The Contested Convention Scenario

What if the Republicans sort out their presidential nomination on the convention floor? What if Democrats do? We’ll look at contested convention scenarios.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club, Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club, Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

In a wild presidential primary season, there are scenarios in which things could get wilder still. And the wildest of all – a contested convention this summer, most likely as a last-ditch Republican effort to stop Donald Trump. Clinton and Sanders could have some pitched battles over super-delegates in the home stretch. But Republicans could have the kind of brawl on the floor and in the backrooms that hasn’t been seen since 1948. This hour On Point, the contested convention scenario.

— Tom Ashbrook


Sean Trende, senior elections analyst at Real Clear Politics. @SeanTrende)

Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. (@julianzelizer)

McKay Coppins, senior political writer for BuzzFeed News. Author of “The Wilderness.” (@mckaycoppins)

Stuart Stevens, political consultant and author. Chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. His upcoming novel on contested political conventions, “The Innocent Have Nothing To Fear,” comes out in June. (@stuartpstevens)

Vincent DeVito, attorney and partner at the law firm Bowditch and Dewey. One of Massachussetts’ GOP delegates at the 2012 Republican National Convention, where he assisted the RNC’s legal and rules operation. Supports Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign. (@RealVDeVito)

From Tom’s Reading List

BuzzFeed News: The Secret Plan To Nominate Mitt Romney From The Convention Floor — “The notion of a dramatic, eleventh-hour bid for the nomination by Romney has been floated in the political press several times over the past year, often prompting eye-rolls and sarcastic jokes on Twitter. There are plenty of reasons to question the plan’s viability. The likelihood of a contested convention remains low, and even if it happens, Romney could resist the draft efforts. What’s more, current convention rules dictate that a candidate needs a majority of delegates in each of eight different states to be considered for the nomination — something Mormon support alone is unlikely to provide.”


POLITICO: GOP superlawyer on contested convention rule: ‘In fact, that’s not a rule’ — “A Republican presidential candidate doesn’t have to accrue a majority of delegates in eight states to be considered for the nomination during a contested convention in July, former Republican National Committee lawyer Ben Ginsberg — the party’s preeminent election law expert — said Wednesday.”

The Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump’s Rivals Begin Crafting Plans for Contested Republican Convention — “If successful, Mitt Romney’s call for Republicans to vote strategically to stop Donald Trump from sewing up the party’s nomination would lead to only one end: a contested party convention.”

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