Watching the coverage of the New Hampshire primary, I have noticed a strong trend among the pundit class. There seems to be a deep rooted belief that by winning Iowa and New Hampshire that Mitt Romney is automatically a lock to be the GOP nominee. Fortunately, this is just another attempt by the media to shape the news instead of just reporting it.
Winning the GOP nomination this year will require a candidate to reach 1,144 or more delegates. With Iowa and New Hampshire both in the rear view mirror, a total of 37 delegates have been awarded so far. With penalties for moving up primary dates and proportionate delegates being awarded, Mitt Romney finds himself in possession of 13 of those delegates already awarded. That is 1.1% of the total needed to clinch the nomination.
Of course, there is also the narrative that nobody has ever won South Carolina without winning one of the first two contests. I think back to the year 2004 when I watched my favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, lose the first 3 games of the ALCS to the Yankees. The “smarter than us proles” talking heads all but wrote the Red Sox off, because nobody had ever come from being down 0-3 to win a seven game series. As a fan, I never stopped believing. The players obviously didn’t buy into the media spin, either, as the Red Sox came back to win the series, and went on to win their first World Series in 76 years.
Crowning Mitt Romney at this point in the race is akin to naming the person leading a marathon after the first 1/4 of a mile to be the winner. There is still plenty of time for a non-Romney candidate to surge to the lead. We can’t let the punditry lull us into complacency. This is our hill to die on, and this fight is far from over.
Crosposted at Kenny Says.