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Delegate Math Spoils Santorum Wins In Mississippi And Alabama

The same unerring perversities of good old fashioned arithmetic that plagued the 2008 Democratic presidential primary have now afflicted the 2012 Republican presidential primary race. Mitt Romney was actually able to increase his delegate lead from 225 to 261 this week without winning either Alabama or Mississippi. One of the fallacies promoted up by our main stream media journalists for the last couple of weeks is that this primary is still a horse race. What almost all of them conveniently ignore is the tremendous amount of energy, time, money, and an improbable shift in the actual demographics of the remaining states that would be needed for the Santorum campaign to garner more than the total of the outstanding delegates he is projected to get based on current state by state estimates.

Which is why if you are unfamiliar, as most Americans are, with the way primary delegates are actually accumulated, you are more likely to think of presidential primaries victories as if each candidate is in a bracket in the NCAA tournament – that Santorum COULD upset Romney if he could “run the table” in the remaining contests.

But Santorum “running the table” – Romney having no net gain in delegates – is impossible. Romney would have to get less than twenty percent of the vote in each of the remaining states for Santorum to get within spitting distance. The thing that is maddening to me is that every journalist in the country who is on the political beat or is a political columnist sees the basic, unalterable facts about each state’s primary delegate allocation methodology all day every day. Yet their headlines for the next few weeks will insist on suggesting that Mitt Romney is hearing Rick Santorum’s footsteps as the former Pennsylvania senator gains on him. 572 delegates is the halfway point in the GOP presidential nomination. It is the point at which the frontrunner can legitimately say that his campaign is now running down hill towards the convention.

There is no political Hail Mary of any kind that will get the Santorum campaign there before the Romney campaign. The only hope Santorum has at this point will be on the GOP convention floor in Tampa, if he can last that long.  

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