Friday, March 16, 2012

Don't leave us Newt!

As a Democrat, I of course am rooting for the optimum amount of chaos and confusion in the Republican primary nomination process. Many Democrats believe (rightly I suspect), that Rick Santorum is the more easily defeated candidate in the Republican field, and as such, are rooting for Newt Gingrich to drop out so it can be (essentially) a two-way race between the bat-shit crazy Rick Santorum and the gaffe-prone, flip-flopping plutocrat, Mitt Romney. They believe (somewhat rightly, somewhat wrongly), that Gingrich's removal would consolidate the conservative voting bloc into a Rick Santorum Voltron that could possibly dethrone the presumptive nominee Mitt Romney. The press has embraced this theory as well. As such, the conventional wisdom has emerged that Santorum needs Gingrich to drop out in order to win the nomination. This, in a word, is wrong.

Why is this so wrong? Well, when the media covers presidential races, they like to cover and create stories (narratives), not report mathematical realities. This is why the media pretended that Hillary Clinton could win the Democratic nomination in 2008 WELL WELL WELL after the race was mathematically conclusive. I mean, these people have newspapers to promote, or blogs to pimp, or commercials on shitty cable television shows to sell. Conflict sells. Inevitability does not.

What does the math tell us in this case? Well, Santorum can't win enough delegates to take the nomination outright. Period. Even if Gingrich dropped out, and Santorum gained every single Gingrich voter (a HIGHLY dubious assertion), Santorum could not win enough of the remaining delegates needed to win the nomination. As it stands, Santorum would have to win 69% of the remaining delegates to reach the magical 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Romney needs to win 48%. Latest polls show that, at a minimum, roughly a quarter of Newt supporters would jump to Romney. Without full-fledged Gingrich supporter backing, there is no logistical way Santorum wins 69% of the remaining delegates.

No, the best route to the nomination for Santorum (his only route to the nomination), is to prevent Romney from receiving 48% of the remaining delegates and then taking it to a brokered convention, where conservatives can finally coalesce around their conservative lunatic of choice. And the best way to prevent Romney from winning 48% of the remaining delegates is to field as many viable candidates as possible - that includes Gingrich and the increasingly irrelevant (though in our scenario, relevant) Ron Paul. [Ironically, critics of Ron Paul have pointed out that Ron Paul appears to be acting in coordination with the Romney campaign, specifically citing Paul's track-record of attacking every single GOP candidate BUT Mitt Romney. In this case though, Paul's remaining in the race clearly hurts the Romney campaign].

Again, as somewhat who enjoys watching Republicans alienate as many voting groups as possible, I want the clown posse to keep the circus on tour. I mean, I know we say Republicans look out for rich, white men, but perhaps we can narrow that down even further. Maybe Santorum will call all rich West coast men dandies. Maybe Ron Paul will accuse all rich Northeastern men of being NAMBLA enablers. Maybe Newt will claim all white factory workers in unions in the Midwest are enthrall to a Jewish cabal. The sky is limit with these people! I say let's cut to the chase and winnow Republican voters down to its critical essence -  rich, white, racist Southerners!

So don't get anywhere Newt! Stick around Paul! The show's just getting started!

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