Chart from the Abulsme.com 2012 Republican Delegate Count Graphs page. When a candidate gets down to 0%, they have cinched the nomination. If they get up past 100%, they have been mathematically eliminated. Rather than the date on the x-axis, we show the “% of Delegates Already Allocated” as this better represents the progress through the race. Note that these numbers include estimates of the eventual results of multi-stage caucus processes which will be refined as the later stages occur.
So. Puerto Rico. Romney wins by a huge margin. He got more than 80% of the vote. In second place Santorum got less than 10% of the vote. 50% was the magic number though. The rules for Puerto Rico said that if the winner gets more than 50%, then the delegates are allocated winner take all. So Romney gets all 20 regular delegates from Puerto Rico. (Romney already had 2 of the 3 super delegates from Puerto Rico before tonight, with Gingrich having the remaining super delegate.)
Obviously getting 100% of today’s delegates is good for Romney, and bad for everybody else. Duh. Romney’s best position so far was still on March 10th, right after Guam and the Northern Marianas results, but before Kansas and the Virgin Islands. But he moves back toward the nomination, and away from the possibility of not getting to 1144 with this result. The others continue on their rapid path toward mathematical elimination. In terms of the magical “% of remaining delegates needed to win” number:
- Romney: 49.4% -> 48.7%
- Santorum: 68.7% -> 69.8%
- Gingrich: 74.8% -> 75.9%
- Paul: 80.9% -> 82.2%
Next up is Illinois. Romney is ahead in the polls in Illinois, but isn’t over 48.7% in those polls, and of course nobody else is close to the numbers above either. The contest there is a “Loophole Primary” which is a bit odd, but if the delegate results are even close to being proportional to the popular vote result, then we can expect Illinois to be another of the “everybody loses” states where nobody actually gets closer to the nomination in terms of being on pace to win.
Add that to Louisiana, which will almost certainly also be an “everybody loses” state and we should wrap up the March contests with basically the same situation we have right now… the 3-non Romney’s with no chance of winning, but Romney still in the zone where being blocked from 1144 is very much still within the realm of possibility.
And then we’ll have April.
One thing to watch… does Romney remain in the zone where his “% of remaining needed to win” is less than the “% of delegates so far” number. If so, then continuing at the same pace will eventually get him to 1144, just really slowly. If not, then he’ll actually not be on a winning pace, and will have to actually improve his delegate collection rate to win. (Right now Romney has 51.9% of the delegates so far, compared to needing only 48.7% of the remaining delegates to win.)