When three candidates hang into the Presidential nomination race after Super Tuesday, it becomes time to check whether anyone can get a majority.
Mitt Romney is close. So far he’s not there, but if current trends hold he will be the Republican nominee for President of the United States, and become so on the first ballot.
The above chart (click for a full size version) is not the usual way to depict delegate counts. Instead of a cumulative chart of absolute numbers, it’s a cumulative chart of the amount the candidate is above or below a majority of decided delegates. I start with the unpledged but endorsed delegate counts per RCP, and then day by day award delegates, all the way to Super Tuesday at the end.
Super Tuesday was a big win for Mitt Romney, but thanks to Georgia he actually fell to his deepest majority deficit yet: 16 delegates (15.5 by the math, but obviously we have to round up). What this tells us is that the only way for Mitt Romney to be stopped is for the three remaining candidates all to join together. Voters for Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul must all come together behind one candidate, or else Mitt Romney will win this by attrition.
Newt Gingrich can’t manufacture any more home states to win this cycle. In fact if we remove Georgia, Mitt Romney takes a majority. That’s how important that one state is at this point in the cycle, and how much Georgia is skewing the results. But as time goes on, Georgia’s effects will be muted by further states coming up, states unlikely to see a repeat by Gingrich.
That is why I say Romney may be just barely short right now, but the trend favors him to win this race.