The Republican National Convention isn’t for another three and a half months, and it’s unclear if any candidate will clear the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination in time. Trump is leading the pack with 736 delegates, though if he loses Wisconsin (as he’s projected to), he’ll need to score 60% of the remaining delegates to win outright.
There’s already talk of a brokered convention, which was confirmed by senior GOP official Curly Haugland on CNBC. He even went as far as to say, “Political parties, not voters, choose their presidential nominees.” When then asked the obvious follow-up question from host Becky Quick of what the point in us voting is, he said it was a “good question.”
Kasich’s endurance in the race points to more evidence of a brokered convention. It’s mathematically impossible for him to score 1,237 delegates from the remaining delegates, so why would he remain in the race if not because the possibility of a brokered convention?
And now, as Politico reports, there are already delegates plotting against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
If Trump heads into the convention without the magic number of 1,237, already more than a hundred delegates are poised to break with him on a second ballot, according to interviews with dozens of delegates, delegate candidates, operatives and party leaders.
In one of starkest examples of Trump’s lack of support, out of the 168 Republican National Committee members — each of whom doubles as a convention delegate — only one publicly supports Trump, and she knows of only a handful of others who support him privately.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz has been whipping Trump in the quiet, early race to elect his own loyalists to become delegates to the convention, meaning that the Texas senator could triumph through delegates who are freed to vote their own preferences on a second ballot, regardless of who won their state.
“As far as the stealing of the Trump nomination, that’s a big concern for everybody,” said Diana Orrock, the RNC committeewoman from Nevada and the only one of 112 committeemen and women who openly supports Trump. None of the nation’s 56 state and territory GOP chairmen, also convention delegates, have endorsed Trump either. They are subjected to a mix of state-based rules as far as their obligation to back Trump on the first vote.
Regardless of what you think about Trump, it’s clear why he predicted riots if the nomination was stolen from him at the convention. I’ll ask the same question that Becky Quick asked: what’s the point of even voting then if someone else decides anyway?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]