somewhere.

Also keep in mind that about 1/4 of the delegates are super delegates, and are not bound by the popular vote. Even that could push Romney over the top. For example, say things go downhill for Romney a bit. He's winning about 55% of the delegates now, but say he only finishes with 45% of the delegates. Assuming no one else has even 35% of the delegates, (that's likely - even Ron Paul has won a few) then he still will finish with over half the total delegates if the super delegates break his way.
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 5:31pm   #144
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I'm pretty amazed this thing has dragged out as long as it has. I still have little doubt Romney will be the nominee. The only thing that will change that would be either a brokered convention, or Gingrich bowing out right now and throwing all of his support and delegates behind Santorum. But there's no way his ego would allow him to suffer such an indignity, and so he'll stay in.

I truly underestimated how self-destructive and chaotic the Republican party is at this time. I really thought that after Florida they'd all decide to stop screwing around and back one of these guys - but it continues. I also underestimated the size of Newt Gingrich's ego. There is no possible way he can win but he's still chugging along, dragging this thing out. His campaign to me is the linchpin that's holding the stalemate in place. If he bowed out, the anti-Romney vote could consolidate behind Santorum. But he won't. Paul has largely been a non-factor.

I also truly underestimated what a bad candidate Mitt Romney is. I've always thought he was a buffoon but even I'm amazed at the number of unforced errors, cringe-worthy gaffes and missed opportunities to connect with the base he has racked up. Considering how much money he's been spending - 5-1 vs. Santorum! - and the fact that he's essentially been running for President for 6 solid years, he should be doing much, much better than he is.

He's SAYING all the right things – Obama's a socialist, he apologizes for America, he has no Israel strategy, he has no Iran strategy, he's the most feckless President EVAH, he wants to model America after Europe, etc. - all complete horsesh*t of course, but these are the things you need to say to be credible to the GOP base... and they simply don't believe him. It's one thing to say this crap, but you have to say it convincingly. Santorum is a nutter but he clearly believes what he's saying. Romney just comes off as a guy who feels he needs to tell the rubes what they want to hear as long as he gets their vote. All politicians do this to varying degrees, of course - but Romney just oozes it. All that money, all that polish, all those consultants... and he just can't pull it off.

I don't see that changing much in the general, either. But I could be wrong.
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 6:22pm   #145
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At first I found it rather comical that Paul was still wasting money. But now I think he has to have another agenda here. I mean, what is he doing? He is not pulling votes out of anyone else's pocket, at least not enough to matter. What is his reasoning for staying around? He is too old for the next election, so is he trying to setup a platform for his son to follow up on in future elections?
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 6:24pm   #146
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Romney underwhelmed me in most of what he said last night. I guess it's a fair criticism to say that he's a weak candidate because he's failed to really shellac his opposition. OK, fine, a lot of the GOP voters don't like him. But the blindingly obvious fact is that in the entire field of candidates, there is no one they like more! In other words, a lot MORE GOP voters dislike Santorum, and even more don't like Newt. Paul doesn't even bear mentioning. So a part of me wants to say: "Give Romney some slack!"

And don't get me started about Palin's moronic comments about waiting until the convention. She can't be that venally retarded, she just can't. It's gotta be drugs of some sort.
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 6:34pm   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKD
But the blindingly obvious fact is that in the entire field of candidates, there is no one they like more!
I think a more apt way to put it is... there is no one they dislike less.
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 6:43pm   #148
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Isn't this just the GOP selecting a sacrificial lamb among candidates too dim or too desperate to know better?
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Old Wed, 7th Mar '12, 7:18pm   #149
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Joaqin, you have the right of it. It's been said time and again, barring some miracle, there is no one the republicans could field who could unseat an incumbent with Obama's record. His record isn't great, but it isn't bad, either, and I think a large number of swing voters will want to see what he can do with a full 8 year run.
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Old Thu, 8th Mar '12, 4:14pm   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joacqin View Post
Isn't this just the GOP selecting a sacrificial lamb among candidates too dim or too desperate to know better?
One would think, but that does not put my fears at ease. All I can do is think back to 1999 when Bush said at a news conference, "I think I'll try my hand at the Presidentin' business". We all know how that turned out. Truth is, when you look at Obama's approval ratings, in a normal year it would indicate a sitting president that would be the favorite, but still somewhat vulnerable. And just wait until the Romney Super PACs start churning out stuff on Obama. The only reason they haven't started yet is that they have to make sure he wins the nomination first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Death Rabbit View Post
I think a more apt way to put it is... there is no one they dislike less.
Why so PC my friend? You should say it like it is. The most apt way to put it is that all the other options really suck.

And what was that thing about Santorum bashing college grads as being part of the "liberal elite"? Last I checked he has an undergraduate degree... and an MBA... and a law degree. He spent over 10 years of his life as one of those college liberal elites. And I don't buy that he was just playing to the blue collar vote in the midwest. I know a lot of blue collar workers that would like to see their kids go to college.

---------- Added 19 hours, 36 minutes and 6 seconds later... ----------

Interesting post on 538. Silver did an analysis from polling to see what would happen if Newt wasn't in the race. Basically, he took polling from all the states that did polling on "second choice" candidates, and applied the voters' second choice in place of Newt to create a fictional scenario where Newt wasn't involved. He notes that this is an imperfect analysis, as some of the people who voted for Newt may not have voted at all if he wasn't on the ticket. The results of the poll weren't surprising, but how that would affect the delegate allocation process are a bit surprising in how little difference it would make.

First, the results. Overall, people who voted for Newt stated the following as their 2nd choice:

Santorum - 57%
Romney - 27%
Paul - 16%

I don't find it particularly surprising that Santorum was the majority pick in a world without Newt. And there would have been some changes in the results. The Newt to Santorum vote would have flipped narrow loses for Santorum into narrow victories in Alaska and Ohio. Santorum would also have been declared the winner of Iowa on election night instead of some days later. Santorum also would have squeaked out victories in the two states Gingrich won - Georgia and South Carolina. But Romney would still have been the winner in all the other states that he won, and since he lost Georgia and South Carolina by wide margins, the only two flips would be Ohio and Alaska. Romney still would have won Michigan, because even though his winning margin was only 3%, Newt received just 9% of the vote in the state, so there weren't enough Newt supporters to flip it (although Santorum would have won an additional Congressional district, and thus, two more delegates).

The surprising part is how this would affect the delegate math, because in Romney's case, it doesn't. Santorum would come out in this scenario with about 110 more delegates, which is approximately the total of his own and Newt's current count. However, those delegates would not have come at the cost of Romney's delegates. In fact, in the new calculation, Romney actually gets 10 more delegates. That's because of Georgia and South Carolina. Newt won both those states by wide margins, so Romney got virtually no delegates out of those states. However, in the "no Newt" scenario, Romney would have been very competitive in both of those states, and would have received a decent chunk of the delegates there. In fact, he would have received enough to completely offset his lost delegates in the other states, and still come out 10 ahead.

The only real difference would be that Santorum would be the clear second place candidate, and would be much closer to Romney's total delegate count. Romney would still have the majority of delegates - a bit stronger majority actually - and with California, New York, and New Jersey still yet to vote, that lead would likely expand. So even if Newt were to drop out of the race, and request his delegates to vote for Santorum, it probably wouldn't affect the end game in this race.

Full story
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