Republican Primary Race Nowhere Near Over

Wednesday, 07 Mar 2012 12:14 PM

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While the delegate math is on the side of Mitt Romney, making his nomination almost inevitable, other factors may keep his opponents for the Republican presidential nomination in the race for weeks or months, The Washington Post reported.

Heading into Tuesday’s voting, Romney had more than 200 delegates, twice as many as Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, were far behind. “Delegate-wise, it’s virtually impossible for Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich to get to 1,144,” Josh Putnam, a Davidson College professor who is an expert on the GOP rules, told the Post.

With states currently allocating delegates proportionally, just about every candidate gets something, and collecting delegates gives them a reason to continue the fight. However, in April, party rules shift and allow states to award delegates on a winner-take-all basis, the Post reported.

Some of the states up for grabs in April are Maryland, with 37 delegates; Wisconsin, with 42; New York, with 95; and Pennsylvania, with 72.

 “The next couple of weeks will be dominated by different groups of people accepting reality, which is that Mitt Romney will be the nominee,” Steve Schmidt, who worked with John McCain in 2008, told the Post. “There’s just not going to be much appetite in the Republican Party for a long, drawn-out primary when the outcome is clear.”

Nonetheless, Romney could stumble and upcoming contests in the South look better for Santorum and Gingrich. “We have Mississippi and Alabama and Kansas, and I think I’ll win at least two out of three,” Gingrich said on CNN.


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