Romney's Fuzzy Math for a Fuzzy Campaign

Thursday, 08 Mar 2012 10:00 PM

By Christopher Ruddy Newsmax

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Christopher Ruddy's Perspective: I am continually amazed how those at the Romney campaign continue to act victorious when they have such a poor case to make about cinching the nomination.

Case in point was yesterday's release of a memo that Romney aides claimed proves that only an "act of God" can prevent Romney from getting the nomination. The memo comes on the heels of Romney's public suggestion that the other candidates should get out of the race.

The Romney team argues that their candidate needs 48 percent of the remaining delegates to win the nomination, while their leading contender Rick Santorum would need 65 percent and Newt Gingrich 70 percent.

Sure, it's unlikely that Santorum or Gingrich can pull that off. But it's just as unlikely for Romney to get 48 percent of the remaining delegates.
Image of Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney.
  Santorum     Romney


This means that Romney will fall short of the 1,144 delegates to win on the first ballot in Tampa and it will be brokered.

This past week, one campaign strategist with ties to the Romney campaign laid out Mitt's problem to me. A back of the envelope count shows the likely number of delegates Romney will have by April 1, due to the proportion distribution of candidates up to that point.

After April 1, a winner-takes-all system kicks in. My source says that if Romney wins every single primary after April 1, his tally goes up to about 1,200 delegates, making him the winner.

"So if Romney stumbles and loses one or more primaries, he likely falls short of the 1,144," the source said.

As we can see, there is a good likelihood Romney will lose one or more primaries after April 1. If either Santorum or Gingrich are still in the race by May, Romney will undoubtedly lose the delegate-rich state of Texas.

To date, Romney's performance has been weak. Take for example, his Super Tuesday results. He narrowly won Ohio after outspending Rick Santorum by 12-to-1.

Overall, Romney has spent over $60 million, largely in negative attack ads against Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, and what does he have to show for it? Not much.

He lost Iowa. 

He lost South Carolina.

He lost Missouri and Minnesota.

So far he's lost almost every Southern state. On Tuesday we saw landslides for Gingrich in Georgia and Santorum in Tennessee. And states that should be "easy" Mitt wins, like his home state of Michigan, he only squeaked by after spending millions in attack ads there.

The state he's won handily, he did so by running brutally negative ads against his fellow Republicans.

Ed Rollins, the genius behind Reagan's brilliant 1984 re-election, said on Fox News the overall voting trends for Romney are not good.

Rollins observes that Romney has done really well in blue-state primaries. But Republicans won't win these states this November. Rollins adds that Romney loses badly in many red states — ones he must carry in November.

So Romney has almost all the money, all the big endorsements from the Washington and New York insiders, and a well-oiled campaign machine, and yet he's being beaten by Rick Santorum who has a clipboard and whistle, and by Newt Gingrich who has a podium.

What's the message here? A supermajority of the Republican party — about 65 percent at this moment — either don't want Mitt Romney or are not comfortable with him as their nominee.

The leaders who make up the conservative movement across the nation consistently tell me the same thing: Mitt talks a conservative game, but he has yet to walk it.

The truth is that his policy advisers and campaign staff are filled with moderates who are out of step with the base of the Republican Party.

One Romney adviser told The Wall Street Journal that as president he would consider doing away with "carried interest" which drives investment and entrepreneurship in the country. The Journal said Romney was embarrassed by the fact he pays so little tax himself.

Another Romney aide, a healthcare adviser, has stated a Romney administration will keep key parts of Obamacare.

On the campaign trail, the candidate tells a different story, one that is consistently Reaganesque and vehemently opposed to programs like Obamacare.

But the Reagan picture Romney paints isn't backed up with a cast of conservative characters around him that would demonstrate his intent.

"People are policy" and conservatives have needed that reassurance from Romney for good reason. Romney has flip-flopped on so many key issues so often, he needs not a new Reagan speech but a Reagan team.

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