If both states vote in May, the GOP calendar will be back-loaded with important contests, drawing out the race even further. With Texas and California voting a week apart, late May-early June could supply the finale for Republicans in 2012, if there is a finale before the August convention.
Barring delays, it’ll already be tough for any candidate to win the nomination soon. Romney, the delegate leader, won’t be able to reach 1,144 delegates, the total needed to win, until April 3 in the ABC News delegate estimate, even if he wins 100 percent of the vote in every state. If Texas and Pennsylvania move, Romney won’t be able to accrue enough “bound” delegates to win the race, apart from ABC’s estimate, until May at the earliest.
It's increasingly looking like Indiana will be a factor in the GOP primary, the way it was four years ago for Democrats. Only 48 delegates are up for grabs, but we're still a "winner take all" state for Republicans, and that many might make a big difference by May. Let's wish Rick Santorum well in his continuing quest to get on the ballot. We have a strong libertarian conservative on the ballot as well as a born-again conservative and a think-big conservative. Without the social conservative, the party doesn't seem complete.