Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Brokered or Broken Convention? – KOA With Susan Witkin and Mike Rice

A brokered convention is the topic de jure among the punditocracy, given that beating Donald Trump by a competitor, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, appears unlikely. Now the strategy for the stop Trump forces is to have the current field win sufficient delegates in their respective strongest states to deny Trump the 1,263 delegates he needs, forcing a brokered convention.

If Trump is stymied, the real negotiating will likely begin before Republicans meet in the heat and humidity of July in Cleveland. Can the anti-Trump forces form a coalition behind a potential nominee, most likely someone in the field, or can Trump cajole a rival to join him to end the stalemate before a noisy convention fight? If no one says uncle in the pre-convention period, then a multi-ballot contested convention may be necessary.

As discussed with Susan and Mike on KOA, contested conventions are difficult to imagine in the modern era of primaries, with millions of Republican voters and endless debates, social media and polls establishing identity and legitimizing candidates. If the fight continues, the Republican Party will likely lose the 2016 presidential election and possibly the Senate. Will it lead to a permanent schism and possibly a new third party or a synthesis of Trump populism, Cruz conservatism and Rubio-Kasich establishment elements of the old party?

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