Why Mitt Romney is likely to get to Republican Party convention a winner
Rick Santorum needs to pull an upset in Illinois – an unlikely prospect given latest polls – and win in other winner-take-all primaries to push Mitt Romney to a brokered Republican Party convention.
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Even Mr. Santorum acknowledges that it's nearly impossible for him to amass enough delegates on his own to get the nomination. He just hopes to be able to keep Mitt Romney from hitting that number – 1,144 – as well.
“If the other people stay in the race, it's going to be hard for anyone to get to that magic number," Mr. Santorum said on CBS's "This Morning" on Monday. "We believe we get to the convention, the convention will nominate a conservative. The convention will not nominate an establishment moderate from Massachusetts."
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If he (along with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul) can perform just well enough to keep Mitt Romney from sewing up the nomination, Santorum suggests, then the party establishment could vote to go with him.
How likely is that?
The short answer: not very.
Despite the fact that the media and political pundits have been salivating about the idea of a brokered convention for several months, it remains a highly unlikely scenario.
At this point, Mr. Romney has – barely – a majority of the nominees in play. According to the Associated Press count (which includes the preferences of superdelegates who can support whomever they choose), Romney currently has 521 delegates, Santorum has 253, Mr. Gingrich has 136, and Mr. Paul has 50. That puts Romney at about 54 percent of the current total.
Gingrich's momentum also seems to have stalled, and Santorum alone – especially given the relatively small portion of delegates he currently has – seems unlikely to be able to keep Romney from getting to the magic number.
While Santorum at one time seemed to have a chance at taking Illinois on Tuesday, that possibility now seems distant, as Romney has moved well ahead in polls there. And Romney would likely need to lose in Illinois and other key states for a brokered convention to become a reality.