“‘Michigan is the whole shooting match,’ said one senior GOP strategist not aligned with a campaign. Says another: ‘If Romney loses Michigan, all hell breaks loose.’

“Given that real possibility, one knowledgeable GOP source confirms that some Republicans are circulating the deadlines and the basic math that would allow another candidate to get into the nomination fight and take it all the way to the convention. More than a half dozen states’ filing deadlines have yet to pass. A majority of the delegates to the national convention are still up for grabs. One more factor to be considered: many states are choosing their delegates proportionally, which makes it easier for a candidate pick up delegates without outright winning a state…

“One of the Republicans who has seen the memo said ‘no one is hoping that this will come to play,’ regarding a new candidate entering the fray. Yet some Republican partisans feel they need to make some contingency plans depending on the outcome in coming primaries.”

***

“‘We’d get killed,’ [a prominent Republican] senator said if Romney manages to win the nomination after he failed to win the state in which he grew up.

“‘He’d be too damaged,’ he said. ‘If he can’t even win in Michigan, where his family is from, where he grew up.’…

“It would have to be somebody else [besides Santorum or Gingrich], the senator said. Who?

“‘Jeb Bush,’ the former Florida governor.”

***

“Gov. Mitch Daniels says he is receiving more calls urging him to get into the race for president, but will not change his mind…

“‘I never wanted to run, never planned to run,’ Daniels said.

“But he said the Republican National Convention, scheduled for August in Tampa, may be a contested or brokered convention, something not seen in decades.

“‘It is not impossible that no one gets there with the thing locked up,’ he said.”

***

“Indiana GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb, one of Gov. Daniels’s closest advisers, revealed to POLITICO that ‘the whispers have become shouts, the knocks on [Daniels’s] door have become fist pounding.’…

“Despite the fact that he is a top Romney surrogate, [Chris] Christie, too, has received entreaties from senior Republicans, sources said, with the pitches rising again in recent weeks as Romney has struggled…

“There are roughly 30 states and territories where delegates aren’t bound to a particular candidate. The majority of the other states, according to a number of party officials, call for delegates to be bound for a first round of balloting but not the ensuing rounds.

“‘The dirty little secret is: At the end of the day, these guys and gals can vote any way they want,’ said a Republican who has attended national conventions for decades. ‘Each state has different (laws) on pledged delegates.'”

***

“While most Republicans wish they had different choices in the party’s presidential field, a nationwide USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds overwhelming resistance to the idea of an old-styled brokered convention that would pick some new contender as the nominee.

“By 66%-29%, the Republicans and Republican-leaning independents surveyed say it would be better if one of the four candidates now running managed to secure enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Most are happy to see their roller-coaster campaign continue: 57% say the battle isn’t hurting the party.”

***

“This remote scenario would probably lead to a debacle. The last contested GOP convention was in 1976, when incumbent Gerald Ford narrowly defeated insurgent Ronald Reagan — and then lost to Jimmy Carter in the fall. Back then, the establishment still had the clout to impose its will on the party. Today, restive constituencies such as the Tea Party refuse to get pushed around by — to use a Gingrich term — political ‘elites.’ The convention hall in Tampa would be a battle zone

“The issue, for Republicans, is not just that Santorum would lose in November. It’s that he could be a drag on House and Senate candidates as well. Imagine, say, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) trying to explain to his constituents why someone who doesn’t fully understand women’s participation in the workforce should be president.

“Listen closely and you can hear the anguished cries: ‘Mitch! Chris! Jeb! Help!'”

***

“‘If Romney can’t find a way to turn this thing around and win Michigan I think this question of a brokered convention a contested convention, whatever you want to call it, is a much more salient question,’ [Campaigns and Elections Magazine editor Shane] D’Aprile told Fox News…

“A contested convention could be ‘disastrous,’ D’Aprile said, because delegates chosen by their candidates ‘feel very strongly about their candidate.’

“‘You’ve got a deadlock scenario,’ he said. ‘I think it’s significantly harder for someone to walk on the convention stage out of nowhere, given the makeup of the delegates they may be facing. I think that’s a scenario for potential disaster for the party. I don’t know how you come out with an actual consensus candidate from there.'”

***

“In a lot of ways the coming Michigan primary feels like the Florida primary again for Mitt Romney. He’s facing another near-death experience. He wakes every morning to news accounts of the five things he needs to do to right in his campaign before it dies. Then, after choking that down, he rolls over to the other stories—speculating about which white-knight candidate might arrive to rescue the GOP from the botch Mitt Romney has made of things…

“Michigan will determine whether Mitt Romney’s superior money advantage and bigger organization is worth anything. It’s to these two qualities that insiders cite when explaining why Romney can weather these challenges from Santorum and Gingrich. But Romney’s losses show the obvious limitations to this firewall. Money and organization don’t help much in contests where movement conservatives dominate. They don’t help in Michigan, which is not as hospitable as Florida was but has a more diverse electorate than the caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota. Right now Romney advisers still seem confident they will pull it out in Michigan. And if past is prologue, a win will revive his fortunes, diminish the talk of a brokered convention, and set Romney up for his next near-death experience on Super Tuesday.”

***

Via Mediaite.

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Via Breitbart TV.