To understand why Newt Gingrich feels no compunction to leave the GOP presidential race — short of a Mitt Romney landslide on Tuesday, anyway – requires a walk deep into the weeds with Randy Evans of Atlanta.
Evans is a longtime Gingrich ally. More important, he serves as the former U.S. House speaker’s attorney.
Super Tuesday, Evans says could be the dawn of a new phase in the GOP nomination process that will be dominated by persuasion – not raw arithmetic. The contest will shift into the hands of delegates who can change their minds from week-to-week, or month-to-month.
Here’s the step-by-step logic he e-mailed over this afternoon:
There are actually 524 unbound delegates to the Convention.
A total of 1,144 delegates out of 2,286 are required to win. But to win the nomination pre-convention, with legally bound delegates, a candidate must receive 1,144 out of 1,762 legally bound delegates — or 65 percent of the legally bound delegates.
Romney has won Arizona and Florida (both of which have been contested as proportional under the Republican National Committee). Newt has won South Carolina.
To date, only 214 bound delegates have been determined.
Although they have had primaries or caucuses, delegates from Iowa (28), Maine (24), Colorado (36), and Minnesota (40) are actually not legally bound.
If Romney splits Super Tuesday states, he has a big math problem. Tomorrow, the total legally bound delegates at play is 382.
North Dakota (28) and Wyoming (29) are actually not legally bound.
To date, Romney has 146 delegates.
If he splits the 10 Super Tuesday states, he gets 191. He would have 337 delegates out of the 1,144 needed to win — or under 30 percent.
There are only eight remaining winner-take-all states left, with only 382 legally bound delegates. The three other winner-take-all contests have already happened.
If Romney swept all the winner take all states, he would only get 382 more delegates. Such a result would only get him to 719 delegates, or still 425 delegates short of 1,144.
But, at that point, there would only be 784 bound delegates left available — putting aside the winner- take-all states.
More significantly, the 784 must be divided proportionately in some way or the other. Here is the math problem:
Assuming a split on Super Tuesday, and that Romney wins all the winner-take-all states, he would still need to win 321 of the remaining available 784 to win the nomination before the convention. With states like Alabama (47), Mississippi (37), Louisiana (25), Arkansas (33), and Texas (155) – or 297 delegates – on the horizon, the math just does not add up for a Romney, legally bound, pre-convention nomination. In fact, the proportionality rules make it impossible.
Basically, if Romney does not sweep tomorrow night, his shot at a forced, pre-convention nomination is gone.
Evans adds these footnotes to help with the math:
– List of unbound delegates by state: AL-3; AK-3, American Samoa, Ark.-3, CA-3, CO-36, CT-3, DE-17, DC-3, Guam-9, Hawaii-3, ID-9, IL-69, IN-19, IA-28, KY-3, LA-21, ME-24, MD-3, Mass.-3, Minn.-40, MS-3, Montana-26, Neb.-3, NM-3, NY-3, NC-3, ND-28, Northern Marina-9, OH-3, OK-3, OR-3, PA-72, PR-3, RI-3, SD-3, TE-3, TX-3, UT-3, Virgin Islands-9, VA-3, WA-3, WV-3, Wis.-3, WY-29.
– List of bound delegates by state: NH (12), SC (25), FL (50), Nev. (28), AZ (29), MI (30), Wash. (40).
– Super Tuesday legally bound delegates by state: Alaska-24, Ga. 76, ID (23), Mass. (38), OH (63), OK (40), TN (55), VT (17), and VA (46).
– List of Romney legally bound delegates by state: NH-7, FL-50, Nev.-14, AZ-29, MI-16, WA-30.
– Winner-take-all state contests yet to occur: CA-169, DE-17, DC-16, MD-34, NJ-50, PR-20, UT-37, and WI-39. Five other states (IN, KS, MI, VT, and VA) have various winner take all forms at the congressional district level.
– Winner -take-all state contests that have already happened: AZ-29; FL-50; SC-25. Michigan was winner-take- all at the congressional district level.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider