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. Dave

    After that SEVERLY stupid & irresponsible comment about Russia & them being our # 1 enemy. These guys should not rally around Mr personality. Gee, lets start another cold war with someone who is not in the least our enemy. What a stupid stupid man you are Mitt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 27, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Peace

    If GOP are clever enough, will not send Romney for the major battle, otherwise President Obama will crash him into ashes. The man is a light weight and he has not shown anything so far that he can fight. It is only money which is fighting for him. There is mega money waiting on the opposite side to send Romney where he came from and never come back! Believe me the Dem side is really well prepared.

    March 27, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    The goal is to deprive Romney an outright win with 1144 votes. It will be a victory of sorts for Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul to drag the fight into the convention. What fun...a real slugfest and mud slinging in August! Will the holier than thou family values and Tea Party zealots allow establishment insider brokers determine the nominee? Maybe there will be an all out fisticuffs floor fight!

    March 27, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Marie MD

    Must be nice to have tons of money to buy an election. Reminds me of the year 2000!
    His cabinet will made up of rich people with no concept of how to live within your means.

    March 27, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Nobama

    They don't know how to lose! What a bunch of incompetent idots!. They are running for President?? Give me a break!!

    March 27, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. marjee123

    Palin such a joke. I guess she means that no reporter should ask a question that requires a sensible answer. You know a tough question like "What would you do in a situation like this"....I mean darn....the guy IS running for the president of the United States, the public deserves to know what he would do. Does that mean he would run and hide, like he is trying to do on this question.

    March 27, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    As Mittens threatens a war with Iraq, and tries to rekindle the cold war with Russia, more and more chickenhawk republicans will fall in line and support Mittens.

    March 27, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. B

    Romney will be the Republican nominee because he is the most likely of the worst ever put forth by the GOP.

    Obama will make it completely clear in the first debate with him that he is a "weathervane" of the thought process and will go 180 degrees on any issue to comply with his current audience. All you have to do is look at his history which Obama will make it very clear.

    March 27, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. MTATL67

    The Republican candidates suffer from what I call the Palin effect. Basically it is lie as if it were the truth, Make a mistake on facts but don't correct yourself and do only what is your own self interest.

    March 27, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Gabby

    Marie MD

    Must be nice to have tons of money to buy an election. Reminds me of the year 2000!
    His cabinet will made up of rich people with no concept of how to live within your means.
    Couldn't agree with you more. After all, look at all the money BILLIONAIRE George Soros has given to Obama's campaign war chest. And how about Peter B. Lewis, the billionaire chairman of Progressive Insurance. He sure has donated heavily to Obama's campaign war chest. Oh, and sure can't forget all the millions Unions gave to Obama's campaign war chest. Yep, sure must be nice "to buy an election."

    March 27, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    this farce of a process will go into at least May before Mittens finally wins the delegates he needs. Until then, Sanctimonious, the philanderer and their minions will hammer Mittens til he is so damaged, Obama need only repeat what they've said to endure his second term. As for VP, nothing other than Simple Sarah or Nutty Bachman would top Sanctimonious as the candidate. Any one of them makes it even easier for an Obama landslide

    March 27, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. GonzoinHouston

    Santorum is building support for either becoming the VP or aligning himself to be Next In Line for 2016. Newt's just drawing attention so he can sell some more books. As for Romney? Well, be careful what you wish for Mitt, you just might get it.

    March 27, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Romney will be the one to kick the socialist Obama right back to Chicago where he belongs. The long four years of failure and record unemployment with no end in sight will finally be over. Hopefully we can survive until then skyrocketing gas and food prices thanks to Obama runnin gthe printing presses non-stop to fund his insane spending.

    March 27, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    The long four years of failure and record unemployment with no end in sight will finally be over.
    During Pres. Obama's first speech he noted that it would take years for the economy to recover from the across the board hit that it took. Past recessions have affected primarily one industry. The Great Recession hit every major industry hard. Pres. Obama had said that it would take until 2014 before people could finally say, "It's behind us."

    I think he's wrong. Aggressive tax cuts in the federal tax rates have always had one result. We get an economic boom, followed by an economic bust. In other words, Wall Street goes on a feeding frenzy followed by a recession. The pattern that has held has been that the bust phase [recession followed by a recovery phase to return to a prior state] always lasts twice as long as the boom phase. The boom from the Bush Tax Cuts lasted 6 years and ended Dec. 2007 when the Recession began.

    That adds up to a bust phase lasting for 12 years. We won't be out of this until at least 2019.

    March 27, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. R

    @ Truth and Nothing But the Truth
    "Hopefully we can survive until then skyrocketing gas and food prices thanks to Obama runnin gthe printing presses non-stop to fund his insane spending."

    And how exactly does "Obama running the printing presses non-stop" equate to the rise in gas prices?

    Oh, and Rudy NYC – go ahead and take a guess on the "tone" of my question.

    March 27, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Larry L

    The Koch brothers et. al. are used to getting what they want and this will be no didderent. They'll pay enough to get the nomination of Romney because he's exactly the sort of pliable flip-flopper they need to push through initiatives for the elite class. Fooling the right-wingers of the Tea Party is too simple – just tell the lie enough times and they believe it to be true.

    March 27, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Larry L

    @Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    "Romney will be the one to kick the socialist Obama right back to Chicago where he belongs."
    What's not to like about a liberal/moderate/conservative/pro-life/pro-abortion rights/pro-Obamacare/anti-Obamacare/Almost-Christian-Mormon? The fact that he's pushing a fascist government for the Koch brothers makes him that much more "special".

    March 27, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Core republican Values

    One of the Core republican Values I love is putting your own self-interests over that of your family, your country, and most important, your political party. Its super to see these guys work hard to pump up their national exposure and speaking fees, while they seriously damage the republican party's chances in November.

    Core republican Values at work!!!

    March 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that Romney, the likely nominee, can't run his general election campaign like he has the primary campaign. He can't expect to out spend the opponent in any way shape or form without this being played in the media. Most of his donors have been tapped out for the primary and likely for the general election quickly too.

    @Truth, I don't know if you have been anti-spending just now or all the time, but Congress under control of the GOP while George W. Bush was in charge spent far too much. 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.

    March 27, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. demwit

    Did Obama have to battle Hillary all the way to the convention?
    I only remember the positive spin CNN put on that news coverage..,

    March 27, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Ever since Election Day 2008, we have seen a stark contrast between the Democratic and Republican parties, which is just now coming to forefront for all to see. Democrats began slowly and a bit fractured, while Republicans did the exact opposite wit the rise of the Tea Party. Democrats have coalesced, while Republicans have regressed as the establishment has visibly been weakened.

    Curiously enough, each of the GOP candidates represent a different feather on the right wing. Romney is the business wing. Gingrich is the tax wing. Santorum is the evangelical wing. Paul represents the persistent libertarian wing, which used to be the most extreme a decade or two ago, and could now be the most liberal. Now. You tell me which wing is the more extreme.

    March 27, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Dave

    Daddy rich mormon, can you send me away to France to avoid Vietnom?. Daddy, can I please be a draft dogger ? Gee, thanks Daddy rich mormon. & someday I wanna be a Commander In Chief & say all kinds of SEVERLY stupid stuff & try to start world war 3.

    March 27, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Ferret out the BS

    I'd like to see a brawl on the convention floor, I might even watch it if that were to happen. I could just see Ron Paul and Santorum going at it and Mitt all over Newt. Ahhh interesting times ahead.

    March 27, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    S. B. Stein wrote:

    @Truth, I don't know if you have been anti-spending just now or all the time, but Congress under control of the GOP while George W. Bush was in charge spent far too much.
    Truth doesn't care about the facts, only the message. It is what conservatives have always done. Accussing the other side of doing the bad deeds that you do yourself before the other side can call you out for it. Because when the other side does call you out, it sounds petty.

    The often denied trutn is that Bush had a $1.5T deficit for his last year in office, and handed it to Obama. As high as spending has been for the past 3 years, each successive year has seen a lower deficit. Another truth is that every Democratic president has done exactly that with their annual budgets, reduced the deficit year after year. On the other hand, Republican presidents have consistently increased their annual deficitis year after year. That's the truth. All Republican tax cut proposals would cause an annual deficit of at least $2T, while Obama is under $1T and dropping.

    March 27, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. tibs

    We will either default on our debt and face austerity or print the money and face terrible inflation. Either way, no matter who is in office, this wave is cresting and it will be fun for no one.

    March 27, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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