The GOP has dealt with a fractured election thus far during the primaries. From infighting and spurts of name-calling at their debates, to fragments of controversy thrown about by candidates carrying the party’s badge, there can be little doubt that the elephant looks to be in need of a cast. However, more plaster may be necessary before November than first anticipated, depending on the outcome of this year’s Republican National Convention. Unless one of the candidates can secure a tonnage of delegates, before the convention in Cleveland to select a nominee, the GOP may have to shoulder a brokered convention.
Far from fizzling out in early in his campaign, businessman Donald Trump has made use of his blaring tone to unseat his contenders in the early primary elections, nabbing South Carolina and Nevada among other states. However, while Trump laid claim to 384 delegates before March 8, he remains a safe distance from the 1,237 required to clinch the party’s nomination as anointed in the presidential race. When compared to the harvests of fellow presidential hopefuls—senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, have 300 and 151 delegates respectively, while the governor of Ohio, John Kasich holds 37—the gap is further outlined. However much it might cause him chagrin, Trump’s grip on the nomination is anything but a done deal.
This is the point that is touched by a brokered convention: a situation in which no candidate has a majority of delegates (representatives from a given state’s Republican Party), before the first vote is taken to select a nominee at the national convention. In this absence of a signed and sealed winner, the process of selecting a nominee begins a switch to negotiations, as names are put forward for discussion and votes.
While brokered conventions are uncommon, with the Republican Party last having a stab at it in 1948, its possibility in this election could have explosive consequences. Should the GOP bypass a popular candidate like Trump, it could set itself up for another split: in this election, that of a third party contender.
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