The Breakdown: Contested Vs. Brokered Convention
As Donald Trump has recently taken New York in last Tuesday’s primary, Ted Cruz has threatened that he will make it a contested convention.
But what is that exactly?
Contested means it goes to a convention in Cleveland and nobody has that magic number of 1,237 delegates to win on the first ballot.
If nobody wins on the first vote, we move on to a second vote and at that point it becomes a brokered convention, and not because someone ran out of money. It’s brokered because that’s where the wheeling and dealing starts to take place.
Delegates keep voting until someone gets 1,237. Will it be Trump or Cruz?
What about delegates? It can be complicated understanding delegates but the simplest place to start is in Cleveland.
When the delegates show up in Cleveland, they have to do two things: first, visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of course, but then they have to abide by how their state voted.
So let’s take Michigan for example: Trump won 25 delegates, Cruz won 17. This means 25 delegates must vote for Trump in Cleveland on the first ballot and 17 have to vote for Cruz. but if nobody wins on the first ballot, then all bets are off.
Most delegates in the states are pretty much free to vote for whoever they want and then it becomes a free-for-all.
Delegates start talking about switching and who knows we may even see some, ‘rock, paper scissors shoot’ deliberations playing out on the floor.
This is where Ted Cruz’s team has been on their “A game.”
What they’ve been doing for the last year is talking to these delegates to vote for Cruz on the second ballot. They’ve also actually been finding people to run as delegates that would support Cruz after being obligated to vote for Trump on the first ballot.
Meanwhile, the Trump team has been playing catch up.
So after a first ballot, then comes a second ballot, and then maybe a third. We just keep going and going and going until someone, Cruz, Trump, Ryan, or whoever gets 1,237 delegates or until the rapture comes.
There are going to be about 200 delegates that arrive in Cleveland “unbound.” That means they can vote for whoever they want.
Take Pennsylvania for example. They have 71 delegates up for grabs. The winner of the state will win 17 delegates but the other 54 are not committed to anyone. They can vote for whomever they like and that’s where it really gets interesting.
The Trump and Cruz campaigns will call them up and try to convince them to vote for their guy on the first ballot.
Legally, they can offer lots of perks like dinner, maybe a free spa treatment at a Trump luxury hotel or even a free hay ride with Ted Cruz, but money cannot exchange hands.
If Trump comes in 50 delegates shy of 1237, you can be sure he’ll be “working the room” trying to make sure those unbound delegates vote for him on the first ballot.
If Trump doesn’t get to 1237 on that first ballot, he’s probably in trouble. Why?
Because not only has Cruz’s team found delegates that will switch to their guy on the second ballot, but most of the time these delegates are folks that have been around politics for awhile.
That hurts Trump because those type of delegates would probably be less likely to support Trump as the process moves forward.
Report via CBN News
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