Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Rules Not The 'Establishment' Will Determine If There Is An Open Convention

I am hearing some very smart people, like Rush Limbaugh, not seemingly able to comprehend a simple concept that when there is a rule that states 1237 delegates are needed to win the GOP nomination, that means that for a person to win the GOP nomination, they must have 1237 delegates.

This is all coming from the Trump camp that "the establishment better not have a brokered [sic] convention to deny the nomination to Donald Trump if he is in first place."  First of all, as Hugh Hewitt states, there is no such thing as a brokered convention, what they are describing is an open or a contested convention.  

Second, the rules do not state whoever is leading in delegates going into the convention wins the nomination.  It takes 1237 delegates to win the nomination, not, for example, 998 delegates if that 998 is greater than anyone else.   

So, if Donald Trump wins 1237 delegates in the caucuses and primaries, he will be the GOP nominee.  No one will take anything away from him.  But if Donald Trump does not have 1237 delegates going into the convention, then the state delegations after the first ballot, keep voting until someone gets 1237 votes.  Whoever gets 1237 votes will win the nomination.  It is the delegates at the convention, not the establishment that will determine who wins the nomination if someone does not have 1237 delegates going into the convention.  That's the rules.  

Now if Trump is under 1237 but close, let's say within one hundred votes and he is far ahead of everyone else, then a case can be made that it would be denying the will of the people if Trump does not win the nomination.  It actually still would not be breaking the rules to deny Trump the nomination in that case, because he was unable to win the 1237 delegates needed to win the nomination.  But I do understand why in that case Trump supporters would be upset.

I do not think that will be the case.  I actually think what will happen is no one will be within 200 delegates of the nomination when they go into Cleveland, and following the rules, there will be many ballots until someone gets the 1237 votes needed at the convention to win the nomination.  If Donald Trump is able to convince the delegates on the floor he should be the nominee and garner some coalition with delegates of the other candidates, then he will win the nomination and be the nominee of the Republican Party.  But if he is not able to garner a coalition to get 1237 delegates to vote for him, then he will not be the nominee.

And if the winner is not Donald Trump, it won't be because the establishment 'took it away from him'.  It will be because Donald Trump would not have been successful in winning 1237 delegates [or even close to it] in the primaries and caucuses and/or winning 1237 delegates at the convention to vote for him after the first ballot.

It's the rules, stupid. 

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