While they accumulated the most wins on Super Tuesday, a sneak peak to Mike Allen from two top Romney campaign officials of their brief with press corps scheduled for midday Wednesday doesn't exactly exalt positivity and enthusiasm, but rather an exhausted campaign having once again just won the day by the skin of their teeth:
“Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich do not have a path to 1,145 delegates. They would have to win with an enormous percentage of the vote to get anywhere near enough delegates. The best example of that is, in 2008, when Hillary Clinton in Texas, she wins Texas by 5 points and picks up 9 delegates on Barack Obama. Delaware is winner-take-all; Utah, winner-take-all; New Jersey. These are not states they should be eagerly anticipating. Rick Santorum isn't even on the ballot in 4 of the 18 congressional districts [in Illinois on March 20, which Romney allies now hope will be the new knockout]. …
“We've won in every region of the country. Newt Gingrich is, right now, a regional candidate. Ballot-access work is like an iceberg: What you see above the water is only a fraction of what goes on below the water. We've always been on a dual track [fighting Obama and GOP rivals]. Whether it was Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum, [we were also doing] ‘Obama isn't working,’ engaging the Obama campaign on almost a daily basis.
“It is mathematically impossible for either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich to get the nomination, no matter what they say. We're never going to say what people should do with their campaigns. They're going to run their campaigns the way they want, but every day that they're attacking Mitt Romney.”
The sole support for Gingrich being a product of regional sentiments rather than message seems plausible, but the claim that Romney has won in every region of the country does not come without an asterisk. He won all of the New England states, but it is a region where Romney has spent most of his life, and usually votes in favor of moderates in GOP primaries. The media has given Romney the moderate title and New England rarely supports Republicans in the general election. Romney has won the desert west states of Idaho, Arizona and Nevada, but are all states that have large LDS populations and other candidates did very little campaigning in. He won in Virginia, with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum not on the ballot. He won in Michigan, where his family has well-documented deep family ties, and Ohio by only the skin of his teeth after thoroughly outspending opponents and winning in areas of the state which will most likely go Democratic in the general election.
Romney can hang his hat on Florida, a key swing state that the former Massachusetts governor has no particular personal connection to, but will have trouble outspending Obama there by the margin he did against his Republican rivals in the primary.
The campaign is right in that the primary math is thoroughly on Romney's side, having more than a 2-to-1 lead over his closest competitor, but the unenthusiastic message after Super Tuesday further solidifies the malaise and unconvinced opinion Americans appear to have about the former governor. Never want to rule out a good ol' scandal or sudden crisis that one of his rivals may be more equipped to handle, but it will take a miracle to beat Romney in the delegate game with big Romney-leaning states like NY and CA still ahead, in addition to the majority of votes that will continue to split between Santorum and Gingrich while both are in the race.
At least the candidate remains positive. Romney was on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning where he said that he feels "pretty darn good" about the state of his campaign: