A Glum GOP heads for the polls

Without much excitement, the Republican party appears ready to hand John McCain a smashing victory today when 21 states hold primaries and caucuses.

Mitt Romney is making a late play for California, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama but it may be way too little and too late. McCain is ahead in 8 of the 9 "Winner take all" primaries and is comfortably ahead in 6 other states.

In addition to the states mentioned above where Romney is competitive, he is closing in Missouri and may do better in the Minnesota caucuses than the polls are predicting. Otherwise, Romney is ahead in Massachusetts, Utah, Colorado, and it is believed he is doing well in Montana although that state's caucuses are for naming a "preference" candidate only.

None of the national polls are detecting a surge toward Romney (although curiously, the usually reliable Rasmussen has the Romney-McCain race considerably closer than every other poll released in the last week).

McCain's predicted delegate totals by tomorrow range from a low of around 640 to a high of 840*. Because Romney will almost certainly lose all the winner take all states except Utah, those 8 victories would give McCain nearly 450 delegates to Romney's 36 - a very steep hill for Romney to climb in order to overtake McCain at some point.

Romney's best chance for a big win is California. The state apportions delegates by the winner of each congressional district - 3 each. Given Romney's strength in places like Orange and San Diego counties where there are more Congressional districts than in the north, it is even possible that Romney could lose the popular vote but still come out on top in the delegate race by winning more districts than McCain. And if things break correctly for him, Romney may end up with a large majority of California delegates which would offset some of his losses in the winner take all states.

But it almost certainly won't be enough. Romney is in third place in some of the southern primaries and his delegate total will be hurt by poor showings there. Romney's predicted delegate total is necessarily much broader because virtually of the states he will win or be competitive in are proportional primaries. I have seen totals for Romney as low as 280 although that presupposes a big loss in California and McCain taking 16 primaries. A more realistic low for Romney might be 355 with a high of 580*.

The only poll that matters now is the one that counts - your vote. If you live in a primary state, exercise the franchise for the candidate of your choice.

* Denotes total delegates won to date.


Without much excitement, the Republican party appears ready to hand John McCain a smashing victory today when 21 states hold primaries and caucuses.

Mitt Romney is making a late play for California, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama but it may be way too little and too late. McCain is ahead in 8 of the 9 "Winner take all" primaries and is comfortably ahead in 6 other states.

In addition to the states mentioned above where Romney is competitive, he is closing in Missouri and may do better in the Minnesota caucuses than the polls are predicting. Otherwise, Romney is ahead in Massachusetts, Utah, Colorado, and it is believed he is doing well in Montana although that state's caucuses are for naming a "preference" candidate only.

None of the national polls are detecting a surge toward Romney (although curiously, the usually reliable Rasmussen has the Romney-McCain race considerably closer than every other poll released in the last week).

McCain's predicted delegate totals by tomorrow range from a low of around 640 to a high of 840*. Because Romney will almost certainly lose all the winner take all states except Utah, those 8 victories would give McCain nearly 450 delegates to Romney's 36 - a very steep hill for Romney to climb in order to overtake McCain at some point.

Romney's best chance for a big win is California. The state apportions delegates by the winner of each congressional district - 3 each. Given Romney's strength in places like Orange and San Diego counties where there are more Congressional districts than in the north, it is even possible that Romney could lose the popular vote but still come out on top in the delegate race by winning more districts than McCain. And if things break correctly for him, Romney may end up with a large majority of California delegates which would offset some of his losses in the winner take all states.

But it almost certainly won't be enough. Romney is in third place in some of the southern primaries and his delegate total will be hurt by poor showings there. Romney's predicted delegate total is necessarily much broader because virtually of the states he will win or be competitive in are proportional primaries. I have seen totals for Romney as low as 280 although that presupposes a big loss in California and McCain taking 16 primaries. A more realistic low for Romney might be 355 with a high of 580*.

The only poll that matters now is the one that counts - your vote. If you live in a primary state, exercise the franchise for the candidate of your choice.

* Denotes total delegates won to date.