Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day for Mitt Romney

Here in Massachusetts we had a beautiful 55 degree day on February 1, with another warm but raining day in the outlook for February 2. It looks like we'll be getting an early spring.

What about our own Mitt Romney, who certainly sprang to life with his big win in the sunshine state of Florida? If Mitt Romney wakes up this morning and sees his shadow, that means there will be six more weeks of campaigning for the Republican nomination for President. But what if he doesn't see his shadow? If this gloomy fight goes on state by state, just how long can it go?

March 24 in Louisiana - the earliest date Mitt can clinch the nomination, but that would assume the impossible of winning all the delegates even in states with proportional allocation rather than winner-take-all.

May 15 in Oregon and Nebraska - it's reasonable to assume Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul will win a third or more of the delegates across proportional states and a few winner-take-all states. If Mitt wins two-thirds of the delegates, he doesn't clinch until May 15.

June 5 in California and 4 other states - If Mitt is winning less than two-thirds of delegates, it will go all the way to June 5.

June 26 in Utah - as the last state to vote, Utah is the tie-breaker, and in that case we can expect the Mormon voters of Utah to give the win to Mitt.

So Mitt Romney can expect a long winter before he clinches the nomination. He'll be lucky to get one of those classic New England springs that linger about a week before summer arrives.

What are the wild cards and potential game changers?

Missouri on February 7 - Rick Santorum goes head to head with Mitt Romney in this nonbiding primary. Rick could sure use a win to regain his lost Iowa momentum.

Virginia on March 6 - only Ron Paul is on the ballot against Mitt Romney. If conservatives want to demonstrate they can beat Mitt Romney by consolidating behind a single candidate, this is their chance to prove it.

Other southern states - looking at Mike Huckabee in 2008, as well as the results in South Carolina and the Florida panhandle in 2012, it would be no surprise if Newt Gingrich wins some states in the South. The endorsement of Texas Governor Rick Perry might even win Newt that big prize. More Mitt wins in the South to follow Florida would seal Newt's fate.

Industrial states - Mitt would face a real threat if Rick Santorum can put it together in his own home state of Pennsylvania and midwestern states like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The primary calendar does not cooperate, putting Pennsylvania a long way away on April 24.

Update: I don't know about the goundhog, but Mitt Romney did trump the field by winning the endorsement of the wet raccoon:

1 comment:

buddeshepherd said...

But...I still don't like any of them! And I dislike them more and more with every revealing campaign statement!
Voting for the least evil is not voting one's conscience which is what I assume democracy is supposed to be.
Once again I will either not vote or "waste" my vote on a third part candidate.