Sunday, October 02, 2011

Could the GOP presidential nomination end in a brokered convention?

While chatting with someone recently about the inability of the Republican Party to come up with a candidate sufficiently attractive to the broadest cross-section of the party, I had a thought.

I recognize that it is probably unlikely and that it hasn't happened in a long time, but what if no one has the requisite delegates in hand by the time the convention rolls around?

We have been seeing polls that suggest that the majority of Republicans, though strongly committed to pet issues, are more committed to the idea of beating Obama. And maybe that is true and maybe that means that they will rally around someone they don't love.

But what if things end up being so fractious that the GOP can't get its act together?

Sure, Romney may be the odds on favourite, but I could a see a scenario where the right splits behind two or three candidates in the caucus / primary season in a way that forces a brokered convention. Is the idea of an "anyone but Romney" convention really impossible to imagine?

And then there is the matter of drafting the party platform at the convention. I could see a scenario where the radical right would want to have a sufficiently large delegate count to force the platform to go in some pretty hardcore directions -- or to have a candidate still in the game who could articulate these directions.

The point is that whenever a strongly ideological movement is able to hold significant power in a political party, unexpected things can happen.

I'm sure that someone will point to the primary calendar and all the "inside baseball" reasons this won't happen. They could be right. I'm just floating the idea that this election cycle is not business-as-usual and that we at least prepare ourselves for outlier possibilities.

Having said this, I am more than happy to have someone explain how the RNC rules or other practical considerations would make a real brokered convention difficult if not impossible. I really am. In fact, I welcome it.

Your thoughts?

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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  • Ron Paul with his 20% or so delegates, will either insists on drafting party platform or his son, a senator from Ky. as a VP candidate. This has to be a brokered convention in Tampa.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:09 PM  

  • The likely scenario, I foresee:
    Two front runners, Romney, Perry(or whoever)should emerge by April. Ron Paul and his seasoned and trained delegates will be @ 15 to 20 % in Tampa, definitly more than the proportionate votes in the primary and caucuses (remember, they captured Nevada convention, despite polling 12 % last cycle).
    Either of the front-runner will have to cut deals with Paul.
    Ron Paul would insist more on changing the Party platform ideologically, rather than accepting deals for future cabinet slots, thereby ensuring the defeat of the nominee in the general or a VP slot for Sen. Rand.
    Either way a clear path for Sen. from Ky.,in 2016.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:13 PM  

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