Despite long odds, Romney rivals standing firm
March 27th, 2012
11:18 AM ET
6 years ago

Despite long odds, Romney rivals standing firm

Washington (CNN) - For the first time in five weeks, we have a Tuesday without any primary or caucus in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But before any withdrawal symptoms kick in, let's take a look at where the hunt for delegates stands.

According to CNN's latest delegate estimate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has secured 569 delegates, and needs 575 more to reach the 1,144 needed to clinch the GOP nomination. That equals 47% of the remaining 1,213 delegates up for grabs.

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The odds get a bit higher for former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. According to the CNN estimate, he has 262 delegates, and would need to grab 882 delegates, or 73% of those remaining.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has 136 delegates, meaning he would need to win 1,008, or 83% of the remaining delegates, to clinch the nomination.

And Rep. Ron Paul has 71 delegates according to our estimate. That means the congressman from Texas would need to secure 1,073 delegates, or 88% of those still up for grabs, to become the Republican nominee.

Despite the long odds, neither Santorum, Gingrich or Paul sound like candidates about to drop out of the race.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Santorum if he thinks he has a realistic chance of becoming the nominee.

"We think we can get there and we think the likelihood, I think the likelihood that neither of us can get there, but I think we can still get there," Santorum said Monday in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room," suggesting that Romney would not lock up the nomination by the time the primary and caucus calendar comes to a close in late June.

"This race is in all likelihood going to go to the convention. And there may be someone with what they say are enough delegates, but as you also know, Wolf, a huge number of delegates are uncommitted. They may be for me or they may be for Mitt, but they're technically uncommitted and therefore you can't put them in your column," added Santorum.

Santorum disagrees with the delegate estimates put out by CNN and other news organizations.

Gingrich, also interviewed by Blitzer on Monday, agrees with Santorum that Romney may not clinch the nomination before the end of the primary season, possibly forcing the race to be decided at the Republican presidential nominating convention in late August in Tampa, Florida.

"Look, I think the front-runner's clearly Mitt Romney," said Gingrich, adding that "he's the weakest front runner in modern times. If he can get to 1,144, he's the nominee. But if he can't get to 1144, on 26th of June, the last primary, then it's gonna be a wide open electronic convention for 60 days of talking among the American people, and I think people generally believe I'm the person who can best debate Obama. And at that point if Romney can't clinch it, I think it becomes pretty wide open."

Paul also sounds very committed to staying in the race.

"It's way too soon for you to write anybody off. Besides, just because somebody is in second or third place but there's a race going on. What if Mitt Romney isn't the best person? Why should we just throw in the towel because people like you say hey, throw in the towel," Paul told said Monday in an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

The primary calendar resumes next Tuesday, with contests in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Then there's another three week break until April 24, when New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island vote. The April calendar, loaded with more moderate states in the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, and Midwest, appears to favor Romney over Santorum, with the possible exception of Pennsylvania, where Santorum grew up and represented in Congress for nearly two decades.

The next month, with states such as Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia on May 8, Idaho, Nebraska and Oregon on May 15, Arkansas and Kentucky on May 22, and Texas on May 29, could be more favorable to Santorum, but the big question is whether Santorum can make it to May.

Also see:

Palin congratulates Santorum over 'bulls-' remark

Gingrich campaign charges $50 for photos

Paul: Don't count me out

Romney not worried about Sanoturm, labels Russia No. 1 'foe'

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    Newt's face looks like it's been sitting too long with that phony smile of his. Newt will be the lst to start WWIII with any country, he's been trying to do so and he's not president.

    March 27, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. Dave

    Last time I checked, no one in Russia got to vote for the President of the USA!

    March 27, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Standing firm....

    Democracy is not to falter and give in to presusre and abandon the Peoples' right to vote...Newt stand your ground and fight for all Americans to make each and every vote count....!

    March 27, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. Post this

    Medvedev can keep the current Pres. There is a reason that Russia has plenty of inflation.

    March 27, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    @ S.B.Stein – " If Obama was really a socialist, then why did he not push for a single payer health care system? That would have been the way to go."
    He wanted it. – he just would have never got it. He learned that from Bill Clinton's first term.

    March 27, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Matt

    Dear readers,
    My friend and I have an ONLINE RADIO SHOW on politics. It is on BLOGTALKRADIO.COM and search "WE THE PEOPLE WITH MATT AND ERIC." Our show airs every TUESDAY at 10PM EST. I won't say what side we take personally because to me it is unimportant. It will be clear after we begin to talk, but the point of the show is not to regurgitate information from the news or bash anyone or anything per se. The objective of the show is for us to spark a conversation and/or debate and engage. We welcome all people from the political spectrum, and embrace all arguments ideas etc.

    March 27, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. vatoloke

    Romney can't even handle Rush, much less Russia.

    March 27, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. JOHN

    The Three Stooges. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

    March 27, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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