I found an article on the therightscoop.com titled “Even ROMNEY had more delegates than TRUMP at this point in 2012!!”. Given my recent post, Donald Trump vs Mitt Romney vs John McCain, I thought “Oh no, maybe I was looking at the data wrong”, because that is a pretty bold and telling title from the RS.
I decided to investigate it further and see who is right because the conclusion from my previous blog is that Trump was just as strong, if not stronger than Romney or McCain and I do not want to be wrong.
Despite giving little background on the data presented, the author of therightscoop.com article claims “establishment Mitt” was doing better in 2012 at a “similar time”, but does not tell what states are included in the “similar time”, among other factors that effect elections.
Let’s look at the circumstances and see if they are similar.
The “similar time” for Romney referenced by therightscope was through 3/13/2012 where 27 contests had been decided verses the 2016 race where 25 contests had been held through 3/12/2012. Here is a brief look at where the candidates stacked up against each other under the circumstances described above.
Romney has more delegates than Trump, and Ted Cruz is much more of a threat than any of Romney’s opponents:
I already wrote an analysis on why Cruz is not as big a threat as this chart shows, read it here Can Cruz Win?, maybe you would agree. P.S. if Cruz loses Wisconsin, then he is a zero threat, if Cruz wins Wisconsin, Trump is in danger of being able to clinch this thing before the convention. Wisconsin is a big deal.
But also notice, when looking at the competition of Romney and Trump, who lost more states? Romney did, Gingrich won two and Santorum won 10.
However, the biggest factor is what states voted in the time frame and what states didn’t. The below table shows the states that voted in the dates described above (which are the dates therightscope.com was referring to when claiming Romney is a better candidate than Trump) and how many votes / delegates the two candidates got from each contest (note the table adds 3% to Romney’s vote count for population growth).
What is clear from this table (other than Trump getting many more votes than Romney) is that many of the states within therightscoop.com’s time frame are not the same, e.g. Ohio, Florida, Arizona are all in the Romney column, while the only big state Trump has that Romney doesn’t is Texas, and Cruz won Texas (home stage advantage).
To make a more fair comparison, let’s bring things up to date and look at common contests between the two that voted within this time frame:
- 2012: On April 4th Santorum drops out after 32 contests
- 2016: On March 16th 2016 Rubio drops out after 32 contests
For reasoning of why I am using these dates for this comparison, see here: Trump vs Romney vs McCain
Within the above defined parameters there are 26 common contest before the first real competition dropped out. Consider the difference in the landscape when looked in a fair way:
The lay of the land is completely different. There are a few things that jump out at the observer here.
- There is no doubt Cruz is a stronger candidate than any of Romney’s competition in 2012, but Texas boosted him up early on and as time goes, he too is falling behind (the above charts do not include Texas)
- Kasich is a complete spoiler and should have dropped out. He is by far the looser in 2016, the above charts include Ohio which inflate his numbers (home state politician rule applies). No one can argue that before Ohio he had a path to victory, he is a complete spoiler.
- Trump is killing it in total votes, especially compared to Romney. He has more delegates than Romney and he won more states.
Looking at these states and comparing the two candidate’s performance side by side, it is clear that Trump is a much stronger candidate than Mittens.
There are a couple places where Romney beat Trump: DC, Wyoming (wow the Wyoming Republican Convention), Vermont (Bernie’s turf), and they tied in New Hampshire…by the way these numbers are adjusted for inflation (3% added to Romney’s) to make it fair for population growth.
Trump beats Romney everywhere else, including Massachusetts (the baseball glove is a former governor) and Michigan (supposedly people in MI loved Mitt probably because that’s how the state is shaped).
My not so humble opinion: therightscoop.com did no research because they are biased and want to make Cruz look better than he is. I am also biased, but I did some research 🙂