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Politics

If Today Were Election Day For Santorum...

His difficulty in getting on ballots has set him back on Super Tuesday. Here's a sense of its scale.

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As voters head to the polls on Super Tuesday, many may be surprised to find that Rick Santorum appears nowhere on their ballots—a fact the Romney campaign has pointed to as evidence of a weak campaign operation.

In a memo sent to press over the weekend, Mitt Romney's political director Rich Beeson points out that of the 391 bound delegates that are at stake in today's primaries, Santorum isn't even eligible for 64 of them. His campaign didn't get him on the ballot in Virginia, with its 46 delegates, and failed to put together a full statewide slate of delegates in Ohio—losing another 18 in the process.

That means Santorum is ineligible to receive 16 percent of all bound delegates awarded on Super Tuesday.

Beeson's memo concluded: "The bottom line is the Santorum campaign goes into Super Tuesday severely hobbled by his lack of organization and planning and systemic problem will only continue to plague him through the rest of the primary calendar."

Of course, the more pressing concern for many Republican voters might be how Santorum's fledgling organization will perform in the general election against Obama.

If Santorum were automatically down 16 percent of the electoral college votes on election day, he would be ineligible for 86 votes—enough to lose him Pennsylvania (20 votes), Florida (29), Ohio (18), Virginia (13), and Nevada (6).

Santorum has often argued that he's the more electable candidate because "moderates" like Romney don't get voters excited. Romney's counter-point often hinges on the varying levels of professionalism in their respective campaign organizations—an argument that Santorum's camp has made easier with their Super Tuesday struggles.

McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.

Contact McKay Coppins at mckay@buzzfeed.com.

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