How Mitt “Guamney” Is Putting Santorum Away

Romney’s wins, big and obscure, are giving him a dramatic lead in the currency that counts: Delegates. On to Samoa! posted on

The candidate’s son and daugther-in-law, Matt and Laurie Romney, campaign in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Mitt Romney’s victories today in Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands were greeted with amusement yesterday afternoon by the political class, as the time difference from the Pacific Ocean allowed Saturday’s news to break Friday.

But Romney’s sweeps in the obscure caucuses are part of the reason that the Republican professional class has begun to write off the nomination. With the exception of a strong showing in the non-binding Minnesota caucuses, the victories of Romney’s main rival, Rick Santorum, have been symbolic; Romney’s victories and second-place finishes have brought him the currency of the nomination fight, delegates.

Now Romney, with 481 delegates by the Washington Post’s (necessarily fuzzy) count, has more than his rivals’ combined, and more than twice what Santorum has. As the race wears on, delegates matter more and momentum matters less.

Here’s a list that illustrates that point: These are the states in order of the margin between Romney and Santorum. This isn’t a perfect measure — Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are excluded, but their delegates too go to the convention, and what’s more many delegates aren’t technically “bound” to a candidate — but it’s an illustration of how Romney is putting Santorum away.

Florida: Romney +50
Virginia: Romney +43
Massachusetts: Romney +41
Minnesota: Santorum +37
Idaho: Romney +32
Arizona: Romney +29
Washington: Romney +25
Tennessee: Santorum +15
Ohio: Romney +14
Georgia: Romney +12
Maine: Romney +12
Nevada: Romney +11
Northern Marianas: Romney +9
Guam: Romney +9
Colorado: Santorum +9
New Hampshire: Romney +7
Vermont: Romney +5
South Carolina: Romney +2
North Dakota: Santorum +4
Iowa: Santorum +2
Michigan: Romney +2
Alaska: Romney +1
Oklahoma: Santorum +1

Santorum’s big win in Iowa is near the bottom; his upset victory in North Dakota is basically a curiousity. Romney, meanwhile, won a huge delegate cache from his boring triumphs in Massachusetts and Virginia, and from his sweep in the obscure and complex Idaho caucuses. His two wins in the Pacific Islands this week mean more than Oklahoma, Iowa, Colorado, and North Dakota combined.

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