All day today, it seems everywhere you looked the Romney faction (media elites and party insiders) have declared victory in the Michigan primary.
Romney’s victory sets him up as the clear front-runner heading into next week’s Super Tuesday, snatching momentum from chief rival Rick Santorum in a contest that was more expensive and nastier than he likely imagined.
But the battle allowed Romney to “unleash his superior organization,” as one scholar described it, flexing his financial muscle to the tune of $6 million. While the former Massachusetts governor might have preferred to use those resources later, it was available to tap when he needed it most.
“For Santorum to keep fighting seems like it is delaying the inevitable, almost to the point of being counter-productive for the party,” said Whitt Kilburn, a Grand Valley State University political science professor. “It seems that Romney is going to get the nomination unless he totally collapses.”
Sure, this is all fine and good except Romney and Santorum split Michigan’s 30 delegates 15 each.
Delegates and not the popular vote count toward the nomination. It takes 1144 delegates to win the GOP nomination. When you look at the delegate count to-date, Romney has 149 delegates or 13% of the required to Santorum 86 delegates (7.5% of the required total).
In today’s Twilight Zone political environment, a tie is called a win (for Romney) and a 63 delegate lead (with 2002 delegates still up for grabs) somehow makes Romney a clear front-runner.
It is such a political Twilight Zone, you would think the media and the political elites are in the tank for Romney.