Could Another Candidate Still Enter Republican Race?

  • February 27, 2012
  • By John Gramlich
The Republican presidential race dominated talk at the annual meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C., this weekend, with reporters again asking Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey if they would reconsider their previous decisions to stay out of the contest.

Often overlooked in the discussion, however, is that even if Daniels or Christie joined the race, it would be too late for either man to win enough delegates to capture the nomination. That's because the filing deadlines have already passed for many state primaries and caucuses, and the 22 states where the deadlines are still open do not have enough delegates for a latecomer to win the nomination outright, as Bob Schieffer noted during his "Face The Nation" broadcast on CBS on Sunday morning (February 26).

That hasn't quieted the speculation, though, including from Schieffer himself. The veteran journalist noted that while any latecomer would not be able to win the nomination in the traditional way — by winning enough delegates at the polls — Daniels, Christie or another candidate could capture enough delegates to prevent any of the current candidates from sealing the nomination. That, in turn, could lead to a floor fight at the GOP convention in Tampa in August.

"If Republicans get to their convention with no nominee," Schieffer said during his show, "I'll predict they'll pick someone other than those in the current field."

The upheaval in the Republican race was clear at the NGA meeting. As The Christian Science Monitor notes , just eight of the nation's 29 Republican governors have endorsed front-runner Mitt Romney, and much is riding on Tuesday's elections in Arizona and Michigan, where Rick Santorum is hoping to continue his recent surge. Maine Governor Paul LePage, meanwhile, told Politico that he was unsatisfied with the entire Republican field and was hoping for exactly the situation that Schieffer described: a floor fight in Tampa.