Great analysis over at Daily Kos, asking whether Mitt Romney can win enough delegates to secure the nomination.
The bottom line?
- Yes, he will very likely win enough, IF you include the 120 “superdelegates”
- No, he probably will not win enough, if you include just the ones selected by voters
Either way, he’ll have the nomination, but there’s a difference. It’s one thing if he wins fair and square, based on votes. But if he needs the superdelegates to put him over the top, that could stoke resentment among the non-Romney voters that they were somehow “robbed” by their leaders.
Would it lead to a third-party walkout? Well, that’s a longshot (though I do think Newt is considering it). But could it lead some of the conservative base to sit home on election day, or at least not be as energized when it comes to volunteering, donating, etc? Yes.
Back in 1976, the GOP nomination process also went to the convention, with the moderate candidate, President Gerald Ford, eking out a victory over the conservative hero. A guy named Ronald Reagan. Fairly or unfairly, a lot of conservatives back then felt they’d been robbed, and weren’t really energized until 4 years later, when they actually got Reagan the nomination.
Could a similar dynamic occur here? Well, there’s no Ronald Reagan this time around, but if Romney needs the superdelegate lifeline to take it, there certainly could be a lot of conservative resentment. And that could make the difference.