Think a brokered GOP convention is nothing but a pipe dream? Maybe not.
Real Clear Politic's Sean Trende has been playing with delegate counts and thinks, if things go as expected on "Super Tuesday" with Mitt Romney taking most of the delegates in Virginia, Massachusetts, Idaho and Vermont; Newt Gingrich dominating in Georgia and Rick Santorum winning a sizeable number of delegates in Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota, it's going to be difficult for anyone to win enough delegates to in the nomination.
He thinks the GOP race is much messier than many think.
What’s interesting is that from Super Tuesday forward, only 1,580 delegates remain. This means that Romney would have to win 50 percent of the remaining delegates, Santorum would have to win 58 percent, and Gingrich and Paul need around two-thirds of them to reach a majority.
Now, in theory, this should be easier for Romney to do: 434 delegates would be awarded in the South, 389 in the Midwest, 89 in the Mountain West, 194 on the Pacific Coast (including 169 in California), 244 in New England, and 230 in other places (RNC delegates and territorial delegates).
When you consider that a lot of the New England and Pacific states are winner-take-all (or some variant of that), while the Southern and Midwestern states are proportional, Romney’s path becomes clearer.
But he will have just taken a drubbing on Super Tuesday. The headlines will be terrible, which may put downward pressure on his polling numbers in New England or in the Mountain West. That would help Santorum, but winning nearly 60 percent of the remaining delegates is a tall order for him, especially with Gingrich and Paul gobbling up delegates here and there.