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The Real Delegate Count and Math — and Why Santorum Could win if Gingrich Drops out.

First, we need to see what the real delegate count is.  All the networks continue to give Romney 50 Delegates for Fl.  Those are in dispute and it is not clear Romney will win them all; if we go by the rules, Romney will win fewer than 1/2 of them, based on proportional representation.  So, Fl should be 23 for Romney, 16 for Gingrich, 7 for Santorum and 4 for paul

So, the real count is Romney: 469, Santorum 243, Gingirch  157, and Paul  71.  940 delegates have been awarded.  This means that Romney is actually slighly under 50%.  He is exactly 1 vote short of 50%.  This includes Romney’s 16 unpledged RNC delegates, and 8 unpledged combined for the other candidates.

The next issue is what would take place if Gingrich stays in the race.  The answer is clear:  Romney will do better in the winner-take-all states and worse in the proportional ones.  Why?  The winner-take-all simply look at who has the most votes.  If Gingrich drops out, most of his voters will move to Santorum — hurting Romney.  The proporational ones go by the proportion of the vote someone gets.  Since some Gingrich voters would pick Romney as a 2nd choice, Gingrich in the race hurts Romney for those states.

The proportional states are: Louisiana, New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Nebraska, Oregon, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas, South Dakota, and New Mexico.  They have 572 delegates.  If Gingrich gets an average of 15%, of which 10% has Santorum as a 2nd choice and 5% has Romney as a second choice, the net Gingrich effect would be to deny Romney 5% of the vote that he would have otherwise gotten, or 29 delegates fewer for Romney; and Santorum would get 57 fewer delegates.  For purposes of keeping Romney under the 50% he needs, the effect in those states would be 29 delegates in the right direction.

However, the math is the opposit for winner-take-all by district states and states that are fully winner-take-all.  In these states and districts all that matters is getting the most votes, and Gingrich leaving is like Giving Santorum a 5 point plus-up in a race against Romney.  For example, Illinois awards 10 delegates to the winner, and allocates delegates based on who wins each district.  Gingrich dropping out will likely take well more than 10 delegates from Romney.  Same for Wisconsin.  Votes by district, and 10 at-large votes.  Both those states would likely go Santorum if Gingrich drops out.  Alone, those would easily account for more than the 29 votes.  20 for the win, and a number more for winning individual districts.  It is hard to tell for sure the district-by-district difference because public polling is not reliable at that level.  However, the end result is clear:  Gingrich hurts Santorum, and helps Romney.

The winner-take-all states are what do Santorum in if Gingrich remains.  Romney would have no chance to get the nomination if all remaining states were proportional.  However, with the winner-take-all, Santorum and Gingrich can only prevent Romney from getting all the delegates if Gingrich drops out — or at-the-least urgest his voters to vote against him in those states (but, then, what sort of campaign is that).

The bottom line is that Gingrich’s math does not add up.  If he was serious, he would be urging his supporters in winner-take-all states to vote Santorum.  He is not doing that and his remaining in the race only helps Romney.

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