‘Double agent’ delegates could block Trump’s nomination

The seeds of a catastrophic split of the Republican Party are being planted.  If Donald Trump doesn’t win on the first ballot in Cleveland, the mechanics of taking away the nomination are clear.  Writing in Bloomberg Politics, Sasha Issenberg explains the complex mechanics of delegate selection, which could result in Trump delegates abandoning him after the first ballot, when they are pledged to vote for him. Only a small share of the 2,472 total convention delegates are free to pick the candidate of their choice, regardless of the election’s outcome, on the first ballot, while about three-quarters of them are gradually freed to do so on subsequent votes. That means there is a small pool of so-called unbound delegates who are pure free agents, but a much larger number who can be recruited throughout the spring as double agents—delegates who arrive in Cleveland pledged to Trump, all the while working in cahoots with one of his opponents and...(Read Full Post)