Sixes

The stand­ings haven’t changed much from last week’s run­down, but there have been some sub­tle changes in the for­tunes of each of the poten­tial Repub­li­can can­di­dates. For­mer Mass­a­chu­setts Gov­er­nor Willard “Mitt” Rom­ney had a pretty good Tues­day night, tak­ing all the del­e­gates in Ari­zona and half of them in Michi­gan. It’s look­ing more and more like a two-​​man race going into Super Tues­day, which is a mere five days away.

The clear favorite amongst the NotRom­neys is for­mer Sen­a­tor Rick San­to­rum (R-​​PA).

Among the Not­NotRom­neys, there have been few changes. New Jer­sey Gov­er­nor Chris Christie has dropped below the one per­cent min­i­mum required to be listed in our count­down, as the pos­si­bil­ity of a bro­kered con­ven­tion is felt by Intraders to be more remote. For­mer Florida Gov­er­nor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush is still the favored NotNotRomney.

Del­e­gate counts as of March 1

It’s time to look at the del­e­gate math, in prepa­ra­tion for Super Tues­day (March 6). A major­ity of Repub­li­can del­e­gates is 1,144. Rom­ney has 149, San­to­rum 86, for­mer House Speaker Newt Gin­grich 29 (almost all from South Car­olina, where he gained 23) and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ron Paul (R-​​Lake Jack­son, TX) 18. About a quar­ter of the del­e­gates will be assigned on March 3 (Wash­ing­ton State) or March 6 (Super Tues­day). Using the del­e­gate counts from The New York Times, I’ve devel­oped the graph at right. Each step rep­re­sents one of the ten delegate-​​bearing pri­maries or cau­cuses held so far.

Romney’s biggest step (and there­fore biggest vic­tory so far) was the 50 del­e­gates he gained in the Jan­u­ary 31 Florida pri­mary, rep­re­sent­ing about a third of his total del­e­gates so far. Absent that one major vic­tory, Rom­ney and San­to­rum are pretty close in the del­e­gate count. San­to­rum and Rom­ney tied the del­e­gate count in Michi­gan, with 15 each, but of course that’s not the media narrative.

I’ve listed the poten­tial Repub­li­can can­di­dates below, in order of their Intrade per­cent­ages, from high­est to low­est. In each case, the polling num­bers are given in paren­the­ses after the candidate’s name, rounded to the near­est whole num­ber, fol­lowed by the change from last month:

RCP = the most recent (Feb­ru­ary 16–28) avail­able Real Clear Pol­i­tics national aggre­gated polling data.

In = Intrade Feb­ru­ary 29.

In the inter­est of space and clar­ity, I’ve dropped the May-​​October monthly stand­ings columns. The horser­ace stand­ings now start in Novem­ber, but you can go to the Jan­u­ary 5 arti­cle to see the entire set going back to May, 2011.

Can­di­date Nov Dec Jan 5 Jan 12 Jan 19 Jan 25 Feb 2 Feb 9 Feb 16 Feb 23 Mar 1
Rom­ney 1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
San­to­rum none
none
3 (tie)
4 (tie)
none
4
4
2
2
2
2
Gin­grich 2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
3
Paul 4 (tie)
3
5
3
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
Bush, J none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
5
5
5

 

1. For­mer Mass­a­chu­setts Gov­er­nor Mitt Rom­ney (RCP 33% +5; In 82% +7)

Rom­ney looks good in Vir­ginia, if only because Gin­grich and San­to­rum didn’t make the bal­lot there. Mass­a­chu­setts and Ver­mont are pretty sure to go Romney’s way, too.

2. For­mer Sen­a­tor Rick San­to­rum (R-​​PA) (RCP 31% –3; In 6% –5)

San­to­rum did okay in Michi­gan, and has a chance in Ohio. He will likely pick up del­e­gates in Okla­homa and Ten­nessee. Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, and Wyoming (where cau­cuses run for a week start­ing on Super Tues­day), states with more of a social con­ser­v­a­tive bent than a fis­cal con­ser­v­a­tive one, are also likely win­ners for San­to­rum. Expect him to have a very good Super Tuesday.

3. For­mer House Speaker Newt Gin­grich (RCP 15% +1; In 4% –1)

Gin­grich didn’t get much trac­tion from the con­tests in Ari­zona and Michi­gan. His cam­paign just hasn’t had any good news since South Car­olina. He needs a strong show­ing in Tuesday’s con­tests, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to hap­pen for him; the num­bers just aren’t there. He will likely take his home state of Geor­gia, but that’s about it.

4. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ron Paul (R-​​Lake Jack­son, TX) (RCP 11% –1; In 3% 0)

Paul will make it to the con­ven­tion, but he doesn’t look to have much of an impact there. Maybe he can carve his name on a plank in the party platform.

5.  For­mer Florida Gov­er­nor Jeb Bush (RCP no data; In 2% –1%)

Jeb Bush is still the rumored favorite of the “bro­kered con­ven­tion” crowd.