A general reminder: I’ll be voting for Obama come November, so looking at the GOP race is relatively dispassionate for me. If anything, I get to be torn between the person who most ensures Obama’s victory and the person I could best tolerate if he defeated Obama.
A second general reminder. Politics discussions have a tendency to get nasty. I’m happy to discuss. I’m not going to tolerate flames or trolls.
At this time the GOP race is approximately 1/3 finished, with roughly 725 of the 2286 assigned delegates determined. Of that, Romney’s got about 400 or about 55% of the total.
To be the “designated winner” before the end he needs a commanding lead. Compared to any single competitor he’s got that. As a portion of the whole, however, he doesn’t.
I’m going to make a SWAG here. I’m going to guess that the further we go the lower the lead Romney has to hold over the total of his competition to be declared the ‘winner’. I’m going to guess right now that the line is around 2/3 of the total delegates. By the end of April when about 2/3 of the total are selected it’ll be lower, with my guess being around 60%, maybe his present 55%.
Romney’s problem is Gingrich. That’s also Santorum’s problem and for almost the same reason. Gingrich, by not giving up even though it’s obvious he can’t win, is simultaneously giving the illusion of a huge anyone but Romney base and preventing Santorum from getting a huge number of votes.
A simple reminder. Assuming superdelegates split like regular delegates, all Romney needs going into the convention is 50%+1. Assuming superdelegates split 2/3 for the leader all he needs is about 45% of the assigned delegates. With his present lead Romney has to hope one of those assumptions is true or it’s going to turn into a long march to a nightmare for him.