Romney prepares for the vital primary he can't afford to lose
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Friday 16 March 2012
After a round of fundraising in New York, Mitt Romney was yesterday pouring money into television advertising in Illinois, whose primary on Tuesday he cannot afford to lose as he struggles to fend off Rick Santorum, his main conservative rival for the Republican presidential nomination.
A Chicago Tribune poll last week showed Mr Romney with a narrow lead in Illinois – but that was before Mr Santorum's triumph in Alabama and Mississippi. They may not have tipped the race decisively in his favour. But they ensure that a contest that Republican strategists had hoped would by now be over will now drag on, perhaps all the way to the convention in Tampa in late August.
"Look at the maths," is the mantra of Romney aides, who point to their man steadily gathering delegates even in states he does not win, thanks to the proportional system used in most primaries thus far. Indeed, despite his third place finishes in both Mississippi and Alabama, Mr Romney netted more delegates on Tuesday than Mr Santorum, thanks to his victories in Hawaii and American Samoa which held caucuses the same night. Right now, Mr Romney has roughly 500 delegates, double his closest rival and well ahead of Newt Gingrich.
Even so, delegate maths does not guarantee a Romney win. It may be impossible for either of his rivals to secure the absolute majority of 1,144 needed in Tampa – but it is possible Mr Romney may not do so either. If so, Republicans would be facing their first open convention since 1976, when Gerald Ford held off Ronald Reagan.
And even if he does win, Mr Romney will have done so in unappealing and bloody fashion: not by generating grassroots enthusiasm, but by crushing his opponents with his financial and organisational muscle.
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Russia unveils plans for high speed railway and superhighway to connect Europe and America
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established and expanding ...