Since we last looked at the delegate situation, Rick Santorum has won two state primaries, and Mitt Romney picked up a state caucus, a territorial primary, and a territorial caucus.
Santorum showing the ability to win state primaries is good news for him, but he must now convert that ability into delegates, or this race may be effectively over anyway.
From the chart above (click for full size version), we can see that Mitt Romney is still hovering very close to an absolute majority of the delegates so far. In fact, if we add up all the delegates allocated so far, plus the ex officio state party delegates that have endorsed, we find Romney to be 10 delegates short, at 516. Rick Santorum at 236 delegates is far off the pace. He’s slowed the bleeding, and distanced himself from Newt Gingrich, but he’s still 280 delegates behind Romney.
Fortunately for Santorum, the next four days will allocate 115 delegates, and at the start of next month, 98 more are up. Rick Santorum must take a clear majority of those 213 total delegates. If he is to make a comeback, he has to start gaining on Mitt Romney instead of just falling behind more slowly.
If that orange line for Rick Santorum doesn’t trend upward over the next two weeks or so, pulling Romney substantially below the majority zero line, then I’ll start to suspect Romney effectively has the Republican nomination.