Following a credible albeit nowhere near a knockout performance by Mitt Romney on “Super-Tuesday” pundits came out of the woodwork proclaiming Romney has it locked up.

That message continued all the way through Tuesday morning culminating in Jennifer Rubin’s post Time to stop dreaming of a brokered convention.

We’re talking about the country’s future. And if conservatives really do care about getting rid of Obamacare, disarming the Iranian nuclear threat, restoring funding for defense, avoiding a debt crisis and picking the next couple of Supreme Court justices, isn’t it time to cast aside the foolish gamesmanship? Those conservatives, including Santorum, who insist on playing a destructive game that benefits only the president should engage in some introspection and decide if they are in this for their own cockeyed reasons and ambitions or for the good of the conservative movement and the country. And the rest of the party should take note of the GOP version of birthers (“conventioners”?), recognizing just how nonsensical and counterproductive they have become.

This conservative begs to differ with Rubin’s opinion that Romney would be good for the country.

Five Points to Consider

  1. Obamacare and Romneycare are essentially the same
  2. The US does not need and cannot afford a war in Iran
  3. Defense spending needs to be cut
  4. There is little practical difference between Romney and Obama except Romney wants a trade war with China
  5. Romney has a Foolish Pledge to Re-Fight the Cold War and is more prone than Obama to start a real war in Iran

That above analysis is not an endorsement of President Obama.
I am writing in Ron Paul.

On Monday February 27, I laid out the Mathematical Case for Brokered Convention. Since then,  “Super Tuesday” has come and gone, and this evening some serious cracks in Romney’s campaign  have developed in the deep South as I expected.

Santorum Wins Alabama and Mississippi, Romney 3rd in Both

This snapshot from Real Clear Politics tells the story.

The Huffington Post adds this commentary.

The possibility that Romney himself won’t make the 1,144-delegate threshold to formally wrap-up the nomination became a bit more real on Tuesday.

The strain that this primary has caused on Romney’s campaign was evident once again. Romney continued to have trouble winning the GOP base. In Alabama, 67 percent of voters described themselves as conservative. Of those, 36 percent backed Rick Santorum, 35 percent backed Newt Gingrich, while just 24 percent supported Romney. In Mississippi, 72 percent of voters described themselves as conservative. Of those, 35 percent backed Rick Santorum, 32 percent backed Newt Gingrich, and 29 percent supported Romney, according to exit polls.

Faced with those numbers, Romney spokesman Ferhnstrom stuck to a different calculus.

“Our goal was to take out one-third of the delegates and possibly do slight better than that. I think we will exceed that goal,” he said. ” I don’t think anybody expected Mitt to win Alabama or Mississippi. As Mitt said, this was an away game for him, and I think that’s absolutely true.”

But if defeat in those states was always in the cards, Romney, his aides, and his most deep-pocketed supporters failed to get the memo. The candidate himself boldly declared during his one public appearance in Alabama on Monday: “We’re going to win tomorrow.” Meanwhile his campaign and an allied super PAC outspent Santorum and Santorum’s allied super PAC by a 5.5-to-1 margin in both states combined.

Money, it increasingly appears, can’t buy states. More important than the cash, however, may be the continuity of the field. Despite failing once more to notch a win, Gingrich pledged to keep his campaign going — a vow that will hurt Santorum far more than any super PAC ad.

Brokered Convention Math Update

Totals through March 13 in the table below are from Real Clear Politics 2012 Republican Delegates.

State Primary Count Romney Santorum Gingrich Paul
Total to Date 997 476 229 140 64
Iowa Jan 3 28 6 7 0 0
New Hampshire Jan 10 12* 7 0 0 3
South Carolina Jan 21 25 2 0 23 0
Florida Jan 31 50* 50 0 0 0
Nevada Feb 4 28 14 3 6 5
Minnesota ** Feb 7 40 2 17 1 4
Colorado ** Feb 7 36 9 17 2 1
Maine ** Feb 11 24 9 3 0 7
Michigan Feb 28 30* 16 14 0 0
Arizona Feb 28 29 29 0 0 0
Wyoming ** Feb 29 29 12 7 1 6
Washington ** Mar 3 43 25 7 0 8
Georgia Mar 6 76 19 3 52 0
Ohio Mar 6 66 38 21 0 0
Tennessee Mar 6 58 16 29 10 0
Virginia Mar 6 49 43 0 0 3
Oklahoma Mar 6 43 13 14 13 0
Massachusetts Mar 6 41 38 0 0 0
Idaho Mar 6 32 32 0 0 0
North Dakota Mar 6 28 7 11 2 8
Alaska Mar 6 27 8 7 3 6
Vermont Mar 6 17 9 4 0 4
Kansas Mar 10 40 7 33 0 0
Guam Mar 10 9 9 0 0 0
Northern Marianas Mar 10 9 9 0 0 0
Virgin Islands ** Mar 10 9 7 0 0 1
Alabama ** Mar 13 50 10 17 12 0
Mississippi ** Mar 13 40 11 13 11 0
Hawaii ** Mar 13 20 0 0 0 0
American Samoa ** Mar 13 9 0 0 0 0

* States penalized half of their delegates.
** Not all delegates assigned, or assigned to candidates who have dropped out

Florida and Arizona Delegates in Dispute

Romney does not quite have half the outstanding delegates so far, but Hawaii and American Samoa results have not yet been posted.

More importantly, Newt Gingrich Will Challenge Winner-Take-All Rules in Florida and Arizona.

I do not know if the challenge will be successful, but Gingrich has a good case. Republican National Committee’s rules state that no contest can be winner-take-all prior to April 1, 2012.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus warned Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry of the violation in a December letter quoting the rule, ‘winner-take-all’ states cannot hold a primary or caucus before April 1, 2012.

Looking Ahead – Dates, Delegates, Current Poll Numbers

Missouri (52) March 17: Romney 32%, Santorum 45%, Paul 19%
Puerto Rico (23) March 18:
Illinois (69) March 20: Romney 35%, Santorum 31%, Gingrich 12%, Paul 7%
Louisiana (46) March 24: Santorum 25%, Romney 21%, Gingrich 20%, Paul 6%

Those numbers do not look good for Mitt Romney to say the least. However, the Missouri poll is stale. It’s from February 7. We will find out how stale in a few days.

Another “Super Tuesday”

April 24: New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware

The fate of a brokered convention may be settled on the next “Super Tuesday” coming up on April 24. However, April 24 is more than a month away, and all the candidates have ample time to stick their feet in their mouths again. Both Romney and Santorum have a tendency to do just that.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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