by Clifford F. Thies
I heard that Romney's people are passing the word out that they don't expect to wrap this up the nomination anytime soon. So, I projected what, under an optimistic assumptions for him, are his prospects.
For example, this Tuesday, it is reasonable for Romney to pick up all of Arizona's delegates and half of Michigan's. Arizona is Winner-Take-All (WTA). Michigan is WTA at the Congressional District level, and proportional at the At Large level. Given the gerrymandering of the state, it would be easy for the CD's to split evenly, Romney and Santorum.
Projections after Tuesday get difficult because the rules for awarding delegates differ so much from one state to another, because I have no idea of the backroom shenanigans at conventions, and because of "unpledged" delegates. But, with a whole lot of assumptions, I project, under optimistic assumptions for Romney, that he doesn't clinch the nomination until June 6, when California votes, among other states.
Some interesting factoids worked into my projections: (1) California - WTA, (2) Texas - proportional, (3) Virginia - neither Gingrich nor Santorum is on the ballot (to lesser extents, IL, IN and OH are also affected by ballot status issues).
Even with my optimistic assumptions for Romney, he has little margin for error.