I wasn’t going write a Newt Gingrich #facepalm post until after the votes were tallied tonight, but this press release from the Newt Gingrich campaign so totally blew my mind that I had to post it here now.
I’m going to refrain from commenting on the “internal memo,” but I just want to say this: It’s not an internal memo if your campaign sends it to the press. That totally defeats the purpose of the word internal.
OK, without further ado: Gingrich Advisers Highlight Half Time Strategy, Path to the Nomination
Atlanta, GA – Newt 2012 released today an internal memo from Randy Evans, Senior Adviser, and Martin Baker, Newt 2012 National Political Director, to campaign staff, laying out the delegath math heading into the Louisiana Primary on March 24th, and a path to the Republican nomination:
TO: Newt 2012 Campaign Staff
FROM: Randy Evans, Senior Adviser and Martin Baker, National Political Director
DATE: March 13, 2012
SUBJECT: An Historical Nomination Process Underway
Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom that dominates the news media, Newt Gingrich is well positioned to win the GOP nomination and here’s why.
Today’s contests in Alabama, American Samoa, Hawaii, and Mississippi are big, but it’s still early. Louisiana, on March 24th, will actually be “halftime” in the race for the GOP nomination.
Heading into Louisiana, states with delegates totaling 1,141 will have decided – just short of the 1,144 needed for the nomination. It will be Louisiana that moves the process past the halfway mark with 34 states accounting for 1,187 delegates having been voted.
Yet by halftime, the process will be far from over. Just look at the math.
One half of the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination is 572. To date, according to the RNC and factoring in results from Kansas and Wyoming on Saturday, Mitt Romney has only 350 bound delegates. Between, now and Louisiana, there are only 170 total bound delegates available – and that count includes Missouri whose delegates, while bound, will actually be elected at conventions later this spring.
Even if Romney could get 100% of the available bound delegates before Louisiana (which he cannot), he would still be well short of 572. Instead, with the proportional allocations that apply, Mitt Romney’s more likely 57 additional delegates would only put him at 407 total delegates (35.6%) – well short of the 572 needed to be halfway to the magic number.
With a steady 35% of delegates and no change in sight, the fact that Romney advisers have undoubtedly told him is that he can no longer force his nomination. Mathematically, the numbers are just not there. Instead, with 4 candidates remaining, the GOP nomination now moves into unchartered waters with history in the making.
The sequencing and pace of the second half favors Newt. When this process started, Newt’s team had two goals: block an early Romney nomination; and plan for a sequenced and paced second half.
Newt stopped Romney in South Carolina and subsequently weathered a multi-million dollar barrage of attacks in Florida, surviving to win in Georgia on Super Tuesday.
Starting with Louisiana, there is the second half and the sequence is important.
After Louisiana on March 24th, there are primaries on April 3rd in the District of Columbia (winner take all without Santorum on the ballot); Maryland (a favorable state); and Wisconsin (Callista Gingrich’s home state).
Then, the process slows – permitting all of the candidates to work the states, not just the one with money.
On April 24th, more than four weeks after Louisiana, Senator Santorum faces a ‘must win’ in Pennsylvania (whose delegates remain unbound regardless of outcome) with other big contests that day in Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and delegate rich New York (95).
Two weeks later, on May 8th, there are more southern primaries in North Carolina and West Virginia along with Indiana. On May 15, there are primaries in Nebraska and Oregon.
Then, the delegate rich 3-week dash that could decide the nomination begins with more southern primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky on May 22nd. They lead into Texas (155 delegates) on May 29th.
After 2 weeks of southern primaries, the process then turns on June 5th to California (172 delegates), New Jersey (50), New Mexico and South Dakota. California and New Jersey alone represent almost 20% of the delegates needed for the nomination.
In total, the states in this final 3 week stretch have 509 total delegates – or almost half of what is needed for the nomination. The final primary (Utah) is not for three weeks afterwards on June 26.
So here is the bottom-line reality: this nomination will not be decided until the fourth quarter – and that is not until June. It also means that the candidate who closes strongest in this race is going to win.
It is a long way until June 26th. Republicans indeed get to be a part of history, not more of the same.
So buckle up. This race is not going to be won or lost over backroom deals or endless and mind-numbing discussions in the media over delegate counts. This race is going to be decided by a big debate – a big choice – among GOP primary voters about the future of the Republican Party; what it stands for, and which candidate has the most compelling vision and most credibility to carry forward a conservative governing agenda.
That is the debate Newt is going to win, and with it, the nomination and the election.