The talking points suggesting that this race is all but over have really begun to get on my nerves, because there’s really no evidence this is true. As long as Gingrich and Santorum remain in this race, the race continues until somebody obtains 1144 delegates, or we wind up at the convention. The question is whether it is numerically possible for anybody but Romney to get enough delegates, and as Drudge couldn’t wait to point out to the world Sunday, it’s going to be tough for Santorum or Gingrich, in second and third in the delegate count respectively. The truth this conceals is that Romney isn’t in much better shape at this juncture.
Demonstrating my point about Romney, and the reason the Drudge page pointing out Santorum will need 74% of delegates to win was a bit dishonest, what is missed in all of this is that it omits the fact that Romney’s path isn’t exceptionally better. Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele makes this clear in the following video of a March 16th appearance on MSNBC:
From my point of view, the thing that must happen throughout the remainder of this primary season is that Gingrich and Santorum must arrive at the convention having prevented Romney from obtaining 1144 delegates. If they do this, anything is possible, and it could be that between them, they are able to forge some sort of strategic alliance to overcome Mitt Romney in a brokered convention. This is why Romney and all his surrogates in media continue to press the theme that either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum should get out: If either one does, it will make Romney’s job of obtaining 1144 delegates that much easier.
I don’t think most conservatives are interested in seeing that happen, whomever they support, because the fact is that we are still in the position where roughly 60% of the party wants somebody other than Mitt Romney. Of course, Romney’s defenders are quick to point out that the others are in worse shape, but that ignores something critical: Romney is the apparent front-runner, and as yet, he has shown no ability to put the contest to an end by defeating all of his competitors, at once and finally.