Broked Convention

The Washington Post reports that the RNC and Establishment Insiders have met and strategized over what to do if Donald Trump still holds the top spot as they enter the GOP Convention next year.  Specifically, they’ve discussed how to “manipulate” the process as to nominate a more palatable (read: Establishment) candidate.

Weighing in on that scenario as Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) listened, several longtime Republican power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party’s establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight in which the GOP’s mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative, the people said.

As Trump, Cruz, and Carson lead the race for the nomination, is it conceivable that “our Party” could maneuver the selection of the fourth place contender; Marco Rubio, or 4% in the polls; Jeb Bush?

During the dinner, attendees delved into what exactly a brokered convention would look like. It would happen if no candidate was able to win the nomination on a first-ballot vote, starting a multi-ballot exercise on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena that could extend for hours until a candidate has secured sufficient support.

Many of the delegates are “bound” on the first ballot, meaning they must support the candidate they chose in primaries or at state conventions. But that restriction would lift if no nominee is chosen. The jockeying for delegates on a second ballot -- or third, fourth or fifth -- would be intense and full of political dealmaking, thus the term “brokered” convention.

I am a Ted Cruz supporter, and not particularly fond of the Donald’s campaign, but if he is nominated I will get behind him, and provide my support in defeating Barack Obama’s third term, in Hillary Clinton.

There are three possible outcomes of a Brok[er]ed Convention.

One – Donald Trump either gets enough delegates on the first ballot, or is able to coalesce enough support to earn the nomination, through the brokering process.

Two – Donald Trump doesn’t earn enough delegates, but support coalesces around Ted Cruz, as a Conservative alternative to Donald Trump.

Three – Donald Trump doesn’t earn enough delegates, and the Establishment manipulates the process (as is suggested in the WaPo piece) to nominate a more moderate selection, in March Rubio, or Jeb Bush.

I can see Donald Trump demurring to a Ted Cruz nomination. If the Establishment opposes the will of the Conservative Base and tries to force a Rubio or Bush nomination, I would expect disenfranchised Conservatives to stay home on Election Day. It is ironic that they would ask us to support the GOP candidate, as they work behind closed doors to work against 30-40% of the electorate that has stated clearly that we will not “go along to get along.”

The Establishment seems content, as John Kasich has alluded, to see Hillary Clinton elected, before they accept Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz as their nominee.

A Broked Convention, indeed.  

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