The long march continued with Illinois last night. I would offer the cliché that there is no end in sight, but there is – it’s just that it’s several months away, which seems like forever in politics. But after June 5, Mexican American presidential candidate Mitt “Etch a Sketch” Romney will surely be the Republican nominee. I offered a looser outline of the delegate math some weeks ago, but here’s a more-accurate summation:
Right now, the delegate count stands at 560 for Romney, 246 for Rick Santorum, 141 for Newt Gingrich, and 66 for Ron Paul.
A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to take the nomination.
After April 3, when Wisconsin, Maryland, and D.C. vote in their winner-take-all primaries, Romney will have another 100 or so delegates. (Total: 660)
After April 24 (the voting date for New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware), he’ll have another 150 at least. (Total: 810)
Romney will gather another 150 or so throughout the month of May, even though he could come in second place in many of these Southern and Appalachian contests, because all of them award delegates proportionally. (Total: 970)
On June 5, winner-take-all primaries are held in California and New Jersey, along with proportional contests in South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico. That’ll get Romney another 250 or so. (Total: 1,220, and the nomination)
These are conservative estimates, mind you. And after all this, as long as Romney’s got at least 1,104 delegates, he still gets the nomination, because there’s one state left. Utah has a winner-take-all primary on June 26, and Romney’s not about to lose the 40 delegates that come to him from Mormon Central.
This doesn’t include unpledged delegates that can vote for whomever they please, and there are more than 100 of these, enough to swing a close election to Romney so that the party can get on to the important business of running against Barack Obama.
This, then, is why I’ve been saying since Super Tuesday that this nomination is all but over. Commentary on the horse race of this nomination is like getting excited over the 1973 Belmont Stakes, which Secretariat won by 31 lengths to wrap up the Triple Crown. Sure, this race isn’t as much of a blow out, but the pondering over who will get the Republican nomination is tantamount to sitting there in Elmont, N.Y., 39 years ago and wondering whether Sham can overtake Secretariat. It’s not going to happen, and you sound goofy for even asking the question.