Long Slog

It’s not as much fun as Sean Trende’s interactive schedule of primaries and caucuses, but at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, there an interesting map that lays out the remaining contests and provides quite a bit of useful information. This includes, most notably, estimates (where available) of the evangelical percentage of the Republican electorate in various states, the variable that seems to have the largest impact on the fortunes of both Romney and Santorum.

As for handicapping the race, Sabato and company do try to rate the states as pro-Romney or Romney-underdog, but so many are considered tossups that it’s not exactly, well, a crystal ball for the future (I don’t blame them, given the highly erratic nature of the race so far). The article does point to June 5 as a potential deal-clincher for Romney; that’s when winner-take-all primaries in CA and NJ could give Mitt a final boost. But TX, whose April primary is almost certain to be delayed by redistricting-related court action until June, could be a real wild-card if the contest is still alive at that point.

As a bonus, Crystal Ball offers a link to an earlier chart that shows all defeated incumbent U.S. senators since 1994, and how Rick Santorum’s disastrous 2006 showing ranks. It was the worst drubbing in recent history until Blanche Lincoln’s 20-point loss in 2010.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.