Despite Mitt Romney’s losses in the south yesterday in the Alabama and Mississippi Republican primaries, the mainstream media continues to claim that it is inevitable that the former Massachusetts Governor will become the Party’s nominee.
The AP in particular noted that the math is on Romney’s side going forward. Their rationale for the prediction is that although Romney came in third in both of the high profile contests yesterday, he picked up more delegates than anyone on the strength of his win in Hawaii and the fact that the top three candidates in Alabama and Mississippi were so close in their total votes that he will pick up a significant number of delegates from those states.
Both states use the proportional system in awarding delegates.
But is the AP’s assessment a plausible one? Not according to CNN’s analysis of the GOP landscape going forward, presented last evening by John King after the results of the primaries were reported.
King illustrated on a map why the notion that Romney will have the nomination ‘sown up’ by June is flawed. He highlighted the remaining states where Republican caucuses and primaries will be held. He also presented a scenario, for illustrative purposes only, where Newt Gingrich drops out so that Rick Santorum and Romney can go head to head in the remaining states.
If such a scenario were to occur, Santorum would still come up far short in the number of delegates needed to win the nomination.
But the big news coming out of such possibility is that Romney would not win enough delegates to clinch the nomination outright, even if Gingrich and Ron Paul drop out of the race. Romney would still fall just short of the delegates needed for a win, and the choice for the Party’s nominee would fall to the Convention itself.
Further, Newt Gingrich’s contention last evening in an interview with Brett Baier on Fox News that both he and Santorum together are demonstrating how unpopular Romney really is makes perfect logical sense. In Alabama and Mississippi, Romney could manage to win only one third of the vote. But Gingrich and Santorum together won two thirds.
A so called front runner who can only manage to win one third of the vote in two key southern states is hardly a comfort to the Republican Party.
Romney has failed to win a single southern state, just as this reporter predicted last year. Florida and Virginia do not count due to the fact that flawed rules prevented Gingrich and Paul from being on the ballot in Virginia, and Florida is largely a northern state located in the south with the exception of the panhandle and northern sectors.
South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama have gone to either Gingrich or Santorum. And it has long been recognized by political experts that without deep and enthusiastic support in the south, a Republican cannot win the Presidency.
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