Without Gingrich, Romney is still the likely Nominee, but with Him, Romney wins a plurality.
The numbers just do not add up to anyone stopping Mitt Romney’s path to the nomination as long as Newt Gingrich is still in the race. Any objective observer should tell you that right now, the only chance there is to stop Romney lies in a united conservative base.
The overall vote totals should leave you to believe that if there were only one conservative/not-Romney in this race, then Romney’s path would have some huge hurdles placed in front of it.
Romney’s wins are coming when either there is a strong home state like advantage (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or one of the states that have a heavy Mormon populace built in), and he had to outspend his opponents by 3-1, 2-1, and sometimes 5-1. There are more people voting against Romney than there is voting for him.
Romney won Massachusetts by 220,000 votes on Super Tuesday, and none of the conservatives were on the ballot in Virginia, he is still not holding over half of the votes cast.
There is still some chance that Romney does not become the nominee, but this happens only if either Santorum or Gingrich drops out. Gingrich has not done well in a state outside of Georgia since the electorate got a glimpse of what millions in negative advertising does to his support.
Many voters like Gingrich, and would prefer him to the other candidates (I'm one of them), but it has become clear his baggage weighs him down. Santorum is in the opposite positions, were he has lost support is because of mistakes he has made talking about social issues instead of deflecting them.
Romney has won 40 % of the popular vote, and that has earned him 55% of the 733 delegates awarded to date: despite not having to even fight for them in two states, and having huge advantages as well as a split base. If he keeps this up, he will be the nominee. If Romney only wins 47%, he will not get enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention. Santorum would have to win 63% of the delegates to clinch the nomination.
If Gingrich dropped out before the next few states vote, and endorses Santorum, he would likely guarantee that Romney loses these states. Two polls released show momentum moving in Romney’s favor right now in Alabama, and if he wins this state, this is going to start winding down soon.
If both polls Gingrich is running in a close third place, and if his support went to Santorum, Romney chances at winning the state would be neutralized. There is just no path for Gingrich, and right now, he is helping Romney. He told his supporters that it was utmost important to beat Romney, so we can face the president with a conservative, and not a moderate. Well, Mr. Gingrich, if that is what you really think, then now is the time to be humble, and put the movement ahead of self-ambition.
This is the argument Gingrich had made once before, now he holds the key. This should have never been about one man, and Gingrich is smart enough to know he is done, but will he walk the walk, or hand Romney the nomination.
3/1 - 3/6 510 LV Romney -31 Santorum - 22 Gingrich - 21 Paul - 7 (Romney +9)
3/1 - 3/1 470 LV Romney -19 Santorum - 23 Gingrich - 14 Paul- (Santorum +4)