Illinois Could Finish Off Santorum

Nate Silver doesn't think the race is close

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 20, 2012 12:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – Look at a map, and you might think the race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum was relatively close. It's not. Do the math, and you'll see that, barring some kind of breakthrough, Santorum hasn't got a prayer, writes Nate Silver of the New York Times. A week ago, Illinois looked like it might be that breakthrough, but the polls have turned against Santorum, and now Silver thinks he'll get no more than a third of the delegates at stake.

If current polls are accurate, then Santorum has no chance in Chicago and its suburbs. That leaves only the downstate districts, and one of them is one he failed to file delegates for. Not all of the downstate districts are slam dunks either. If Romney wins, say, the 16th, he'll take 40 delegates to Santorum's 14, giving him 561 delegates to Santorum's 267. And if that is the case, Romney will need 46% of the delegates still up for grabs to end up with a majority—and he's won about 55% to date. "That isn't a close race," Silver observes, nor is it "likely to require a brokered convention to resolve."

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum talks to supporters during a rally Monday, March 19, 2012, in Moline, Ill.
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum talks to supporters during a rally Monday, March 19, 2012, in Moline, Ill.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (2nd L) joins in a prayer as he waits to be introduced at a campaign rally on March 19, 2012 in Dixon, Illinois. Illinois residents will go to the polls on March 20 to vote their choice for the Republican...
Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (2nd L) joins in a prayer as he waits to be introduced at a campaign rally on March 19, 2012 in Dixon, Illinois. Illinois...   (Getty Images)
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