There will not be a brokered Republican convention

So, I saw a comment on the blog yesterday about a brokered convention and then a Slate story last night about how this is Rubio’s desperate hope now.  Let’s be clear– not going to happen.  I feel far more sure of that than my certainty that Trump will be the nominee.

When candidates win the states, they win the delegates.  These are their delegates.  Now, there’s lots of additional complications because that’s how parties do things, but, basically, if Trump wins 99 delegates in Florida’s winner-take-all on March 15, that’s 99 (or, at least pretty close to it) people who are going to be at the Republican convention expressly to vote for Trump.  There’s no brokering there.  The only hope is that nobody has a majority of delegates come convention time.  In modern primary times, that pretty much never happens.  And, crazy as this year has been, there’s no good reason to suspect that this year should be different in that regard.

A little cold water from The Fix:

If you get the most votes, you get the most delegates, and if you get more than half the delegates, you get to run against whoever wins the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.

It goes on with all the complicated rules and permutations.  But that sentence is the key for me.  And with so many winner-take-all delegates at stake after March 15, it’s hard to see how Trump does not take a majority of the delegates so long as he keeps winning primaries (as all the polls suggest he will).

Again, so long as Trump keeps winning primaries, there is no brokered convention.  If Trump gets that majority, there is no mechanism for Republican elites/establishment to undo the will of their primary voters.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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