The Republican Super Tuesday, ten-state, 419 delegate vote-off is all over except Alaska. Eight states are called. Alaska is still voting, and Ohio is too close to call. Romney gets four and Santorum gets three, Gingrich gets Georgia.
There are misconceptions here. With 80% of the precincts counted and reported in Ohio, the split was Santorum 37.5%, Romney 37.3% , everybody else 25.2% with no one exceeding 15%. At 11:25, with 89% of precincts reporting, the two at the top had reversed. Romney was in at 37.6%, with Santorum trailing at 37.3%. In point of fact, it matters not a whit who “wins” Ohio. Santorum and Romney will split the delegates.
Except that there are several Ohio precincts in which Santorum was not able to post delegates, so even if he wins those precincts, he will come up short of Romney in total delegate count. This Super Tuesday is a contest for an extremely confusing mix of winner-take-all and proportional and non-proportional splits from state to state. In any case, whoever “wins Ohio” won’t win much more than half its available delegates because the rules call for a “decisive” win of 25 percentage points or more. That cannot happen in Ohio at this late date.
Romney did win Massachusetts and Vermont, as expected, and he won Virginia. Late news is that he won Idaho decisively enough to avoid a delegate split… he gets ‘em all. Santorum won Tennessee, Oklahoma and, in a surprise, the North Dakota caucuses. Gingrich won the only state in which he made a real effort… Georgia, his home state.
If Ohio remains so close that the split is less than 0.25%, a recount is automatic between Romney and Santorum. It’s possible that the final tally will not be available until near the end of the week. Meanwhile, overall delegates through Super Tuesday (not including Ohio or Alaska) look like this: Romney 292, Santorum 121, Gingrich 77, and Ron Paul 52. Needed to win… 1144. It was never really possible to make that number by this time in the race.
It looks like the campaign that Republican advisors and even Barbara Bush have called “destructive” and “corrosive” will continue. America gets to watch each of the four Republican contenders try to persuade voters that he is the meanest candidate still standing for another few months.