Doing the Math on Romney's Path

Hugh Hewitt

3/7/2012 11:49:00 AM - Hugh Hewitt

David Parker is a very smart and successful businessman, a Romney guy, and an occasional contributor to the blog MittRomneyCentral. He is close to the Romney campaign, so I read his posts and emails with care, and found this bit of math from his missive on Wednesday morning to be the sort of analysis missing from the MSM as it sifts through Romney's big night Tuesday. It may emerge in other places today, as it must be a reflection of the thinking inside the Romney campaign:

From a pragmatic point of analysis, there is NO scenario wherein Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, or anyone else other than Mitt Romney can accumulate the needed 1,144 delegates; unless of course that Mitt Romney withdraws, which is not likely!

In varying simulations, given the apportionment of delegates under the current Republican process, if Rick Santorum began to win a majority of campaigns, he would still fall woefully short of 1,144 - and it is even worse for Newt Gingrich. Mitt Romney is the only candidate who is positioned to win at least 1,144 and, in the varying simulations run, will achieve far more than the minimum. With proportional allocations and 851 of 2,286 delegates having been through the primary/caucus process; Mitt Romney has won nearly 50% (he has also won 14 of 22 states), Rick Santorum has won about 19% and Gingrich has won about 12%. From another vantage point, Mitt has to win approximately 50% of the remaining delegates, Santorum and Gingrich have to win approximately 70% and 73%, respectively. Even if Santorum or Gingrich were to convince nearly 90% of the unbound delegates to support them, they would still fall short. Pragmatically, it is finished.

As I noted at the close of my six hour election night broadcast last night -- ably assisted throughout by in-studio co-hosts Townhall's own Guy Benson and HotAir's Ed Morrissey -- there is no plausible way either Senator Santorum or Speaker Gingrich can win now, nor is there any way that Governor Romney drops out or fails to be secure the nomination. Math is math. The Parrker analysis confirms what the 30,000 foot look down revealed.

So the nomination is decided though the primary campaign is not over. Indeed, the next few weeks will likely bring wins to Rick Santorum in Kansas and Missouri and possibly Alabama and Mississippi. A MSM desperate for story lines may even pay attention to Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Even as we speak eager reporters are suggesting to skeptical producers that they need to head to St. John's RIGHT NOW!)

But the nominee will be Mitt Romney barring some enormous calamity or collapse of the sort that has never happened this late in a primary campaign after all the vetting has been done.

So what is Romney to do? That's easy: Stay focused on the president and build, build build the campaign networks for the fall in the key states for the November campaign. The primaries have already forced Romney to assemble such networks in New Hampshire, Florida, Virginia, Michigan and Ohio, but with primaries looming in April in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Indiana, he will have to deploy resources there that are early but good investments in turning blue states in 2008 back to red in 2012.

The MSM isn't very good at reading exit polls (Rove never faltered in his call of Ohio for Romney last night because he knew where the votes were) and it isn't very good at seeing how winning campaigns are built from the ground up with real time data compiled from actual campaign operatives working flesh-and-blood voters.

But though Romney didn't carry the commentariat last night, he did win --again-- where he needed to and his campaign is enriched in Ohio and Virginia, as it has been in New Hampshire, Florida, Arizona and Michigan, with the data that drives November big turnout wins.

One last thought: Team Romney had better be training up the lawyers it will need to dispatch around the country next November, a vast army of good, tenacious lawyers. A margin as close in any key fall contest as those he won by in Ohio and Michigan will mean a lawyered-up recount everywhere, with all the resources of the DOJ deployed in a shamelessly partisan way against the counting of real votes.

Unless, of course, 21012 turns out to be a replay of 1980. If it's not close, they can't cheat.