BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) – The day after a disappointing Super Tuesday showing, a spokesman for Mitt Romney told reporters gathered outside campaign headquarters that the former Massachusetts governor would push on through to the nominating convention.
“John McCain had a good night, there’s no question about that. But that doesn’t mean Mitt Romney had a bad night," said Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney's traveling press secretary. “We won seven states, we’re number two in the delegate count and we’re moving forward to the next contest and we’re looking forward to it.”
Romney gathered his staff in a large room at the headquarters in the early afternoon to thank them for their hard work and to give them a pep talk. “Morale is very upbeat,” said Fehrnstrom, “if you guys were out here and heard the cheering and applause, that was for the governor and his performance last night. So everybody’s feeling good about the future.”
What the future holds is an uphill climb. Republicans have to win 1,191 delegates to clinch the nomination. To date Romney has won an estimated 270 delegates to John McCain’s estimated 680 - with roughly 1200 still up for grabs. That means he would have to win a full three-quarters of the remaining delegates against a candidate who is gathering steam.
Fehrnstrom said Romney's path to the nomination runs through Ohio and Texas, two of the biggest post-Super Tuesday states. “Texas has a very conservative Republican electorate, we expect to do well there,” he said, “and Ohio has some of the same economic problems as Michigan which we already won.”
Romney didn’t talk to the press Wednesday, instead making a quick exit with wife Ann to their car later in the afternoon.
On Thursday, Romney will give a speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee convention in Washington, D.C. and speak a dinner in Baltimore ahead of the D.C. and Maryland primaries on February 12. This weekend, he will travel to Kansas and Washington state to continue campaigning.
- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt