Mitt Romney is polling well for the primary contests being held tomorrow, April 3, 2012 in DC, Maryland and Wisconsin. Then on April 24 in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, where Romney is expected to do well in most against Santorum, Gingrich and Paul.
Santorum supporters and Santorum himself are looking past April and into May 2012 where Southern states will once again dominate the primary calendar. Those contests will be held in Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska, Oregon, Arkansas, Kentucky and Texas.
(Full Republican primary schedule found HERE)
Rick Santorum’s Communications Director Hogan Gidley explained the thought processes of the Santorum campaign in refusing to drop out of the Republican presidential race, on CNN's "Starting Point With Soledad O'Brien.
GIDLEY: It's not necessarily realistic to get to 1,144 at this point for anybody. So I mean, the bottom line is we've got to keep pushing forward to see where these votes shake out. We’ve got to pull off some surprises, which we've done many times already along the way.
And we've got to weigh out the process, move back into May, where all the states shift back to Rick Santorum, the southern states. As we all know Mitt Romney has a horrible problem in the south, he can't win those states at all.
So if we start to move that process and play it all the way out, it's set up this way for a reason. So we have the best nominee and the best person that our voters have gotten behind to go against Barack Obama, and it's a long process.
We have a long way to go, and right now, if Mitt Romney won every single state moving forward, it would still be June before he could lock up this nomination.
So to talk about this thing being over now is almost ridiculous. We have a long way to go. Rick Santorum can and has pulled off some surprises and some shockers so far, and we expect to do that moving forward.
While Romney is the definite front runner in the Republican primary race, previous Southern contests have shown he has a serious problem in the South.
If Romney does not hit the magic number of 1,144 delegates by June 26, when the last primary for the Republican race is held in Utah, then the candidates will be heading to Tampa for the Republican convention in August unless the other GOP candidates drop out of the race.
According to Real Clear Politics, Mitt Romney holds 566 of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination.
Doing The Math
Delegates for April 3, 2012: The District of Columbia allots 19 delegates, Maryland 37 and Wisconsin 42.
Delegates for April 24, 2012: Connecticut allots 28 delegates and if the winner wins by a majority it is winner-take-all, otherwise it is proportional. Delaware allots 17 delegates, New York has 95 delegates and if the winner wins by a majority it is winner-take-all, otherwise it is proportional, Pennsylvania has 72 delegates and finally Rhode Island has 19 delegates and is proportional.
329 delegates to be allocated in April, some states proportional meaning no one candidate can grab all the April delegates.
Delegates for May 2012: Indiana 46, North Carolina 55, West Virginia 31, Nebraska 35, Oregon 28, Arkansas 36, Kentucky 45, Texas 155.
431 delegates to be allocated in May where Southern states dominate the primary landscape.
Delegates for June 2012: California with 172 delegates, Montana 26, New Jersey 50, New Mexico 23, South Dakota 28 and Utah 40.
339 delegates to be allocated in June.
There are 1,099 delegates still up for grabs when you add up the total of delegates for each of the remaining states and Mitt Romney needs 578 to hit the 1,144 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination for president. Mitt Romney must take 53% of the overall delegates in April, May and June, in order to win the nomination.
Looking through the numbers, taking into account Romney's previous inability to connect with voters in the South, it is easy to see why Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich maintain that there is a good possibility of blocking Romney from reaching the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination before the Republican convention in August, unless one or all the other GOP candidates drop out of the race and hand it to him.
There are a variety of arguments surrounding whether it is good or bad for the Republican party as a whole to force this race to convention. Some believe it weakens the party, others think forcing the eventual nominee to fight for it will strengthen whoever the nominee ends up being because Barack Obama certainly will not "drop out" and hand it to the Republican candidate during the general, as some are suggesting Santorum, Gingrich and Paul do now.
All valid points, but moot, since it is up to the individual candidates to determine whether they will continue to block Romney by staying in the race or whether they will suspend their campaigns.
Republican Detailed Delegate Allocation Figures- via Green Papers.