Zachary Bernstein provided research assistance for this report. Adam Peck provided the graphic.
Despite his triumphs in Alabama and Mississippi, Rick Santorum still walked away with fewer delegates last night than Mitt Romney, who took smaller wins in Hawaii and American Somoa. In the delegate race, which ultimately determines the nominee for the Republican Party, Romney has taken more than 50 percent so far.
But, the media’s focus on the delegate count obscures how poorly Romney has fared. Due to the complexities, complications, and quite frankly — the unfairness — of the GOP system of awarding delegates, Romney is far more overrepresented in delegates than his popular support.
ThinkProgress analyzed the total vote counts in the 30 states and territories that have voted so far. Over the approximately 9.2 million total votes cast, Romney has earned only 38 percent of the vote (far fewer than his 53 percent portion of the delegates). Santorum, on the other hand, has earned 26 percent of the popular vote so far, on par with his 27 percent of delegates.
The graphic below documents the discordance between the popular vote and the delegate count, revealing that more than 60 percent of the vote cast so far has gone against Romney:
Despite describing himself as the presumptive nominee, Romney’s support from less than two-fifths of the GOP vote shows how fundamentally weak he remains.