. . . for Santorum and Gingrich, that is. So says political soothsayer Larry Sabato:
From now until the end of April, we expect Romney to win not only the majority of nominating contests, but also the majority of delegates awarded in these contests.
It’s fair to ask how Romney’s position can be so strong after finishing third in the two major primaries held on Tuesday, Alabama and Mississippi. The most important thing anyone can do on any primary night is to remember the calendar — not the primary schedule but the general election date. The two Deep South primaries appear critical, yet they will be long forgotten by Labor Day, much less Nov. 6. Barring a massive, difficult to fathom shift in this contest, Mitt Romney has a better than 80% chance to be the GOP nominee. No amount of wild tapping on CNN’s magic wall will alter those odds.
The reason is that, much like when Hillary Clinton was fighting a front-running Barack Obama in the last few months of the 2008 Democratic primary, the delegate math — and particularly the lack of true winner take all contests — favors the candidate with the big delegate lead.
Much more, including charts and graphs, here. Sabato always worth paying attention to.