Officials of the Republican Party have been debating the idea of having a brokered convention in the recognition that the GOP nominating process might extend deep into the summer of next year. The Republican Party officials have decided that it would be wise to plan for a contested convention that would be triggered in the event that no candidate has sufficient delegates to win the party’s nomination.
A brokered convention takes place when no single candidate earns enough of the delegates to secure the party’s nomination on the first vote tally. At the brokered convention, delegates can be relocated to other candidates in order to finalize a winner.
Such a brokered convention hasn’t occurred within the Republican Party in decades. However, it’s looking more and more like such a debate might be needed in the late stages of the nomination process. The discussions of a brokered convention are still in their infancy, but the planning process has officially been started.
The Republican field has been extremely slow to narrow this election cycle, as many lowly ranked GOP candidates still, for whatever reason, believe that they might have a chance at becoming President of the United States. A total of 14 Republican candidates are set to head into the Iowa caucuses. This is indeed a historically large field. Since many delegates are awarded by proportional means, a brokered convention is very possible.
Making matters more difficult is that new rules mandate than any winning nominee must earn a 51% or greater majority of the delegates from at least eight different states. This might be very difficult to achieve, since with the excessive number of candidates, the most-selected candidate in many states might only receive around 30% or 40% of the delegates.
Republican officials have stated that the planning of this possible brokered convention has nothing to do with the presence of the controversial Donald Trump. The officials insisted that the plans are not aimed at any candidate in particular, only with the acknowledgement that they may or may not be there at the end.
Meanwhile, Trump’s biggest Republican rival Ben Carson insisted that he wants a fair game to be played.
Carson said, “If the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described this morning. If this was the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters and replace it with the will of the political elite, I assure you, Donald Trump will not be the only one leaving the party.”