Gingrich Exit Wouldn't Save Santorum
Nate Silver does the math, and concludes that Santorum's in trouble
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2012 12:04 PM CST
Rick Santorum arrives on stage during a primary night party at the Steubenville High School Gymnasium on March 6, 2012 in Steubenville, Ohio.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The math is not looking good for Rick Santorum, and his supporters are pressing Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race so as to change that. So Nate Silver of the New York Times decided to do the math and see just how much that would help Santorum's cause. Based on Public Policy Polling data, he estimates that 57% of Gingrich's supporters would back Santorum, with 27% backing Romney. The number seems plausible but realistic, given that Romney's opponents surged in the essentially one-on-one contests in Missouri and Virginia.

But using that math, Silver calculates that even if Gingrich hadn't been in the race at all, Santorum would still trail Romney 264 delegates to 404. Gingrich dropping out and throwing his delegates to Santorum would result in a similar total, and it would certainly help. "But that would be just the first step," Silver says. The demographics Santorum is winning simply don't add up; he needs to find another way to cut into Romney's coalition, "and he'll need to do so in a hurry." Click for Silver's full column.
 

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