Could Rick Santorum Beat Mitt Romney if Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul Drop Out of Race?

If you’ve been watching the caucuses, primaries and polls as I have, perhaps you may be asking yourself the same question: could Rick Santorum beat Mitt Romney if Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul were to drop out of the race?

To start with, I find it interesting that the overall delegate count runs completely opposite to the conservativeness of the candidate.  The most conservative of the four is Ron Paul, followed by Newt Gingrich, then Rick Santorum and then you are left with the liberal Mitt Romney.  Based on this, I would estimate that the majority of the people that voted for Paul and Gingrich would probably have voted for Santorum over Romney, but how many is anyone’s guess.  For the sake of argument, I’m going to say that 70% of the Paul and Gingrich votes would have gone for Romney, so let’s examine the prior caucuses and primaries and see where that places Santorum in relation to Romney.

Iowa Caucus: 28 Delegates, Non-binding; Romney 12, Santorum 14

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney 10, Santorum 16

 

New Hampshire: 12 Delegates, Proportional; Romney – 7, Santorum – 0

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 8, Santorum – 2

 

South Carolina: 25 Delegates, Winner take all; Delegates: Romney – 25, Santorum – 0

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 0, Santorum – 25

 

Florida: 50 Delegates, Winner take all; Delegates: Romney – 50, Santorum – 0

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 50, Santorum – 0

 

Nevada: 28 Delegates, Proportional; Delegates: Romney – 14, Santorum – 3

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 17, Santorum – 11

 

Colorado: 36 Delegates, Non-binding; Delegates: Romney – 9, Santorum – 18

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 15, Santorum – 21

 

Minnesota: 40 Delegates, Non-binding; Delegates: Romney – 0, Santorum – 37

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 0, Santorum – 37

 

Maine: 24 Delegates, Non-binding; Delegates: Romney – 12, Santorum – 0

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 14, Santorum – 7

 

Arizona: 29 Delegates, Winner take all; Delegates: Romney – 29, Santorum – 0

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 29, Santorum – 0

 

Michigan: 30 Delegates, Hybrid Proportional; Delegates: Romney – 16, Santorum – 14

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 14, Santorum – 16

 

Washington: 43 Delegates, Non-binding; Delegates: Romney – 30, Santorum – 5

Adjusted: Delegates: Romney – 22, Santorum – 21

 

The current actual total of delegates is Romney 204; Santorum 91.  The adjusted total would be Romney – 179, Santorum – 116.  Therefore, accounting for the estimated adjustment, Romney would still be leading in total delegates, but what about the primaries yet to come.  If it were a two man race, would the outcomes be different?

Since neither Gingrich or Paul have given any indication of dropping out any time soon, guess we’ll just have to see what happens and keep on speculating the ‘what if’.