Could there be a brokered GOP convention?

March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012                        Ken Bickers

His six victories on Super Tuesday gives Governor Mitt Romney 415 delegates – more than twice as many as any other candidate. But with only a few winner-take-all primaries remaining, can Romney reach the 1144 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination before the August convention? Some political analyst say he’ll have at least 50 percent of the 1541 total delegates by that time, but will that be enough to make him the clear-cut winner?  If not, could we see a brokered convention? It’s that possibility that has political experts like CU-Boulder professor Ken Bickers saying this convention could be one of the most entertaining since 1976.

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His six victories on Super Tuesday gives Governor Mitt Romney 415 delegates – more than twice as many as any other candidate. But with only a few winner-take-all primaries remaining, can Romney reach the 1144 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination before the August convention? Some political analyst say he’ll have at least 50 percent of the 1541 total delegates by that time, but will that be enough to make him the clear-cut winner?  If not, could we see a brokered convention? It’s that possibility that has political experts like CU-Boulder professor Ken Bickers saying this convention could be one of the most entertaining since 1976.

CUT 1 “The closest analogues in recent years would be 1976, the Kansas City Republican Convention between Reagan and Ford. There was a person who had nominally the majority of the delegate support, but an argument by another candidate that people should not support that candidate. (:20) And that’s what Reagan was utilizing in ’76 - was to argue to these delegates who were presumed to be Ford supporters that they should step away from Ford and support him and that he was the more electable of the two candidates in 1976.” (:36) 

While Romney’s camp has claimed it would be near impossible for either Santorum or Gingrich to get enough delegates to pass them, Bickers says if both candidates can stay alive then anything could happen come August.

CUT 2 “If Romney goes in with less than half of the delegates, then we could see the kind of brokering of ideological factions, maybe regional factions, promising delegates to one or another of the candidates, at that point it could be that some candidate that is not currently in the contest might step in and become the consensus candidate and get the nomination.” (:27)

Although Bickers thinks it’s unlikely there will be a brokered convention, he says, mathematically, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. And, he says, if you combine that with the fact that Romney struggles with the conservative vote, then there may be someone else currently not on the campaign trail that might emerge from the convention as the GOP favorite.

CUT 3 “It could be a Chris Christie, it could be a Paul Ryan, a Mitch Ryan, a Jed Bush. It could be someone who isn’t out there on the campaign right now who might appeal to the delegates and get more than 50 percent of the vote. (:16) Again, unlikely, but far, far from being so unlikely that it’s not in the realm of the possible.” (:24)

-CU-

 

 

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