Brokered GOP convention?

I put it at a 20 chance -enough to be real, not enough to bet on without damned good odds.

I see Ron Paul tossing his delegates in a direction to give his son a slot, not himself. Ron is old, but if he can position his kid for future greatness he will. Rand does not have the baggage of his dad.

Think about it - Romney / Paul - with the Paul being Rand. That would get energetic youthful Paul followers a reason to back Mr. Centrist.

As some talking head (don’t remember who) pointed out recently, the Republican Party is a three-headed beast, comprising Libertarians, social conservatives, and the wealthy elite. Right now, each of those three heads has its own candidate, and none of them can muster better than 50% of the primary vote.

No, no brokered convention this time. But next time, for sure! Or, a broken one, at least!

Thing is that the Obama-Clinton divide did not represent any fundamental divisions within the party. Plus there were just two of them, either of whom most thought could win, both of whom were capable of getting people enthusiastic.

This is different on both counts. You have one candidate with the money and organization to stay in and probably to win, but no one is excited about him. One who may very well take some southern states including Texas (Gingrich); one the darling of the culture war conservatives; and a libertarian one hanging in there picking some up to boot. Four who may last out all rounds of the fight.

Splitting up between four means a long slog to get to a majority, if it is gotten to.

What you have kept saying is that there is a zero percent chance of a brokered convention. Now you’re saying there is a remote chance of a brokered convention. A remote chance is not a zero percent chance.

And why do you say there has never been a brokered convention? There have been plenty of them. If you accept a technical definition, there were brokered conventions in 1976 and 1984. If you go by the more general definition, there were brokered conventions in 1948 and 1952.

Personally, I’d rate the possibility of a brokered convention at around two percent - very unlikely but not impossible.

When you’ve got two candidates, it’s darned near certain that one of them will get a clear majority. A small majority, maybe, but a clear one.

When you’ve got four significant candidates, though, it’s almost impossible for one of them to get a clear majority. And that’s where the convention comes in.

Yeah, it’s quite possible that one of them will get knocked out on Super Tuesday, but three of them? Don’t hold your breath.

Another big factor is that neither Obama or Clinton was facing an incumbent. The Republican candidates were squaring off against each other for much of the same time the Democrats were.

This is a big advantage for the Democrats in 2012. Obama has the nomination virtually locked up. He doesn’t have to waste any resources in the primaries and doesn’t have any challengers that are dividing his base. He can just sit back while Santorum and Gingrich and Paul knock Romney around.

I’m saying there is a non-zero chance only if a catastrophe happens. Real bookies take the bets off the table if that occurs.

No, I said there’s no precedent for a leading candidate to be hit by a meteor (or any equivalent) before the convention. But brokered conventions don’t happen either. There hasn’t been a second ballot at any convention since the modern primary system was inaugurated.

You lack the courage of my convictions. :slight_smile:

Funniest political metaphor of the week.

Is a bullet the equivalent of a meteor? Because Robert Kennedy was the leading candidate in 1968 when he was hit by one of those. There’s your precedent.

Good example.

Intersting article in today’s WSJ (teaser - the whole thing is behind the wall)

A major point of the article is that this GOP primary there are “more states that will divvy up their delegates proportionately, allowing second- and third-place finishers to claim a share and keep their candidacies alive.” Add that to the fact that the party is not rallying around any one … or even two candidates, and they conclude that “it’s possible, though very unlikely, that no candidate will have cinched the 1,114 delegates needed to assure the nomination.”

In the context of many states awarding proportionately it must be noted that while the individual not-Romneys have had their fortunes rise and fall … and rise again … Romney’s popularity has been consistent … pretty flat. (If only his positions were as consistent he might be doing better.) He may win some states but in many of those victories he still won’t leave with even a majority of the delegates.

Here’s Reuter’s take btw:

Commonly believed but not actually correct. When Kennedy was assasinated, Humphrey had more delegates and McCarthy had received more total votes in the primaries.

In fact, the way the Democratic Party process was designed at the time, it’s at least arguable that RFK couldn’t have gotten the nomination on the first ballot even if he had lived.

Something not explicitly mentioned: Paul is all about himself, he’ll never drop out “for the good of the party”, the others would. (not saying they don’t have huge egos)

It’s hard to predict. Kennedy was ahead of McCarthy and behind Humphrey in delegates and he was ahead of Humphrey and behind McCarthy in primary votes, so it’s hard to claim any to the three men was clearly in the lead in June. I’m basing it on the perception that support for Kennedy seemed to be growing while the support for McCarthy was fading and the support for Humphrey was at most holding in place.

McCarthy had entered the race early and established a lead. Kennedy entered late and had virtually caught up with McCarthy at the time of his death. So the trend appeared clear that Kennedy was beating McCarthy (and McCarthy didn’t recover his lead even after Kennedy’s death).

I’ll agree that Humphrey was a much stronger contender. It’s hard to compare Humphrey’s and Kennedy’s positions because they were essentially running two parallel campaigns towards a common goal. Kennedy was running as the “outsider” (through the primaries and appealing to the voters) and Humphrey was running as the “insider” (through the party leadership). Without knowing who would have won, it’s hard to tell who had a better strategy for the race.

Romney is in serious trouble if he loses Michigan.

A brokered convention? It never happens. Until it does.

I said Gingrich and Santorum would get laughed out of the running and here they are. So I’m making no other predictions than that if Romney loses Michigan, there’s a serious, serious problem.

Its hard to know what to root for! So many choices! I’ll take the 3D X-box holodeck! No, wait, the pile of hundred dollar bills and the supermodel! Or maybe…

Paul is all about the libertarian message. He has a platform to speak so he is taking advantage of it. Why should he drop out to help out a candidate that has about as much in common with him as Barack Obama?

I completely agree with you about Michigan. If that happens he is in trouble.

The thing about a brokered convention is I really don’t see Gingrich or Paul taking many delegates in any of the contests. Santorum is the only one with a chance to knock Romney off IMO. I really think the only way for it get to the convention is if there are at least 3 viable candidates.

In the fall I was certain Romney was assured of the nomination. At this point I would have to say there is an increasing chance he may not get there. If Santorum pulls out a win in Michigan and keeps his lead in Ohio then I would have to say he has a good shot at winning most of the primaries in the South and Midwest. Looking over the list of primary dates, if he manages to make it to the Texas primary with some momentum and money I think he has a good shot at winning there. I could see that causing serious turmoil.

A convention-floor-fight wouldn’t help the libertarian brand/message any. Quite the reverse.