After another victory in Illinois, Mitt Romney pulled further ahead in the general election polls, though there’s still a long way to go before his victory is deemed inevitable.
With 47 percent of the vote in Illinois, Romney strengthened his lead over his fellow candidates earning him a total of 530 delegates — more than twice those held by second-place candidate Rick Santorum, according to CNN. Now he is only 592 delegates away from the amount required to win the nomination.
As of Tuesday night, 32 of the 56 primaries and caucuses had been completed, leaving 1,279 delegates up for grabs. Romney will need 592 of those to take the nomination and his closest competitor would need 895.
However, delegate count is not always the most effectiveway to determine a candidate’s success. According to CNN, in past elections, a calculation of delegate strength has proven to be more effective than the number of delegates won by a candidate.
Delegate strength calculates the point at which a certain candidate’s victory is deemed inevitable. This is not necessarily influenced by the number of delegates a candidate has.
“There are two basic components to calculating the delegate strength score — how close the frontrunner is to winning a majority of the delegates, and the gap between the frontrunner’s delegates and his or her closest rival,” CNN’s description reads. “That gap is measured in terms of how many ‘outstanding delegates’ remain.”
For example, Romney currently has 552 delegates — 48 percent of the 1,144 delegates required to win the nomination. However, according to CNN, his delegate strength is only 38.
“When the score is low, a candidate’s ultimate nomination is far from inevitable, regardless of how big a lead he or she has,” CNN’s definition reads. “When the score reaches 100 (or higher), it means that every candidate who has reached the level of support in past races has been considered the inevitable nominee at that point.”
Still, Romney has more than twice the delegates as Santorum and has almost half the total delegates required to win the nomination. Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul don’t even have a delegate strength score.
While Romney’s campaign team is counting delegates differently, (they aren’t including Santorum’s win in North Dakota since the delegates are non-binding, according to the Huffington Post), Romney is confident his success will continue to win the nomination.
“We’ve taken one more step toward restoring the promise of America,” Romney posted Tuesday night, “and tomorrow we wake up and start again.”