That map is from noted political scientist and prognosticater Larry Sabato. Now, when I look at that map, I see extreme danger for Mitt Romney. Larry doesn’t:
When the remaining playing field is surveyed in its entirety, it is possible to conclude that Romney could be in better shape to win the nomination than he looks right now. While he is bound to take more losses over the next few months, particularly in Southern or Border states, Romney can go a long way toward becoming the GOP’s standard-bearer within the next month by winning Michigan and Ohio. Both will be major hurdles and neither will be easy — but then, for Romney, what really has been this year?
Mr. Sabator is proceeding on the assumption that Romney is going to win Michigan and Ohio. He must not have seen the latest polls. If Santorum wins both, then I can see Santorum winning most of the orange and red states above (excluding Georgia, which will go for Gingrich, and Texas, Illinois, and North Carolina, which for some reason I don’t see Santorum winning, but I don’t see Romney winning them either). So let’s play this out.
Here is the current delegate count:
Let’s assume Romney wins all the yellow states, which would be New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, California, Virginia, Indiana, New York, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. As an aside, do you notice something about those list of states? Save Utah, they are all blue states that voted for Obama in 2008. And save Utah again, they will all be states that Obama will be expected to win in 2012.
Carrying those states gives Romney approximately 768 delegates, not taking into account proprotional allocation, which means he could have substantially less than that.
Let’s assume Santorum wins Kansas, Missouri (the real primary), Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississipppi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon. That would give him 899 delegates, again assuming winner take all allocation.
That leaves Georgia, which I have Gingrich winning as a favorite son, and Texas, North Carolina, and Illinois as toss ups.
So Larry assumes Romney will win Michigan and Ohio and thus win all the yellow and most of the orange states. I assume Santorum will win Michigan and Ohio and thus win all of the red and most of the orange states.