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PART 3. Without 1,144 Votes on the First Ballot Romney is in Trouble

This article is the last installment of a three-part series on Mitt Romney. To read the first part, click here. To read the second, click here.

Romney’s victories and even his losses have come at a great price. His narrow win in his home state of Michigan was at a total cost of six times what was spent in the state for Santorum. Romney’s reliance on large donors, many of whom have now given the maximum, will make it harder for him to fund future state contests at such levels as the race drags on.

Given that the primary calendar was frontloaded to give Romney an advantage in the earlier races, Romney has now plucked most of the low-hanging fruit. After a first quarter devoted to expensive scorched earth negative TV campaigns, Romney and his Super PAC are left with $17.8 million as of February 29, a sharp decline from the $24 million they had at the end of January and the $43.5 million war chest they had at the end of 2011.

It will be increasingly difficult for him to outspend Santorum 6, or 7 or 10 to 1 to get to the 46 percent or more of the delegates he needs in every state now that the contests are moving into states more favorable to Santorum.​​global/2012/03/santorum_path_​​to_victory_memo.html  (page 2)

According to one reasonable model for delegate allocation, what this means is that as Romney puts his strongest states in the rearview mirror, a relatively small increase in votes for Santorum going forward, and a similar reduction for Romney, would cause Romney to come up short of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the Convention on the first ballot. And if Romney doesn't win on the first ballot, he's in trouble.


There are a number of other factors affecting the final pre-Convention total that are not readily apparent from the current unreliable delegate counts; first and foremost is what does Newt Gingrich do?

Whether Newt stays in the race or suspends his campaign, he sends to the convention a group of delegates sure to vote against Mitt Romney on the first ballot. Given grassroots conservative distaste for Mitt Romney, for him to obtain the nomination he would most likely need a majority of votes on the first ballot. Should no candidate gain the necessary 1,144 delegates by the time the roll is called at the convention, Santorum is in a much stronger position to win the nomination because grassroots conservatives will likely back a more conservative candidate on subsequent ballots.

Given the antipathy that Gingrich has toward Romney, after Romney’s campaign of personal destruction against the former Speaker, it is not hard to imagine a pre-roll call deal that would send Newt’s delegates to Rick Santorum.

Romney’s continued desperate spending in state after state suggests that he does not believe the race is over. While the Romney campaign and many establishment Republican insiders are making the argument that Romney has the nomination wrapped-up, the media and the public are just starting to understand that the delegate counts that they have been given are inconsistent and inaccurate.

There is a reason for the Romney campaign’s transparent attempts inflate their delegate count.

As Morton Blackwell pointed out in his Red State post, “Ultimately, the national convention itself has plenary power to enforce the rules, and the convention majority decides how to enforce them. If no candidate has a clear majority of the uncontested delegate votes, enforcement of the rules could become the decisive issue of the convention.”

Despite his win in Illinois, Mitt Romney is a long way from the 1,144 delegates he needs to secure the nomination on the first ballot.  If the plain meaning of the RNC Rules stands, and Romney can't outspend Santorum  6, or 7 or 10 to 1 in every state, Mitt’s math is getting tougher by the day.  If the delegates are assigned according to the Rules, when the roll is called in Tampa there is no reason to believe that with united conservative support behind him, Rick Santorum can’t win the Republican nomination for President once the delegates are free to vote their conscience.

Tim Lafever is an attorney and conservative activist from California.

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Rick Will WIn!

Of course Conservative HQ is pro Santorum. That's because he is a great candidate and the only one to present a sharp contrast with the radical Socialist Usurper now occupying our WH.

He is also the only contender who will be able to defeat Hussein.

Rick is coming to WI. this weekend and we are gearing up to give him a huge Cheesehead welcome.

May God bless him and his whole family.  

Funny this argument is in favor of Delegates backing Frothy

I find it fascinating how much CHQ is so enamored with Big Spender Mr. Frothy Santorum. 
In fact the header of the CHQ website is rather misleaded: 

"The online news source for conservatives and Tea Partiers committed to bringing small-government constitutional conservatives to power."


Santorum in no way can be defined as a "small-government constitutional conservative".

He voted to RAISE the debt ceiling FIVE TIMES (that increased the debt by almost $4.6 TRILLION dollars)
Santorum voted for Medicare Part D - one of the biggest entitlement plans in history and one of the costliest.
He voted for No Child Left Behind ( a horrible disaster that raised spending in the dept of education by $50+ BILLION dollars)
Please read these two links for more FACTS on Santorum's VOTING record.  
What a man SAYS is sometimes different than what a man DOES.  


By the way - the fact that CHQ keeps hawking Santorum is sad.  Santorum CAN NOT win the general election against Obama.  Independents, moderates, youth, disenfranchised democrats and Ron Paul Republicans WILL NOT vote for Frothy.  Just look at all the major national polls: when Santorum is pitted against Obama - Santorum loses by a big margin. 


Ron Paul is doing better than Santorum in the national polls and Paul gets almost no attention anymore (almost never got any attention to begin with either - 89 seconds at one debate - disgraceful). 


Romney has the best national polling against Obama but he gets HUGE media coverage and has tens of millions of dollars to campaign upon. 


Newt Gingrich who gets far more media attention than Ron Paul does the worst: 


I wish Gingrich would drop out so some of his votes would go to Paul and some to *choke* Santorum.
But this could help force the Brokered convention and this is where everyone is going to be shocked at how strong Ron Paul does.  

frothy Santorum

I agree wholeheartedly! the media and establishment Republicans  are doing their best to ignore and disenfranchise Paul. If all the delegates at the Convention were free to vote their conscience and Ron paul got the chance to speak, He would get a majority! He has the best chance to win against Obama because there are so many Democrats and Independents and Tea party conservatives that would vote for him. Both Dems and GOP in my family-attorneys, military, , etc. have all indicated they would support Dr. Paul if he was the GOP nominee.

delegate counting/romney vs. Santorum

I don't want either of these phonies and I refuse to believe that the majority of conservative voters do either. After reading about the RNC/state committees  shenanigans in MO  and other states, I'm wondering how it would be possible for Ron Paul to even get on the ballot in Tampa. All those rules controlling the delegate counts mean the RNC can pretty much call the shots-delegates be damned.