Like the team that engineered President Obama’s victory in 2008, Mr. Romney’s lawyers and strategists say they have devised an approach to the second half of the primary campaign intended to ensure that he methodically amasses the 1,144 delegates necessary to win the nomination, staying ahead of his rivals in that count even if they win the popular vote in some states.
Rich Beeson, Mr. Romney’s political director, said of Mr. Santorum: “He has no states on Super Tuesday where he is going to do anything to cut the delegate lead. He is going to fall further and further behind. It becomes a mathematical battle as much as it is a political one, and the math just doesn’t add up for Santorum.”
Hogan Gidley, a senior strategist for Mr. Santorum, mocked Mr. Romney’s advisers, saying they were hunting for delegates because Mr. Romney’s message was failing to inspire voters. “Nothing inspires this country like math — that’s ridiculous,” Mr. Gidley said. “The argument that math is on their side is uninspiring and laughable.”
Two things stood out during the debate. The first is that Sanders is incapable of admitting a mistake. When asked if he would cast a different vote if he could have a do-over on the 1994 crime bill, Bernie did his usual defense of his vote, followed by stating that he wished he had a better bill. Bernie cannot openly admit that he was wrong.
The fact that Sanders will likely lose the nomination, however, isn’t simply about race; the Democratic electorate is more liberal, but it’s still not all that liberal in an absolute sense. Moderate and conservative Democrats still form a larger base in most states than very liberal voters. A little less than 40 percent of Democratic primary voters so far this year have identified as moderate or conservative. That’s 14 percentage points bigger than the very liberal bloc, and 4 points higher than the somewhat liberal group.