By The Numbers: How Did Tuesday’s Contests Impact GOP Race?

The question on everyone's mind today; what did yesterday's wins really do numbers-wise for Rick Santorum?

Make no mistake, Rick Santorum’s solid performances yesterday in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri can only be seen as good news for his campaign and supporters. But, mathematically speaking, how much of an impact will his wins have on the race going forward?

First off, the two states where convention delegates were actually at stake — Minnesota and Colorado — do not feature winner-take-all rules, like Florida. And Minnesota, in fact, awards only 13 of its 40 total delegates to the winner of its caucuses at the time the polls close.

So, despite sweeping all three states, Santorum cut his net deficit against Romney by only 22 delegates, less than half the number Romney captured in Florida alone. As of today, Romney still enjoys a 107-45 lead over the rest of the field.

It would be wrong, however, to suggest that Santorum’s victories were meaningless.

His blowout win in Missouri could be significant, if for no other reason than the fact that when the state GOP holds its official caucus on March 17, the winner will take home all 52 delegates at stake. With a seed firmly planted in the minds of Missouri voters, Santorum should be considered a favorite to score some serious points next month. The only roadblock to a repeat performance could come in the form of millions of dollars in attack ads waged against him by the Romney machine.

Of course, after Tuesday’s triumphs, Santorum could very likely be on the verge of raking in some big bucks himself.

For Romney, though he lost yesterday’s “beauty contest” in Missouri, he should win this weekend’s unofficial contest in Maine. The state, which holds caucuses until March 3, will allow voters to participate in a straw poll on Saturday, the results of which will prompt news outlets to begin apportioning the state’s 24 delegates. Like Missouri, the actual delegate count in Maine won’t be known until next month.

Looking forward to the end of the month, 59 delegates will be up for grabs on February 28 when Arizona and Michigan hold their primaries. At the moment, polls show Romney with a commanding lead in Arizona, and a comfortable lead in Michigan.

Tags: ,

Geoff Holtzman
Geoff Holtzman is Talk Radio News Service's Deputy Bureau Chief. As one of TRNS's primary correspondents, he helps cover the White House and Capitol Hill. Geoff also covered the 2012 presidential campaign, following the candidates to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere. In the process, he learned that not all Motel 6's are created equal. Follow Geoff on Twitter @Geoff_Holtzman.

LISTEN: The Weekend Ahead – October 25-27

The Day Ahead Logo

Elections in Tunisia and Brazil, and human rights reviews of Iraq, Iran and Egypt.

LISTEN: The World in 2:00 – October 24, 2014

The World in 2:00 continents logo

Ebola spreads to Mali, the Security Council attempts to strengthen Somalia’s arms embargo and a UN expert on immigration says it’s time for holistic reform.

Issa: CDC Chief Bumbled Ebola Response

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were critical of Centers For Disease Control and the Department of Homeland Security.

NYC Mayor: New York City Fully Prepared to Handle Ebola

NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Photo/The office of Public Advocate for the City of New York

A doctor who recently returned from Guinea was diagnosed with Ebola on Thursday at a New York City hospital.

Brownstein: Reducing Methane Emissions Helps Job Growth, Economy

Expanding the methane mitigation industry will help with job growth and protect the environment, according to the Chief Counsel of the U.S. Climate and Energy Program.

UN in Brief: Calm & Conflict for October 24, 2014

UN Daily Brief Square

UN staff returning from West Africa to ‘self-monitor’ for Ebola, human rights expert says immigration debate ‘toxic’ and Somali cargo inspections are approved.