Gingrich won Virginia; Santorum lost Ohio. I previously blogged that those two things were the key to keeping the “open convention” alive, and I pretty much stand by it. This analysis of the rest of the primary process from the Daily Beast is pretty good, but I think overstates the case for an open convention when it says:
if Romney musters only 40 percent of the proportional delegates going forward—equivalent to his share of the popular vote total to date—it would mean the first Republican race undecided when the convention opened in a generation.
The problem with that logic is that it’s very unlikely that Romney won’t get more than that – because of the “winner take all” States that Romney is likely to win, it’s getting harder and harder to imagine a world where he doesn’t get to 1144, when you count the 100 or so “unpledged” or “Super” delegates that the Party leadership has a strong say in determining.
That said, the question now is whether or not he will be able to clench the nomination WITHOUT those Super delegates – and what it means for the Party if that’s what it takes to get the nomination. According to the same article:
if Mitt wins every remaining all-or-nothing state but one, and half of the remaining proportional delegates, he would likely still fall short of the magic nomination number of 1,144—which would force him to rely on unpledged delegates, the Republican version of the infamous Democratic super-delegates in 2008, to claim his party’s mantle.
That means he would still into the convention as the presumptive nominee – but with a “Smoke filled room” flavor to the entire nomination process, which could seriously hinder his ability to rally the base moving forward.
Completely unrelated, but the New Yorker had an interesting take on Super Tuesday – or “chaoji xingqi’er.” They asked people in China what they thought of the spectacle, coverage, etc. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but my favorite bit:
As Roaring Shout put it, “Seems the way they do it is: get rich first, then become president. For us, the order is become a leader first, then….” Officialdom is less amused. With Romney using every campaign stop to reiterate his intention to declare China a currency manipulator, the Global Times pointed to an ostensible consensus that his “arrogant comments lack basic common sense.”