Brokered Convention Possible for GOP This Summer

Brokered Convention Possible for GOP This Summer

This 2016 Presidential race has been unlike any other race the United States has encountered. The current candidate in the lead for the GOP nomination — Donald Trump — is one that most Republican politicians oppose, which is unusual. In a presidential race, the candidate that is in the lead is normally one that the politicians of that party approve of. Trump, however, is not your average candidate. And though Trump is leading, he’s not on his way to receiving the majority of delegates. If there’s no clear winner for the party’s nomination, then there will be a brokered convention.

But what is this convention? And why are many Republicans advocating for it this year? To understand a brokered convention, you have to understand how the primaries and caucuses work. Each state will vote for a Republican and Democratic nominee to run from their party. For some states, the candidate who wins the majority of the states will win all of their party’s delegates of that state. The other states will give each candidate a certain number of delegates depending on the percentage of votes. Once the votes are cast, the delegates of each parties will meet in a selected city. This year the Republican National Convention will be in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Democratic National Convention will be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

If no candidate receives the majority of the delegates — meaning that no single candidate has more delegates than all the other candidate’s delegates combined — then there is no winner for the nomination. When this happens, all of the delegates of the party in question will discuss, argue, and vote repeatedly until one candidate has 1,237 delegate votes. And at that point, the candidate doesn’t even need to be running for president. They just have to have eight states worth of delegates supporting them.

The last brokered convention the United States had was in 1952 for the Democratic Party Nominee for the presidential election. The delegates ended up choosing Adlai Stevenson, who lost to President Dwight. D. Eisenhower. Since then, brokered conventions have been projected and discussed, but haven’t happened for over 60 years.

If Governor John Kasich and Senator Marco Rubio win their home states of Ohio and Florida, respectively, then a brokered convention would be possible. Ohio and Florida will be voting on March 15, and both of those states are winner-take-all, meaning whoever wins the majority of the votes wins all the Republican delegates from that state. And with the brokered convention, Republican politicians will have their best chance at having a GOP nominee they approve of.