The headline is a quote from the head of Newt’s SuperPAC, in response to the news/speculation that
Spencer Sheldon Adelson is now done with dumping money into Newt.
After talking with FOTB Karl this morning, in response to my guess that Newt would have to suspend his campaign now (a prediction that, in keeping with my record, is not coming true), there’s a few paths that seem open:
1) Newt keeps running a race to win 1144 delegates. This is so unlikely as to be nigh-impossible at this point.
2) Newt is going to stay in the race until the convention, hoping there’s no clear winner and perhaps he’ll come out with the nomination. This was Karl’s guess at it, and it seems confirmed by Newt’s own people. To me, staying in the race makes him look like an egotistical ideologue, similar to Ron Paul, who is weakening the party by staying in for personal gain. It’ll be easy to attack him for that, saying that he created a situation where there was no clear winner just so he could win in third place.
3) Newt is going to stop fundraising and stop touring, stepping back to resume his role as “comforting crazy uncle” to the GOP. Remember when he started out, citing Reagan’s commandment? If he does this, he looks like the real standard bearer and a possible compromise.
Romney only needs to take 47% of the remaining delegates. Santorum needs 66%. So, if Rick Santorum manages to take between 53 and 65% of the remaining delegates, which is certainly possible (lots of middle america left, plus Pennsylvania and Texas), neither he nor Romney gets the nod. He can go even lower than 53, as long as Ron Paul or Gingrich cuts into Romney as well. But Gingrich doesn’t take votes from Romney, he takes votes from Santorum. If Gingrich drops out, then Santorum’s shot at getting above 53% goes up dramatically.
At the end of the day, the worst news for Santorum is that there’s only a handful of states left with winner take all primaries, and they’re mostly western and northern states, which Romney has done better in: DC, Maryland, Wisconsin, Connecticut*, Delaware, New York*, Indiana*, West Virginia*, California, Montana, New Jersey, and the very last state in the primary calendar, Utah. (The asterisks are states that either have mixed systems, or give winner-take-all only if a candidate gains a majority)