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Romney team: nomination inevitable, shades of David Plouffe

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WASHINGTON--After the 2008 SuperTuesday votes, David Plouffe, the Barack Obama's campaign manager--now a White House strategist--argued that the window for Hillary Rodham Clinton to catch up to Obama in the delegate chase was close to mathematically impossible. Seemingly taking a cue from the Plouffe playbook, the Mitt Romney team on Wednesday--the day after SuperTuesday 2012--put out a memo by Rich Beeson, the Political Director, making the case that Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul cannot close the gap.


Beeson: "Super Tuesday voting significantly increased Governor Romney's delegate lead and makes it increasingly difficult for any of his opponents to catch him. To date, Governor Romney has won more than 50% of all delegates awarded and now holds nearly 40% of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination."

Click below for the full memo....

below, from the Romney campaign.....

MEMORANDUM


TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Rich Beeson; Political Director
DATE: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
RE: Our Opponents' Last Stand: A Postmortem

Super Tuesday voting significantly increased Governor Romney's delegate lead and makes it increasingly difficult for any of his opponents to catch him. To date, Governor Romney has won more than 50% of all delegates awarded and now holds nearly 40% of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination.

Yesterday's six wins come on top of five consecutive wins leading up to Super Tuesday. Governor Romney now has more than twice as many delegates as Senator Santorum and four times more than Speaker Gingrich. He has won twice as many states as Senator Santorum and seven times more than Speaker Gingrich. Governor Romney won 60% of Super Tuesday states. By contrast, in 2008 John McCain won only 41% (9 of 21) of the Super Tuesday states.

Neither opponent succeeded in closing his delegate deficit, and the calendar ahead offers them dwindling opportunities to close the gap. Looking at the weeks ahead, the remaining 34 contests have turned into a steep uphill climb for Governor Romney's opponents due to his 245-delegate lead and the rules for allocating delegates. Here is a look at the situation they face:

There is only one Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday (and its 437 delegates) was a one-time opportunity for Governor Romney's opponents to diminish his delegate lead and claim any kind of "comeback." They failed yesterday, and the calendar now only offers incremental opportunities to make headway.

Few large delegate prizes remain. Only two remaining dates offer more than 200 delegates each: April 24 offers 231 delegates, and June 5 offers 299 delegates. Neither provides significant pick-up opportunities for Senator Santorum or Speaker Gingrich. For example, on April 24, more than 40% of New York's 92 bound delegates will be allocated proportionally, and the remainder will be allocated on a winner-take-all basis to the first-place finisher in each of New York's congressional districts. Delaware (17 delegates) is the only state on April 24 to award its delegates on a statewide winner-take-all basis. Among the June 5 contests, only New Jersey (50 delegates) awards its delegates on a statewide winner-take-all basis.

The allocation rules prevent large delegate gains. Only four of the remaining 34 contests award their delegates on a statewide winner-take-all basis. The four statewide winner-take-all states (Utah, New Jersey, D.C. and Delaware) are unlikely to offer Senator Santorum or Speaker Gingrich victories. In fact, Santorum isn't even eligible for any of D.C.'s delegates because he failed to qualify for the ballot there. Even if Senator Santorum or Speaker Gingrich win one of the 30 remaining states, Governor Romney is still likely to finish second, thus taking a considerable portion of the delegates.

Primaries begin to dominate the calendar. Before Super Tuesday, nearly half of all contests were caucuses, but now only 7 of the remaining 34 contests are caucuses. These contests require a national organization that Governor Romney's opponents simply don't have.

Super Tuesday dramatically reduced the likelihood that any of Governor Romney's opponents can obtain the Republican nomination. As Governor Romney's opponents attempt to ignore the basic principles of math, the only person's odds of winning they are increasing are President Obama's.


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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 7, 2012 12:47 PM.

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