Back-of-the-envelope math by the Globe reveals that Mitt could tie McCain in delegates by March 4 if he wins all of the remaining February primaries … by an 80 percent margin. No one knows yet how things look in winner-take-all Virginia on Tuesday but Maverick’s up 10 points in Maryland per the available polls, which are old enough not to incorporate his Super Tuesday momentum or the centrists he gained from Rudy’s dropout. Byron York wonders whether the sudden deafening silence in his inbox from the Romney PR shop portends a big announcement. Answer: Maybe.
A few moments ago, I spoke to someone in the Romney camp. Would I be crazy to read that into the email traffic? “You would not be crazy to read that into it,” he said. “There have been a lot of discussions going on about whether there is a path to victory, and not wanting to look destructive at what might be the end. You are reading the right thing into it.”
Geraghty says it’s time to start thinking about 2012. Exit question: He takes the stage at CPAC in about 20 minutes, for a speech his campaign was promoting yesterday as “major.” What on earth is he going to say?
Update: And now Mark Halperin’s hearing it. The announcement could come at CPAC.
Update: I’ve got to believe that his speech will be a stemwinder about conservative values and fighting the good fight, all very much with an eye to creating a memory he can leverage four years from now. Shrewd, if so.
Update: If it’s true then needless to say Huckabee 2008 isn’t long for this world either.
Update: More from York. Looks like this is indeed going down at CPAC. High drama.
Update: I’m guessing the decision was made only within the last few hours because the Times report from early this a.m. sure doesn’t sound like a feint:
Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, delivered an upbeat pep talk to his staff on Wednesday at his Boston headquarters. His advisers are considering television commercials for some of the next states to vote. “They’re making phone calls tonight,” said Tagg Romney, a son of Mr. Romney who is also a senior campaign adviser.
Update: Bryan just called me to say that they confirmed with an American Conservative Union official that Mitt’s “suspending” his campaign. I assume that means dropping out, but in the interests of accuracy that’s the word that was used. MM should have something on this imminently.
Update: Credit where it’s due — Bill Kristol predicted he’d drop out at CPAC on Tuesday night.
Update: Mitt’s got a fee-vah and the only prescription is more Maverick!