Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Op-ed: Pushing for a Brokered Convention

Pushing for a Brokered Convention 
By: Diane Sori / The Patriot factor / Right Side Patriots on

“I don’t think anyone in our party should say, ‘Oh no, even if the people of the party wanted me to be president, I would say no to it'...”No one is going to say that.”
- Mitt Romney when recently asked by a reporter whether he would accept the Republican nomination in the event of a brokered convention

Donald Trump's followers keep flooding the online polls in an attempt to try and prove that either last week's poor debate performance didn't hurt their boy or that he won it no matter that anyone with even one working brain cell could see that Trump got caught in a Rubio/Cruz sandwich. Being once again ill-prepared to discuss the issues, Trump didn't know key facts relating to the questions asked and as such reverted back to his usual personal attack style, but even that backfired as he turned red, sweated, and appeared ready to implode from within. That debate hurt him and it was proven by Ted Cruz's two big wins in last Saturday's primaries.

So Trump's latest tactic is to now bait the Republican party into thinking that if he is not the nominee that chaos will ensue if what's known as a brokered convention...some call it a contested convention...becomes reality. But know that there really is no need to fear this for all a brokered convention means is that no candidate received enough delegates on the first round to lock-in the nomination and that now further voting must be done. It is not a sign that any 'monkey business' has been going on or that any will go on.

Simply put...the convention would then be deadlocked with the nominee now having to be chosen through multiple rounds of voting by delegates from all 50 states and the six U.S. territories instead of the delegates entering the floor with the nominee already chosen. And a brokered convention is legal, above board, and is playing by the rules no matter that Trump supporters claim otherwise.

So what is it that Trump supporters are claiming...they're claiming delusions...for their thinking is that if Donald Trump wins the most states and delegates but still falls short of the 1,237 delegates needed to legally secure the nomination that the nomination should be his no matter numbers to the contrary. And the fact is that if a brokered convention happens it will be the result of a process that is not a secret for as I mentioned above no one candidate garnered the must have majority of is that simple. And, according to Real Clear Politics, it's the way individual states select delegates that allows for the fact that if any of what some call 'establishment' exists, it’s at the less high-profile state and county levels. And those delegates would be picked from amongst local level party officials or from a coalition of delegates for 'underperforming' candidates who could then band together and decide the nomination allowing someone who may have only managed to take third or fourth place in the overall voting to become the nominee.

And yes, this would be within the confines of the rules and this is what has many of the Trumpers in an uproar no matter that's how the game is played. And if it did get to that point, it would be the first time in 40 years that no one candidate had enough delegates going into the first round of balloting...with the last time being when incumbent President Gerald Ford and nominee Ronald Reagan battled for the nomination. But deals were made before the first round of balloting allowing Ford enough votes to secure the nomination stopping the convention from going brokered. However, in 1948, there was indeed a brokered convention when Thomas Dewey became the Republican nominee after three ballots, but it must be remembered that when it came to the general election both Ford and Dewey lost.

But when all is said and done the race to the nomination comes down to one simple number...1,237... and coming short of that number is the only way to stop Donald Trump from becoming the nominee...and doing so by playing by the rules for to do otherwise will not only ruin the process but would render what remains of the Republican party, for all intents and purposes, null and void.

So how do the other candidates rack up the needed numbers to stop Donald Trump...the only way to do so is by blending their combined delegates together to secure the needed count to stop Trump from reaching the magic number of 1,237.

And to that affect Ted Cruz should not be telling Marco Rubio or John Kasich to drop out of the race as both men are needed in order to stop Trump from getting the in the more delegates they rack up in addition to Cruz's number the more Trump will not reach the needed 1,237 number. And Ted Cruz needs to realize that he cannot reach that number alone because he no chance of winning the delegate rich northeast states...especially the delegates from the Trump friendly winner-take-all states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania...yet the three's numbers together can stop Trump and send the convention to brokered. So, Ted Cruz needs to rethink his words...seriously rethink his words...or not only will he not get the nomination but he will be the cause of the White House staying in Democratic control.

But the fact remains that it's all about numbers and the math is far from certain, but here is one scenario where the convention could go brokered. If Marco Rubio can beat Trump in Florida, if John Kasich can beat him in Ohio, and if Ted Cruz can pick up more of the 'Plains' states, then Trump might very well come up short of the all important 1,237 number, despite his currently being well ahead of all his current rivals.

So what happens at a brokered convention...first, it must be remembered that when you hear that a certain candidate has won a certain number of delegates, that does not mean that said candidate gets to hand-pick those who will go to the convention to represent him. It's each individual state's Republican party hierarchy who choose from party members those who will go to the convention with orders to vote for said candidate during the first round of balloting, but only during the first round, then being released to vote for the candidate of their choice at the next round of balloting.

Second, now the reeling and dealing talk, vote, and negotiate no matter how long it takes until one and only one candidate...or even an individual not on the original ballot...garners that magic number of 1,237.

And while 1,237 is indeed the number needed to secure the nomination, there is something most don't know about and that's an item called 'Rule 40'...a rule where a candidate has to win a majority of the delegates in at least eight states in order to be considered for the nomination. And that in and of itself is quite unfair as winning eight large states but states with a low delegate count cancels out someone who might only win five or six states but having those states being delegate rich. But the rules are allowed to be amended right up to the time the convention begins, so we can assume that 'Rule 40' will be changed or even eliminated making a brokered convention more likely. And while delegates are obligated to vote for a certain candidate during round one they do not have to show support for rules which blatantly favor one candidate over another.

To break down the numbers even further...if the convention does indeed go brokered...and I hope it will...what exactly will happen. First, we need to look at the delegate count as it stands now. Right now at the time of this writing Democrat masquerading as a Republican Donald Trump has 384 delegates; Ted Cruz has 300 delegates; Marco Rubio has 151 delegates; and John Kasich has 37 delegates; with March 15th being the target date to see if Rubio and Kasich are still viable candidates. However, and this is important, to date, Cruz's, Rubio's, and Kasich's numbers together reach 488 delegates 'trumping' Trump, and as the primaries and caucuses continue that number will increase, that's why Rubio and Kasich need to stay in the form a wall with Cruz that Trump cannot cross over, thus denying him the magic 1,237 number.

Now if no candidate currently running reaches the needed 1,237 number after the first ballot is called, all delegates are released from who they are pledged to and can vote for the candidate of their choice or they can nominate anyone they so choose to in the next round of balloting. This is the part that many fear for what if a delegate nominated Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan...and what if one of those who already dropped out of the race was nominated, say Chris Christie...and what if that person got 1,237 delegates to support them...the fact is they would then become the defacto nominee. And it's legal, binding, and nothing to the contrary could be done to stop it. So the goal now is to not just stop Donald Trump but to assure that either Cruz, Rubio, or Kasich is the nominee as these men are the ones the public already has voted for.

And how do we assure this making sure that Marco Rubio wins Florida and John Kasich wins Ohio. That puts both men back into the fray and makes them and Ted Cruz a possible nominee even if the convention goes brokered, because delegates would then be freed to vote for the one they personally think could best beat Hillary. And know, too, that there are now percentages of remaining delegates that Trump needs to win the nomination...Trump needs another 54% of all the remaining delegates while Ted Cruz needs to win 60% of said delegates; Rubio needs to win around 69% of the delegates; and Kasich needs to win about 77% of the still to be awarded delegates...and the range from 54% to 77% is not insurmountable, it being only a 23% differential between first and last place...and being reachable only through a brokered convention.

So now as the primaries move forward and more delegates are amassed by each man only time will tell who becomes the nominee. But one thing I will say is that with the anger in our country anger fueled on by the one candidate who has no tangible policies to back up his multi-level bloviations...we cannot and must not allow anger at the process to lead to a write-in Donald Trump party to emerge as that will most assuredly hand the presidency to Hillary...but maybe that was Trump's plan all along...just saying. 

Today, Wednesday, March 9th, from 2 to 4pm, Right Side Patriots Craig Andresen and Diane Sori discuss Hillary's buddy Bryan Pagliano now singing like a bird, the logistics of a brokered convention, and remembering Nancy Reagan.

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RomneyMan said...


cimbri said...

Diane, you have your answer on whether the debate hurt Trump. He won 3 or 4 matches last night. Cruz is pretty strong in the prairies states, where the churches bus all their people to the polls, but everywhere else, he's pretty week. No Republican can win in November when he can't even win the Southern states in the primaries. Trump is strong in every region.

cimbri said...

Regarding Rule 40 (a presidential nominee must have won the majority of 8 states' delegates), sure you can change the rules midstream and get rid of it, which hurts Cruz and Trump. But it just shows the Republican Party as a banana republic party, if they do that. Why not change all the rules, and just release the delegates as soon as they arrive to the convention? I suppose they can do anything, but they'll just lose to Hillary.

Diane says the insiders will decide who gets the nomination. So all you "little people" out there, placing signs, handing out badges and stickers, going to rallies, you're wasting your time. The insiders will make the final decision, they will have the last word, or so they think.