I predicted a few months back that Trump was going to drop out just after Super Tuesday, but as a mild Democrat I hoped that that we could see a Republican brokered convention. With no republican having enough votes to get the nomination right away.
But I also did say that it could be a **broken **convention. With the divisions in the party showing up x100.
And now the Republican establishment is looking at a contentious convention as not a hypothetical anymore, so the issue for this thread is this one:
As the tea party and the discordians would not by then get the candidate they wanted or the deal that they wanted, how can the Republicans keep the party from imploding in their convention? What do you think it will take place?
A Rubio/Bush ticket with Trump and Carson taking his balls home or one of the loopy conservative candidates as the presidential candidate with many moderate republicans walking out in disgust?
Nate Silver (who has much more expertise and spends a lot more time thinking about this stuff than I do) says he thinks there’s about a 20% chance of a contested convention, and that the most likely outcomes are the nomination going to either Cruz or ‘an establishment candidate already running’. He also thinks it would be a less catastrophic outcome for the GOP than a Trump nomination.
Probably the way they tried in 2012 - when they go through the roll call, only the votes for the “establishment” candidate will be confimed. For example, when Iowa’s spokesperson announced that Iowa had 22 votes for Ron Paul and 6 for Mitt Romney, the secretary replied, “Iowa, 6 votes for Mitt Romney. Kansas, 40 delegates!”
I don’t know if the 1976 Republican Convention counts as “brokered,” but it was the last contested major-party presidential nominating convention in the U.S. Reagan’s supporters tried and failed to wrest the nom from Ford (who went on to lose to Carter). It was quite a sordid story, too (mainly on the Reaganites’ side) – you can read it in The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, by Rick Perlstein.
Any talk of a brokered or broken convention is too early. Romney sewed up his nomination in March. I think we’d have to wait until at least past Iowa (Feb 1), New Hampshire (Feb 9), and South Carolina (Feb 20) to see. By Super Tuesday March 1, we’ll probably have the results for sure. It would be funny if the first 3 primaries were won by 3 different people. I could totally see Cruz taking Iowa, Trump taking NH, and Rubio taking South Carolina
I won’t consider such talk as realistic until maybe May. It just doesn’t happen any more, not since primary elections and caucuses have taken over the role of deciding the nominee. (And the media.)
We’re going to see a bunch of candidates drop out after Iowa and New Hampshire; a bunch more drop out after the southern states kick in. I fully expect that right then is when we will all be able to identify the Republican nominee.
If Trump gets his ass handed to him once the primaries actually start, then he’s done. Yes, he likes to get on camera, but he’s not interested in looking like a chump. But if he does well, even a respectable second place? Then there’s trouble. If Trump is convinced he “should have” won except for establishment cheating? There’s your third party run. If Trump is ahead? Well, that’s when the establishment tries to crush him by any means necessary. Could get ugly.
It certainly could happen, but would probably require an unusual inability for opinion within the GOP to coalesce around a particular handful of candidates. As others have pointed out, once the primary season actually begins candidates begin either dropping out or becoming irrelevant very quickly. In the process it becomes tougher to have enough different “boxes” for votes to go into to push things to a second ballot.
A note about Reagan and Ford. Because there were really only the two candidates there could not have been a truly brokered convention, in the sense of the first ballot failing to produce a nominee and the party bosses taking over (delegates elected in caucuses and primaries are generally required to vote for the candidate they supported, but on the first ballot only). With two candidates in the Ford/Reagan race, unless some delegates withheld their votes from these two candidates, SOMEone would have enough votes on the first ballot to win. The question was whether Reagan, by fair means of foul, could dislodge enough votes from Ford (who on paper had the edge going in) to change the outcome.
And on THAT note we should give at the very least an honorable mention award to Ted Kennedy four years later, who also tried through fair means and foul to get delegates (some of whom were legally pledged to vote for Carter) to vote for him instead. By the time of the convention Kennedy had recognized that he’d failed; but he gave it the old college try, and things were in doubt until not all that long before the convention actually took place. Again, though, the convention would’ve ended in a victory for one of the two candidates after the first ballot anyway.
The only reason we’re even talking about this is that the GOP “establishment” hasn’t settled on one candidate to represent them. They just need to make up their minds about who the anti-Trump candidate is going to be, and have everyone else drop out of the race. They still have plenty of time to make that decision.
What I think is that it is becoming late, and by waiting longer Trump is doing more damage, and the longer it goes the more likely IMHO that the ones that are following Trump will sit this election because “the establishment candidate should lose” as he will not be not pure enough as their ideology requires.
So, either that or a convention with so much bile because the froot loops will get lots of air time as their ideology got adopted by more candidates and rank and file* and then many will not believe the pretended kumbaya that many moderates will sing for the nominee at the convention.
*And that is what I also consider damage, many minorities are reporting the damage the Republican brand is getting as we speak, as a very recent NPR interview with a Republican American Muslim reported.