RACE COULD THROW “REPUBLICAN” PRIMARY INTO CHAOS
Regarded as one of the essential “swing states” in America’s quadrennial general election, Ohio is now the “Republican” establishment’s last stand against the populist insurgency led by GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
The Buckeye State is a “winner take all” proposition – and home state governor John Kasich, a liberal “Republican,” has remained in the race precisely because party elites looking to take out Trump need him to capture his state’s 66 delegates.
If Kasich does that (and the latest polls show him enjoying a narrow lead over Trump), then it is unlikely Trump will secure the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the GOP nomination outright. And if that happens, the Republican National Convention scheduled for July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio has the potential to be an implosive force the likes of which the Grand Old Party has never before seen.
We’re talking, of course, about a “brokered convention.” Or to be more accurate, a “contested convention” – which is the technical term for a convention that begins without an assured nominee.
Assuming Kasich defeats Trump in Ohio, such a “contested convention” seems all but assured.
“National party leaders are admitting it behind the scenes,” one party advisor told us. “Depends on Ohio.”
We’ve heard for months from party sources that if Trump failed to win the GOP nomination on the first ballot – he wouldn’t win it at all. That’s because after the first ballot, many nominees who arrived at the convention “bound” by the outcome of their state’s elections become “unbound” – i.e. able to support other candidates on future ballots.
On the first ballot, only five percent of delegates are “unbound.” On the second ballot, that number jumps to nearly 60 percent. And on the third ballot, it increases to 80 percent.
Oh, and that doesn’t include delegates bound to candidates who drop out of the race.
Making matters even more complicated? Thanks to convention rules, other names – like 2012 nominee Mitt Romney or U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan – could conceivably be offered up as “compromise candidates.”
Sound like a recipe for chaos and corruption?
Whoever is on the ballot, the voting continues until someone hits the magic number. How many ballots are we talking about? Well, back in 1924 Democrats went through a whopping 103 ballots before they settled on their nominee (John W. Davis, who lost to Republican Calvin Coolidge).
Now … are “Republicans” crazy enough to deny Trump the nomination if he comes up just short of the 1,237 delegate mark?
At this point it’s abundantly clear the GOP would rather see the party die than Trump emerge as its nominee – despite his impressive showing among “Republican” primary voters.
Through this week’s voting, Trump has won 4.3 million GOP primary votes (35 percent of ballots cast), 473 delegates and fifteen states. His closest rival – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas – has won 3.5 million votes (29 percent of ballots cast), 372 delegates and nine states. The top “establishment” candidate? U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida – who has won 2.4 million votes (19.5 percent of ballots cast), 166 delegates and one state.
Obviously those totals will change today … and if Trump is able to upset Kasich and win Ohio, it becomes far more likely he will eclipse the 1,237-delegate mark and (ostensibly) avoid the chaos of a contested convention. But if Trump finishes second in Ohio, he and his supporters should probably prepare to get shafted in Cleveland this summer.