Santorum's Last Hope: A Brokered Convention

Rick Santorum remains optimistic about his presidential nominee chances, but needs a serious delegate boost to remain relevant.


On CBS This Morning Monday, Charlie Rose barely even said hello to Rick Santorum before posing an incisive question.

"What is your path to the nomination?" he asked. "Tell me how you're going to win enough delegates to win this nomination."

It's a valid question, as the current numbers do not look good for the former Pennsylvania senator. According to The New York Times, 1,324 delegates remain in the Republican primary race. If he wants to win the nomination outright, Santorum needs to take 891 of those delegates to get to the magic number of 1,144.

That means that Santorum needs to win a little more than two out of every three remaining delegates. Considering that he has won only 25 percent of the delegates awarded so far, blunt questions like the one Rose posed to Santorum should come as no surprise.

[See pictures of Rick Santorum on the campaign trail.]

Santorum explained to Rose that he believes that it will be very difficult for anyone, including Mitt Romney, to get enough delegates to clinch the nomination. He argued that a brokered convention is still very possible, explaining, "We believe that we get to the convention—the convention will nominate a conservative. They will not nominate the establishment, moderate candidate from Massachusetts."

"I'm going to continue to work hard to make sure there's a conservative who's the nominee of this party," he continued, "When we nominate moderates—when we nominate tweedledum vs. tweedledee—we don't win elections. We win elections when there are clear contrasts...That's why we believe that ultimately we will be the nominee."

Despite his optimism, Rick Santorum's campaign is slowly watching the delegate count drain the momentum from his campaign. The latest blow to his potential candidacy came Sunday, when Mitt Romney won all of Puerto Rico's 20 delegates. All out losses like Puerto Rico hurt Santorum, but it seems that even when he wins, he loses, as many states award delegates proportionally. Contests billed as Santorum victories, like in Mississippi and Alabama last week, end up more like ties between him and Romney, with Romney taking home large delegate hauls.

[Santorum Camp Tries to Capitalize on Gaffe.]

To stake a legitimate claim at the nomination, Santorum needs to reverse the current delegate trend and start posting big victories. An indefatigable campaigner, he will make no less than 15 TV and radio appearances Monday as he criss-crosses Illinois ahead of Tuesday's primary.

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