For either Gingrich or Santorum to win the nomination, they would need roughly 70% of the remaining delegates. That is not remotely likely as long it is a four-way race. The other good news for Romney is that Newt’s big win in Georgia means he will stay in the race and keep on splitting the conservative opposition with Santorum. (Newt gathered over 170,000 votes in Ohio while Santorum only lost there by 12,000. Newt undeniably played spoiler.)
The rest of March presents a mixture of opportunities for the Romney camp: his superior finances and organization make him a favorite in Hawaii and the other island caucuses. Based on his consistent pattern of rural support, Santorum should have the edge in Kansas. Newt’s only wins so far have come in South Carolina and Georgia. Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana could well be Gingrich wins. Illinois on March 20 has the biggest batch of delegates in late March: the Chicago suburbs are full of the upper-class white collar workers who have been Mitt’s base in 2012. Roughly half of Illinois Republicans are suburbanites and they have often voted for GOP moderates like Charles Percy, Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, and Mark Kirk.
Even if Romney were to lose almost all of these contests, he will still be gathering 25-30% of the delegates, rolling steadily toward the nomination.
Romney’s critics keep arguing that he can’t close the deal with the conservative majority of Republicans. That may be true, but Mitt is closing in on an almost insurmountable delegate lead.