Inevitability by the Numbers

Hard to say if it will have an impact, because people deeply invested in disputing the conclusion will always find ways to dispute the premises–but Ryan Lizza, Josh Putnam and Andrew Prokop have made a semi-definitive effort to demonstrate at the New Yorker site that Romney’s nomination is, well, inevitable.

I won’t discuss it in detail because this is very familiar ground for PA regulars, but the New Yorker estimates are particularly credible because they benefit from the analysis of Josh Putnam, the intrepid Davidson College professor and Frontloading HQ proprietor who probably knows more about the delegate allocation rules than the people in the campaigns.

The bottom line for the New Yorker gang is that Romney can be expected to get within 22 votes of a lock through pledged delegates, and that’s assuming Santorum continues to perform as he has before right down to the bitter end. But then there will be another 598 unbound delegates, and unless Romney decides to announce he’s dealing with his Mormon problem by converting to The Infernal Church of Lord Satan, he’ll certainly get the lion’s share of those, especially from the states whose primaries he’s won.

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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.