The math matters.
Mitt Romney, not Rick Santorum, is going to the be Republican nominee for President.
For more than a month now, Santorum has attempted to challenge Romney’s position as the GOP frontrunner and presumptive nominee. The media has hailed Santorum as the upstart challenger to Romney’s inevitability. There has been much talk about the momentum he gained from photo-finishes in Michigan and Ohio. He parlayed his wins in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee into wins in Alabama and Mississippi. He will now try to turn those wins into forcing Newt Gingrich out of the race so that he can essentially go head-to-head with Romney. (Sorry, my pro-Ron Paul friends.)
But the math matters. When the dust settles and the delegates are counted, over the last month - there is no other way to put it - Mitt Romney has been trouncing Rick Santorum. A look inside the numbers shows a very different story than what the headlines and soundbites might be telling us. Since February 18, following Santorum’s insurgent wins in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri, Romney has nearly doubled up Santorum in the delegate column. Romney has amassed 352 delegates to Santorum’s 180.
Mitt Romney - 42
Rick Santorum - 38
March 10 - KS, Guam, Northern Marianas, Virgin Islands
Mitt Romney - 23
Rick Santorum - 33
March 6 - MA, VT, OH, VA, TN, GA, ND, ID, AK
Mitt Romney - 220
Rick Santorum - 85
February 28-29 - MI, AZ, WY
Mitt Romney - 57
Rick Santorum - 21
February 18 - ME
Mitt Romney - 9
Rick Santorum - 3
In the past month, Santorum has only won one day of voting, March 10 in Kansas. Santorum has only won the most socially conservative areas of the most socially conservative states. Romney has consistently won suburban and urban counties as well as independents. And, he has consistently added the only thing that really matters in the race for the nomination - delegates. In total, Romney already has 432 of the 1144 delegates needed to be the GOP nominee.
The media has only one concern - a good story. The race being over is not a good story, and so we can expect to continue to see trumped up drama about the chance that both Santorum and Gingrich have to upend Romney. But it’s not going to happen.
Santorum will continue to talk about how if Gingrich would drop out, he could beat Romney handily. He will try to keep his campaign and hopes alive. But, if the past months give us any pattern, even on the days that he thinks he’s won, Santorum is actually losing ground.
The math matters. And this race is as good as over.