Jonathan Renshon, Jennifer Lerner, and Philip Tetlock on the GOP nomination

Why don’t Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum just quit?
Washington Post
April 6, 2012
Op-ed by: Jonathan Renshon, International Security Program research fellow, Jennifer Lerner, and Philip Tetlock
Topic: GOP nomination

“After nearly 40 primaries, Mitt Romney has more than twice as many delegates as Rick Santorum and more than four times Newt Gingrich’s tally. And Ron Paul’s count barely registers. So why is this still a four-man race?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that decisions to quit a presidential race have little to do with voters and delegates — and everything to do with what’s going on in a candidate’s head. Staying in when there’s no hope of winning can become a quest for a consolation prize, such as a future Cabinet appointment. But fighting a losing battle also reflects human beings’ tendency to gamble, no matter how long the odds. It’s also about fighting for one’s reputation. Who wants to forever be regarded as a failed presidential candidate?”

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