Santorum enjoyed his big win in the South last night for less than an hour. Then it was off to Puerto Rico in search of delegates. Rick is trying to find the math. He’s worried and he should be. Of course you wouldn’t know that if you watched the news, left wing, right wing or otherwise. They all touted the Southern Sweep as a huge game changer, that Romney is now on the ropes. While he may not admit it publicly, Rick knows what you and I both know: delegates matter, not state wins.
Here’s the issue, last night Santorum won Alabama and Mississippi. That’s a big achievement, especially when you consider by comparison to Mitt and Newt, Santorum is dirt poor. However, you run the race your given. With the 4 delegates he won in Hawaii Santorum won a grand total of 32 delegates. Romney finished 3rd in Alabama and Mississippi, 1st in Hawaii and American Samoa, and took a grand total of 37 delegates. Wait a minute, Mitt won more delegates last night?!? No, no, Santorum won, I saw it on the news. Yes Virginia you did, but the TV media defines winning differently. It’s hard to make snazzy graphics and thrilling music for a delegate victory, winning states is much more sexy and easier to pimp on TV.
Here’s the other thing Santorum knows. His southern wins means nothing if he can’t get the nomination. Mitt will win the South in the general election against President Obama. There are several reasons for this, the least of which are, in my opinion, race and religion.
So Rick knows he can’t really use the “I won the south and Romney can’t” line because everyone knows that’s not true. Whatever is being said about Romney by his own party right now will be dust in the wind if Mitt wins the nomination. No matter the kerfuffle over Mitt’s moderate political positions, republicans will get in line and vote the President out of office. Rick can say Romney is unelectable as much as he want’s, he knows it’s not true.
So Santorum trails Mitt by over 200 delegates and he is running out of states, hence the trip to Puerto Rico. Catching Mitt is not impossible, but it’s not probable.
My fear is Santorum will do the improbable.
Missouri and Puerto Rico vote over the weekend, then the big Illinois primary on Tuesday.
As always Frank’s Place will detail the results. Delegate count update below.