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Newt political memo: Mitt not inevitable

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WASHINGTON--Two goals of the Newt Gingrich organization are to prevent Gingrich from being written off as not viable if he does not do well in the Alabama and Mississippi contests today and to try to derail the narrative--promoted by the Mitt Romney campaign and by independent observers--that Romney has a nearly insurmountable lead. The reality is if Gingrich does not do well in these southern states, it will be hard for him to argue he is the conservative alternative to Rick Santorum.


Gingrich campaign director Michael Krull said in a Tuesday memo, "the Romney Campaign, Washington Establishment, and elite media are all trying to prematurely end the Republican primary. But in reality, it's not even halftime. In the memo below, Newt 2012 political director Martin Baker and senior advisor Randy Evans breakdown the state-by-state delegate math and explain why Newt is well positioned for the second half."


Click below for the memo....

below, from the Gingrich campaign...

An Historical Nomination Process Underway
by Randy Evans, Senior Advisor and Martin Baker, National Political Dir.

Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom that dominates the news media, Newt Gingrich is well positioned to win the GOP nomination and here's why.

Today's contests in Alabama, American Samoa, Hawaii, and Mississippi are big, but it's still early. Louisiana, on March 24th, will actually be "halftime" in the race for the GOP nomination.

Heading into Louisiana, states with delegates totaling 1,141 will have decided - just short of the 1,144 needed for the nomination. It will be Louisiana that moves the process past the halfway mark with 34 states accounting for 1,187 delegates having been voted.

Yet by halftime, the process will be far from over. Just look at the math.

One half of the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination is 572. To date, according to the RNC and factoring in results from Kansas and Wyoming on Saturday, Mitt Romney has only 350 bound delegates. Between, now and Louisiana, there are only 170 total bound delegates available - and that count includes Missouri whose delegates, while bound, will actually be elected at conventions later this spring.

Even if Romney could get 100% of the available bound delegates before Louisiana (which he cannot), he would still be well short of 572. Instead, with the proportional allocations that apply, Mitt Romney's more likely 57 additional delegates would only put him at 407 total delegates (35.6%) - well short of the 572 needed to be halfway to the magic number.

With a steady 35% of delegates and no change in sight, the fact that Romney advisers have undoubtedly told him is that he can no longer force his nomination. Mathematically, the numbers are just not there. Instead, with 4 candidates remaining, the GOP nomination now moves into unchartered waters with history in the making.

The sequencing and pace of the second half favors Newt. When this process started, Newt's team had two goals: block an early Romney nomination; and plan for a sequenced and pacedsecond half.

Newt stopped Romney in South Carolina and subsequentlyweathered a multi-million dollar barrage of attacks in Florida, surviving to win in Georgia on Super Tuesday.

Starting with Louisiana, there is the second half and the sequence is important.

After Louisiana on March 24th, there are primaries on April 3rd in the District of Columbia (winner take all without Santorum on the ballot); Maryland (a favorable state); and Wisconsin (Callista Gingrich's home state).

Then, the process slows - permitting all of the candidates to work the states, not just the one with money.

On April 24th, more than four weeks after Louisiana, Senator Santorum faces a 'must win' in Pennsylvania (whose delegates remain unbound regardless of outcome) with other big contests that day in Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and delegate rich New York (95).

Two weeks later, on May 8th, there are more southern primaries in North Carolina and West Virginia along with Indiana. On May 15, there are primaries in Nebraska and Oregon.

Then, the delegate rich 3-week dash that could decide the nomination begins with more southern primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky on May 22nd. They lead into Texas (155 delegates) on May 29th.

After 2 weeks of southern primaries, the process then turns on June 5th to California (172 delegates), New Jersey (50), New Mexico and South Dakota. California and New Jersey alone represent almost 20% of the delegates needed for the nomination.

In total, the states in this final 3 week stretch have 509 total delegates - or almost half of what is needed for the nomination. The final primary (Utah) is not for three weeks afterwards on June 26.

So here is the bottom-line reality: this nomination will not be decided until the fourth quarter - and that is not until June. It also means that the candidate who closes strongest in this race is going to win.

It is a long way until June 26th. Republicans indeed get to be a part of history, not more of the same.

So buckle up. This race is not going to be won or lost over backroom deals or endless and mind-numbing discussions in the media over delegate counts. This race is going to be decided by a big debate - a big choice - among GOP primary voters about the future of the Republican Party; what it stands for, and which candidate has the most compelling vision and most credibility to carry forward a conservative governing agenda.

That is the debate Newt is going to win, and with it, the nomination and the election.


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 13, 2012 2:29 PM.

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