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Why Rick Santorum has only a 1 percent chance of stopping Mitt Romney

For Rick Santorum, the only shot at the nomination would be to win a contested GOP convention. But April should be good for Mitt Romney, leaving Santorum with only the slimmest of hopes, a delegate-math expert says. 

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum waves at supporters following a campaign rally in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Thursday.

Ricardo Arduengo/AP

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When the Republicans gather in Tampa, Fla., in August, the news media would love nothing more than a brokered or contested convention.

A convention that starts with any doubt about the identity of the nominee guarantees news. Otherwise it’s just a pep rally.

But as things look today, chances are slim that the Republicans won’t know in advance who they’re nominating, says Josh Putnam, an expert on “delegate math.”

“There’s a less than 1 percent chance that we go to a deadlocked convention or contested convention,” says Mr. Putnam, a political scientist at Davidson College in North Carolina. Putnam also writes the Frontloading HQ blog, where he crunches the numbers and explains the varying and complicated ways each state awards delegates.

Baked into Putnam’s “1 percent” assertion is his forecast that April will be good to Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.

“He will potentially do quite well throughout April and be able to peel off quite a few delegates in those states,” he says.

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