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No reason to fear a contested convention

No reason to fear a contested convention

That’s what happens when you have only a plurality, not a majority.

Donald Trump had a good night, but he’s still far from what it takes to win what is required — a majority of all delegates.

Here is the delegate count as of approximately 11:45 p.m. Eastern tonight. It will change somewhat because the delegate allocation calculations are not simple.

Republican delegate count 3-15-2016

Trump supporters — and some in the *conservative* media — want to pretend that having a plurality of delegates or raw vote entitles Trump to the nomination. But it doesn’t.

Trump isn’t entitled to anything until he has a majority of delegates. He has to win it. Contrary to something said by one of the commentators on Fox News tonight, there are no gimmes at the convention, unlike in golf.

If, for argument sake, Cruz-Rubio-Kasich delegates outnumbered Trump delegates at the convention, and chose Cruz either on the first ballot (if the rules permit) or on the second ballot, then Trump loses fair and square.

That’s what happens when you have a plurality not a majority. It’s democracy. To consider someone with a mere plurality entitled to the nomination would be anti-democratic.

That’s not the same thing as a “brokered” convention in which a small number of party elites choose the winner.

Will Trump supporters walk if that happens? Perhaps. Will many non-Trump supporters walk if Trump wins? According to the polls, yes. So either way, there is a divided party.

So I’m not afraid of a contested convention. In fact, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

Update 3-16-2016 — Trump suggests there will be riots if his plurality does not prevail:


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Mr Jacobson,

The distinction between a “contested” and a “brokered” convention is a comforting one.

But what determines whether the convention will be contested democratically or brokered by party elites? Isn’t it the party elites themselves?

I suppose I can express this concern another way: Who makes the rules?


    Estragon in reply to j0elanz. | March 16, 2016 at 2:19 am

    The opening rules are already set by RNC, but the convention itself can make its own rules with majority vote. The key is getting to the majority to change anything.

    RodFC in reply to j0elanz. | March 16, 2016 at 5:11 am

    “Contested convention” is a lie. The party brokers who first started to come together and try to deny Trump by manipulation, started to call it a brokered convention. They then realized that in the context of what they were doing, “brokered convention” made it look as ugly as it was. So they started calling it a “contested convention”.

    Just like “undocumented worker” is doublespeak for “illegal alien”, “contested convention” is doublespeak for “brokered convention”.

    It is a shame how the “right” is adapting these Orwellian techniques of the left.

      Kauf Buch in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 7:30 am

      The Right is adopting the Orwellian tactics of the Left
      the GOP and the DEMs.

      Elites in each Party are that: elites.

      retire05 in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 8:30 am

      You clearly have never been involved in either a state convention, or a national one. Because there is a major difference between a contested convention and a brokered convention. I suggest you read the rules before popping off and showing just how little you know.

      Also, you keep blathering on about the GOPe, as if you think that the establishment RINOs in D.C. appoint the delegates to the national convention. They don’t. Those delegates are elected at the state conventions, and more than one NON-establishment delegate, like myself, have been elected to move on to the national convention. How do you think Ron Paul managed to have such a loud voice at the national conventions. His delegates ran at the state level and managed to get elected to move on to the next convention (national).

      If you want to go hawk for Donald Trump, Carnival Barker in Chief, get yourself elected to your state convention and then work the attendees to elect you to the National convention. But be prepared to spend lot of time between now and the National convention lobbying to will election at your state convention since that is where national delegates are elected by the body as a whole.

      It was not the RNC, or even those you label GOPe, that started the whole “brokered” convention business. It was Trump’s media lackeys like FOX who started shouting “Brokered convention, brokered convention.” You know, the same media that gave Trump almost $2 Billion worth of free advertising.

      As to the rules of the National convention; as with all county and state conventions, there will be a rules committee that will write the convention rules which have to be voted on by the body of the convention. It is the current (new) rules that will prevail at the National convention.

      One other little fact for you to investigate: every candidate that has dropped out has “suspended” their campaign, including Rubio last night. They have not “ended” their campaign, and they still hold what ever delegate they have won in previous primaries. That is the reason for the suspension. If you think Rubio will throw his delegates to Donald Trump, you are delusional. Ben Carson threw his support behind Trump for a quid pro quo. The promise of a Cabinet job must have been appealing but is highly illegal, if that is in fact, what happened.

      Trump will have to garner 60% of the remaining delegates to reach the magic number. The further west the primaries go, the harder that will be for him. Hello? Wyoming?

      Trump is a fraud, a huckster, a carnival barker. And if I’m lucky enough to get elected as a delegate to the National convention, I will do everything in my power to stop him from taking the nomination.

If Trump ends up with 1100 delegates, has a big popular vote lead, and sits at 50+% in the polls like he is on track for and does, I think you have to give it to him. There were 14 names on the ballot!

Why the hell is Kasich still in the race anyways?

Does the party really want to give Hillary her chance to pick her opponent by running her campaign in the summer against a disorganized mess.

Also the professor is omitting the part where the delegates are party hacks and are not necessarily even supporters of their candidate. Trump could see his support among his own delegates disappear due to no fault of his own.

The professor is also omitting the part where important republicans talk openly about tossing Trump and Cruz and installing somebody like Bush or Ryan or Romney.

Ted Cruz says he can beat Trump 1v1. If he can he win, if he can’t, Trump wins. How about that?

    retire05 in reply to rotten. | March 16, 2016 at 8:40 am

    “If Trump ends up with 1100 delegates, has a big popular vote lead, and sits at 50+% in the polls like he is on track for and does, I think you have to give it to him. There were 14 names on the ballot!”

    1,100 delegates will not cut it and you forget that there are delegates already assigned to candidates that have “suspended” their campaigns. Those delegates are free to vote for any candidate of their choice on the second vote, and it won’t be Trump.

    “Why the hell is Kasich still in the race anyways?”

    Kasich is the spoiler. He wants a brokered convention but if he gets his wish, Mitt Romney will run over him like a Mack truck.

    “Does the party really want to give Hillary her chance to pick her opponent by running her campaign in the summer against a disorganized mess.”

    My, my, my, how gullible you are. The left has been claiming the GOP is in the throws of death for decades.

    “Also the professor is omitting the part where the delegates are party hacks and are not necessarily even supporters of their candidate. Trump could see his support among his own delegates disappear due to no fault of his own.”

    No, the national delegates are people just like me who are elected to the national convention at their state conventions.

    If you are an example of the Trump supporter, it’s no wonder he can make fools out of you with his 30 second sound bite claims not back up with any reality.

    Matt_SE in reply to rotten. | March 17, 2016 at 1:00 am

    “Ted Cruz says he can beat Trump 1v1. If he can he win, if he can’t, Trump wins. How about that?”
    Does that mean Trump will be giving up his 250 delegate head start that Rubio bought him? Of course not.

That’s what happens when you have a plurality not a majority. It’s democracy.

Actually, that’s not what happens in a “democracy”. A democracy would have the voters decide, doing a run-off, not a gaming process with deal-making among candidates who have even less of the people’s vote.

    Sanddog in reply to janitor. | March 16, 2016 at 1:01 am

    When you vote in a primary, you’re voting to assign delegates. Those delegates aren’t legally required to vote for the candidate who had the most votes. Imagine if the candidate with the most votes were indicted prior to the convention? If the delegate’s votes were binding, the party would be stuck with a non-viable candidate. Remember, this isn’t about the will of the people, it’s about the will of the party.

      janitor in reply to Sanddog. | March 16, 2016 at 1:10 am

      Okay. That’s just not a “democracy”.

        Estragon in reply to janitor. | March 16, 2016 at 2:22 am

        We don’t live in a democracy, thank God, and the GOP is a private political party. Our nomination is conferred by our rules and a majority of delegates is required. Many times in the past both parties’ conventions went multiple ballots before anyone managed a majority, and several times it was not one of the early favorites.

      tom swift in reply to Sanddog. | March 16, 2016 at 2:07 am

      this isn’t about the will of the people, it’s about the will of the party.

      And that’s the basic problem, isn’t it?

      “We the People” has managed to change into “Them the Party”.

        Estragon in reply to tom swift. | March 16, 2016 at 2:23 am

        Nobody is keeping you a prisoner of the GOP. If you don’t like our rules, the door is unlocked.

          RodFC in reply to Estragon. | March 16, 2016 at 7:36 am

          So much for the big tent. Like losing elections much?

          VetHusbandFather in reply to Estragon. | March 16, 2016 at 8:50 am

          RodFC, and so your solution to the GOPe losing elections is to pick the candidate that polls the worst against ANY dem candidate? Hell Hillary is going to have Dem voter turnout suppressed so far that this should be a walk in the park for ANY conservative. Unfortunately, the wingbats of the party are picking the one candidate that liberals are actually motivated to vote AGAINST. Good strategy folks.

legacyrepublican | March 16, 2016 at 12:33 am

Frankly,Trump is not the problem for the convention.

The problem is that the elites don’t get that the Tea Party isn’t full of spectators at a sporting event anymore.

They are becoming players in their own right demanding a seat at the tables of power.

And neither the left or Rinos expected that to happen.

Boy are they in for a lot more surprises in 2016.

    Let’s hope so. Sometimes it’s okay to roll up your sleeves and make some noise. You think the original Tea Party people would put up with this? Hell no.

    Lady Penguin in reply to legacyrepublican. | March 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Exactly. This is about destroying the business as usual Republican Party and their elitist power structure.

    Now that we know what’s really going on – the people can’t be fooled anymore. They can’t get away with it – not unless they’re simply willing to self-destruct. I expect they don’t think it will happen, but they don’t realize how smart and attentive the people are these days.

    Paul Ryan is out there floating the idea that he could be the nominee…If the GOP pulls such a stunt, they can rot on the vine that grew them.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to legacyrepublican. | March 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I suppose there may be a deep stealth plot by Dems to cross over and vote Trump. But let’s set that aside just now.
    There have been a LOT of voters coming out to vote in Repub primaries. Probably there are simply a lot of Americans who have woken up and are seeing their country at the brink.

    So, at this time of heightened interest in electing a Repub President, what could the Stupid Party possibly do to turn things around and find a way to lose to a felon and traitor?
    Speaker Paul Ryan won’t rule out accepting GOP nomination at brokered convention

The Republican Party is like an old business left with but a small handful of aging, bitchy, rich customers, who will soon – hopefully, very soon – die off and take the rotted Party (and the pathetic Boehner and Romney) with them.

On the other hand, the Tea Party is a new business with a fresh, vast customer base. It has two built-in national candidates (Cruz, and arguably, Trump.) It’s open for record-breaking business, and will thrive for the foreseeable future.

The sooner the GOP closes shop – or radically changes management – the sooner we can begin the arc upward in our lives.

We are finally closing in on the exclusive contest between Trump & Cruz I have been writing about for months.

Professor, let’s say it turns out like you are hoping for. Trumps going to have a majority or more delegates than anyone else going into the convention. Anything else is wishful thinking.

So let’s say it goes to a ‘contested’ nomination, what does that mean? It means horse trading. It means that whomever gets the nod will be owing the GOPe or one of their tools. Nobody will get the money, support, or Bush team without owing the GOPe, the Bushes, the squishy rinos. Nobody. If you lay down with dogs you’ll get up with fleas.

What will the GOPe ask for and get? Anything they want from a ‘contested’ nomination. So let’s assume it happens that way. It goes to the super delegates, the guys who have already sold out, the mercenary donors and advisers, the money men and the fight is on.

It is long and hard and divisive and the nominee will be seen as compromised by anyone. He’ll have ties to the GOPe guaranteed and have to quickly toe their line on immigration, judicial nominees, foreign policy etc.

But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that you will lose all the momentum, all the fire, all the enthusiasm built up by Trump. It’s not Ted Cruz bringing these numbers to the polls. He’s kind of unlikable. He’s not a people person. Now they will have to fight Hillary after an ugly partisan fight that will show all his connections to the Bush clan in addition to whatever deals are necessary for him to get the Rubio/Bush/rinos on board. You think Rubio et al are going to give up the most valuable votes in the world for Cruz? For nothing in return except the chance that a guy who isn’t them and isn’t in their circles will get the nomination?

Now he’s compromised, he’s weakened, he loses the two biggest draws Trump had besides Trump himself and has to square of with Hillary.

You should pray there is no contested nomination. If there is we’re sunk.

    I keep on hearing people assume that the delegates will necessarily be minions of the GOP establishment. In 2012, the delegations from Nevada and Iowa were mostly Paul supporters despite Paul not winning either state.

    While in some states candidates put forth their own delegates for people to vote for, in other states the actual delegates are elected separately.

      Yes of course, NADALT. And those Paul supporters will hold anything like the majority, the purse strings, the ability to make decisions in the party? No, it will be the GOPe that makes those decisions if they get the chance.

    Lady Penguin in reply to forksdad. | March 16, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Up until the Chicago debacle and Cruz supporting Bill Ayers, Black Lives Matter, and George Soros funded radicals, I supported him. But, deep in my heart I did not feel that he could win nationally, for some of the very reasons you’ve stated. The appeal just isn’t there.

    That’s the reason why I was a defender of Trump, because he actually does attract many folks into that supposed “Big Tent” the GOP is always touting that they want, but they’re lying.

    I hope Trump does get the nod, simply because I see Cruz as not attracting more than the usual damaged Republican brand folks. The ones the media and the Democrats have been hammering as evil for decades – and the GOP-E has does nothing to fight back. It’s US they hate, and as long as the current GOP-E power structure exists – we will lose.

    I’m thinking Trump is breaking that mold – finally.

      retire05 in reply to Lady Penguin. | March 16, 2016 at 10:19 am

      You’re foolish. Trump (aka, Elmer Gantry) appeals only to the Dancing With The Stars mentality which should tell you how far our nation’s voters have turned into people who are mesmerized by shiny objects.

      What will happen, if Trump does become the nominee, it that the media, who has gone easy on him because they think he is the easiest for Hillary to beat, will come after him with a vengeance not seen in a long time. Every off color thing Trump has ever done will be exposed, time after time after time. It will be total war on the part of the media who is decidedly left wing.

      As to Paul Ryan throwing his hat in the ring, ain’t gonna happen.

      Get this through your head; Trump CANNOT win in the general election.

      And frankly, I’m tired of the Do-Nothings, except for voting, screaming platitudes about the GOPe who has very little influence at state conventions. Do you really think Mitch McConnell is going to show up in Dallas to get his “people” elected at the our state convention? Even John Cornyn doesn’t have that kind of influence.

      So unless you are completely in the game, running for delegate to your county and state conventions, putting your life on hold for six months, spending the time, and the money, to facilitate the change you are demanding by being a national delegate, you are whistling in the wind and crying “Wolf” while we worker bees do the actual heavy lifting.

        Yeah those do nothing pesky voters. So messy to have to pretend to deal with them. The unwashed stupid masses. Far better to let the smart even tempered fair minded people like yourself decide who should be president.

          retire05 in reply to Gary Britt. | March 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm

          I’m really tired of the slime that is the Trump supporters. You whine about the GOPe, but never say who that is. So let me educate you:

          we are the ones who do the heavy lifting while you complain; we donate out time to take classes to be certified to register voters; we wear out our shoes block walking and knocking on doors, or in my county, facing iron gates, guard dogs and many times an armed home owner, promoting the Republican Party in elections. We run for offices in our local Republican Party, spend time, money and effort running to be a delegate (a dirty word to Trumpbots) to our county, state and national conventions. WE, not big mouths like you, get the work done while you complain about us. WE ARE THE ESTABLISHMENT IN EVERY COUNTY AND STATE AND WITHOUT US, THERE WOULD BE NO REPUBLICAN PARTYY

          You, on the other hand, are no better than the Ron Paulbots that infiltrated every conservative blog and argued how their candidate was the Second Coming. He wasn’t and neither is Trump. And you’re the kind that if your idol doesn’t win, you’ll pick up your ball and go home, fading into obscure history just like the Paulbots did.

          PhillyGuy in reply to Gary Britt. | March 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm

          It does look like Trump has the better track to 1237. The calendar switches to states Trump can win decisively. Plus Cruz got hammered in Ohio and Florida. That kind of weakness will not win him the presidency. Given current trends this should be a moot discussion by the end of April.

        Sonya in reply to retire05. | March 16, 2016 at 10:18 pm

        So Jeff Sessions and Phyllis Schlafly are ignorant dancing with the stars minded voters? Wow, your arrogance is astounding. If you and your cronies rob Trump of the nomination the GOP will be as good as dead.

        This is about globalist elites having to face off against an independent minded American Nationalist and it scares all of you witless. Can’t blame you for that — you should be scared.

        Even if you manage to steal the nomination from Trump that won’t be the end of it. The GOP will be torn in half and a movement will have been born. Someone else will pick up the baton and run with it.

          retire05 in reply to Sonya. | March 16, 2016 at 10:47 pm

          You seem to be one of Trump’s low information minions. Jeff Session has a low conservative rating and his only claim to conservative fame is on the immigration issue. Phyllis is 91 years old and has reached her shelf life as her associates, who have been close to her for years, have publically come out against her endorsement of Trump.

          What is really pathetic is your comment about “global elites” when Trump, with his factories in Mexico and China, something Trumpbots ignore. Are you really going to tell me he could not find a shirt or tie factory in the U.S.?

          No one I know is planning on taking the nomination from Trump. He is going to have to play by the rules just like Ford and Reagan did in 1976. Oh, but that’s right, Trump is above the rules, according to his lemmings.

          I will not vote for Trump. If you want to finish this nation off, as you ramble on about how he’s going to “Make America Great Again”, a slogan he stole from Ronald Reagan (Trump cannot even come up with his own slogan, he had to steal Reagan’s) then burn it down and maybe we can save something from the ashes. What difference does it make who sets the fire, Trump or Shillary. It is still going to burn.

          One other thing: you Trumpbots whine and moan about the GOPe, but not one of you ever mention that Mitch McConnell is part of that “establishment” you so hate and Donald Trump gave him $60,000.00 so McConnell could defeat true conservative, Matt Bevin. But I’m sure in your Trump fever you will be able to excuse Trump supporting the “establishment.”

      Matt_SE in reply to Lady Penguin. | March 17, 2016 at 1:07 am

      “Up until the Chicago debacle and Cruz supporting Bill Ayers, Black Lives Matter, and George Soros funded radicals, I supported him.”

      Sure ya did, honey. Sure ya did.
      I’ve heard this same bullsh*t story on at least 3 other websites, and always by the sketchiest members posting. After seeing coordinated alt-right raiding parties on conservative sites, I’m thinking there’s something rotten going on.

    CloseTheFed in reply to forksdad. | March 16, 2016 at 9:38 am

    ForksDad’s post is the best one on this subject thus far.

I played in the Republican /message conservative sandbox from 2000 thru 2014. In 2014 with great reluctance & against my better judgment I helped elect the Republican majority.
I was involved with the T party from day one. All those of us that were not conservative put up with the conservative vanity that the resistance was exclusively conservative which has never been the case. For people like myself we applaud Trump for the damage he is bringing on the party & also the exposure of personal interest conservatism where such conservatives are finally being seen for the phonies & liars they are. Such conservatives & the Republican party deserve each other.

DINORightMarie | March 16, 2016 at 4:44 am

Thanks for being the voice of reason and sanity in this insane three-ring circus.

An oasis.

Thank you.

Anyone want to comment on the track record of nominees coming out of recent contested conventions? I can think of Ford in 1976 and Humphrey in 1968. Humphrey never entered a primary and the Democrats disavowed the anti-war plank of the other candidates.

What is that old saying about sausage and politics?

Anyway, thanks for your analysis, Professor. I look into the future and see the Republican Party, as we knew it, shattered into several distinct parts. Does anyone want to take my bet that Trump will go Third Party if the bully does not win the prize? Let’s say reason prevails, and the movement conservatives are able to convince enough of the Trump delegates, and all the Rubio delegates to give a vote on the second pass. Within 24 hours of the announcement that Cruz is the party nominee, Trump is on CNN whining about the process and declaring the creation of the Yuuuge Party.

The fun part of my analysis is that you can substitute any candidate for Cruz, even the pro-amnesty Kasich, the “savior” of the Republican Party GOPe!

As of right now Cruz cannot outright win the nomination. By my count there are 909 delegates outstanding. Even if Cruz runs the table he will not have enough. Now it is early morning and my math may be off, so please feel free to double check. Also the Missouri results may change the delegate count even further.

What is more, yesterday Cruz most likely went 0-6, or luckily 1-5 with one Florida 2000 type victory. Is that the kind of candidate you want?

That of course is assuming he runs the table. Including NY and NJ. Do you really think NY values include voting for Cruz? Or NJ values which are close to NY values, but also include Christies endorsement.
Seems now that was kind of a stupid thing for Cruz to do. Is that really what you want in a candidate?

Say all the bad things you want about Trump, one thing I have never seen him do is insult some group whose vote he will need later. Yes he does insult protestors, but do you think they will ever vote for him?

    RodFC in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 6:40 am

    My apologies, I go so involved in the “insulting voters” point. I forgot to finish the main thrust.

    If the primaries continue as they are going now, Cruz is most likely to come in at 800-900 delegates, if he is lucky. If Trump does really badly, he will come in at 1100 delegates.

    In 1976 Ford came in with 1121 delegates, 9 short, and Reagan came in with 1078.

    If 1121-1078 causes a nasty convention, what do you think 1100-800 will do?

      RodFC in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 6:50 am

      One more point that I missed. Sigh.

      At this point Trump has qualified to have his name put in nomination.
      Cruz is not even halfway there with only 19 states left. With the territories, that means he has a third of his chances left. So his name may not even be put in nomination.

      Well at least until the rules change, but then it might be that anyone’s name gets put in nomination.

      I don’t think more then one name has been put in nomination since 1984, possibly 1976.

    Paul in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Please, Trump insults entire races, creeds and religions of people.

      CloseTheFed in reply to Paul. | March 16, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Re: Insulting religions: I have been following Geert Wilders for years, and reading about islam/muslims for years – including those in our own United States. The muslim religion is theocratic, and remains rooted in the psychopathic, sociopathic behavior of its founder.

      Trump went too easy on muslims. They should be banned from the country and if they have dual citizenship here, should be deported if they get a jay walking ticket.

      European women are now being told by government OFFICIALS, don’t go out at night or alone, otherwise you are liable to be raped.

      Take off your all-religions-are-equal blinders. They AREN’T. Just because blacks were slaves 150+ years ago, doesn’t mean we have to become brainlessly nondiscriminatory in order to be considered “good people.”

    “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” Trump asked, after wondering how Carson could have narrowly avoided stabbing a friend by hitting his belt buckle. “How stupid are the people of the country to believe this c–p?”

    see also

    Donald Trump begs Iowans not to believe Ben Carson: ‘Don’t be fools, okay?’

    Of course, that was before Ben Carson, who two months ago was “pathological, like a child molester, there’s no cure for that”, was miraculously rehabilitated just in time to become Trump’s new bestie.

      dorsaighost in reply to Amy in FL. | March 16, 2016 at 11:08 am

      you really don’t get what Trump is doing now do you ? he’s trying to win the primary … if you think he’s not saying all that stuff with a wink and a nod then you are dumber than you think Trump is …

    Matt_SE in reply to RodFC. | March 17, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Then you counted wrong.
    According to Politico (whose word I take over yours), there are still over 1050 delegates available.

It seems the GOP Establishment prefers Hillary to win. At least, then, the elites and status quo remain the same.

All they have to do is steal – in one manner or another – the nomination from Trump and hand it to the only seemingly “plausible” guy whom they can still control: Cruz.

At which point, it won’t be “the conservative base”…but rather all the millions upon millions of crossover voters who support Trump who will walk away from your travelling Revival Tent preacher boy Cruz, thereby ensuring the GOP Establishment’s victory through their elite relative, Hillary.

    It seems the GOP Establishment prefers Hillary to win.

    So it’s the GOP Establishment who’s responsible for frantically promoting the only Republican candidate who consistently loses, month after month after month, in a head to head match-up against Hillary Clinton?

      Kauf Buch in reply to Amy in FL. | March 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

      “So it’s the GOP Establishment who’s responsible for frantically promoting the only Republican candidate who consistently loses, month after month after month, in a head to head match-up against Hillary Clinton?”

      What is it about clear writing that you find so hard to comprehend?!

      Oh wait. You must be a troll fervishly believing those “only Cruz can win!” polls…conveniently done by political – NOT polling – companies.

      OR: are you an utterly delusional troll who imagines the GOP Establishment is “frantically promoting” Trump?!?

      Cruz would never make it that far. Hillary would chew him up and spit him out like dog food at the first debate. Cruz still acts like it’s a cotillion ball and not a rumble.

      Save your cheerleading for less informed people.

    Matt_SE in reply to Kauf Buch. | March 17, 2016 at 1:20 am

    “…crossover voters…”
    So what you’re saying is that we won’t be any worse off than usual, while Hillary’s turnout is still depressed?

    Matt_SE in reply to Kauf Buch. | March 17, 2016 at 1:24 am

    “…your travelling Revival Tent preacher boy Cruz…”
    I’m getting a little tired of the sneering atheist assh*le routine from the Trumpkins. No wonder you people have no morals and are easily fooled.

I am very sorry but this topic is so complex. I am trying to break up the points into bite sized segments. This will be the last for today, I need to get some rest after a long night. I’ll be posting thoughts over several days, but I guess that’s what happens when you try to reduce a topic to a glib poorly thought out article which places rationalizations of your own desires over rational thought.

So let me cover the short term consequences of Cruz coming in with several hundred less delegates then Trump, and walking out with the nomination. Listening to the chatter of Trump voters, the gist I am getting is that should that happen, they will go in to vote, write in Trump and hand their ballots in.

They tell me that being low information voters, writing in Trump will be all they have the mental energy for. Voting for senators and congress men and other stuff would be too taxing.

    Lady Penguin in reply to RodFC. | March 16, 2016 at 9:13 am

    IMHO, you’re right. I’m not going to support the GOP in the downticket races if they mess with the process. Let them rot. Voted GOP my entire “long” life 🙂 and it’s over for me.

No reason to fear a contested convention, but I don’t see any reason to expect it yet either … We could be close to getting a preference cascade in motion for some undecided voters even though late breakers is leaning towards non-Trump in proportion.

So, nice to talk about but I don’t see the math favoring it yet. Let’s worry about it when it comes to reality.

Second, if we get one, there is no winning outcome. Trump, even with the most delegates, will leave disaffected voters. Cruz will not be popular with the most moderate establishment and hard core Trumpers. Anything else will be rejected by a majority of Cruz and Trump supporters.

Any choice will leave a bunch of pissed off voters. No one exists to unite everyone, or we would see it in the voting patterns.

Any arguments for one or the other based on the other guys issues is wrong. All polling that I see leaves roughly equal number of voters at home … So arguments based on “I’m pissed off and staying home if I don’t get my candidate” are unpersuasive in terms of rationale.

Candidates are going to have to win on the basis of their own pitch, not a voter “election boycott” threat.

    Lady Penguin in reply to PrincetonAl. | March 16, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Momentum should be in play now. Kasich is there as a spoiler, but folks aren’t going to throw away their primary votes. They’ll chose either Cruz or Trump.

holdingmynose | March 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

I agree. Play by the rules, fair and square. But what about Rule 40? Kasich and Rubio haven’t won enough states to even be placed in nomination. Are their delegates then free to vote any way they want on the first ballot? Chances are the GOPe will try to finagle the rules to allow them to torpedo Trump. In that case it’s not fair and square and bad things will follow. The plebs are angry and won’t go away quietly.

I’ve come to regard this website as the most desperate of all anti-Trumpers. You have gone so downhill. Too many authors too. That made me read your site less.

    quiksilverz24 in reply to ncmont. | March 16, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Bye then. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

    I’ve come to regard this website as the most desperate of all anti-Trumpers.

    Just out of curiosity, what blog do you think strikes a better balance? Certainly not Red State, which is decidedly (and some would say desperately) anti-Trump; or on the flip side Breitbart (aka Trumpbart) which is just as bad but on the pro-Trump side?

    So much of the political blogosphere has gone full on crazy-town banana-pants this election season; I find LI one of the more sane oases of reason out there.

      To be honest, this is on the side of safe space for Trump supporters, which would smart so long as you need their vote.

        I don’t think we need Trumpkin votes. I think a large part of Trump’s audience is Democrats and cynics who dropped out of the system decades ago.
        If they refuse to vote, that won’t leave us any worse off than before. Besides, they are really, really obnoxious.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to ncmont. | March 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Only in the comments section. Other than that it is anti Trump but in a calm way.
    PowerLine blog is far more anti Trump in the articles, but more Trump tolerant in the comments.

I see you are crediting Trump with all 69 delegates from Illinois? Is this accurate? I have been unable to find the results for the 54 delegates chosen from among the Congressional Districts. Illinois only awards 15 delegates to the winning candidate, the remaining 54 are delegates chosen from each of IL’s Congressional Districts.

The most delegates I’ve seen awarded is 24.

    Kauf Buch in reply to David Lawson. | March 16, 2016 at 11:53 am

    As of 11:30am Wednesday,
    Trump is ahead of Cruz
    by 646 to 397…A LEAD OF 249!!!

    Don’t quibble about each state’s…
    there are only about
    35 un-determined so far in Illinois,
    37 in Missouri, and
    3 in North Carolina.

    Of those 75, let’s just say for sake of discussion
    it’s 50% / 50% Trump and Cruz.

    That would bring the totals to
    683 for Trump
    435 for Cruz.

    Trump would need about 53% of remaining delegates,
    to get to the current 1,237 threshhold,
    while Cruz would need 76%!!!

    Cruz is nothing more than a SPOILER for the GOP Establishment.

      Huskers4Palin in reply to Kauf Buch. | March 16, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Cruz would need 76% of future delegates to win? Based upon the remaining states and polls, he isn’t gonna pull it off (even less for Kasich). He would essentially have to run the table.

      Taking this to the convention would be like giving a fox the keys to the hen house….oh my ????

      Cruz fans, explain to me what happened in MO. That was suppose to be win but Trump, who didn’t do much there, goes away with huge chunk of delegates. It wasn’t suppose to be close. Along with IL, that’s gotta hurt.

      Spiny Norman in reply to Kauf Buch. | March 16, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Cruz is nothing more than a SPOILER for the GOP Establishment.

      The GOP Establishment who hates him as much as they hate Trump? That GOP Establishment?

      Huskers4Palin in reply to Kauf Buch. | March 16, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      One site I follow is the “Green Papers”

      Trump 693
      Cruz. 422
      Kasich 144
      Rubii 172

      Matt_SE in reply to Kauf Buch. | March 17, 2016 at 1:32 am

      Trump knew the rules before the first delegate was assigned, and agreed to them. We’re not changing the rules for him now.

      If you can’t get 50%, then you haven’t won. The 60% MAJORITY will not bow to the 40% MINORITY, punk.

take a rest … Trump did’nt start the brokered convention meme and you know it … you are all terrified that Trump gets close and works a deal with Cruz (VP nom maybe) and your dreams of a contest go up in smoke …

Look, I’m not a Trump apologist. I’ll be honest if he’s the nominee, I will vote for him over alternatives, but I’m not at all enamored by the idea.

All that said, it would be monumentally stupid of the GOP to redirect the nomination at this point even if they have the means to do so. There will be low voter turnout and another lost election if they decide to alienate all of those voters.

To me, if they are willing to risk the loss, that means they’d rather try and work with Hillary/Bernie than elect Trump. This will cost them even more voters because conservatives are losing faith in the GOP to distinguish itself from the political aristocracy of DC that only serves its own interests.

What if it’s too late? What if conservatives already began leaving the GOP and the math is not there anymore?
I know people who stopped following politics. I myself will vote libertarian if Trump is the nominee. I’m not a republican partisan; I owe the GOP nothing, I owe Trump nothing.
And here: conservative case for Hillary:

RE: Update 3-16-2016 — Trump suggests there will be riots if his plurality does not prevail

Why does that sound like, “This is a nice political party you have here. It’d be a shame if something … *cracks knuckles* … happened to it.”

    We are witnessing a hostile takeover of the GOP. The party should deny him the nomination after that comment, IMO.

      You aren’t part of the GOP. You just posted the GOP means nothing to you and you are a Libertarian party person.

      Your comments no longer matter.

        I am a registered Republican.
        However, as I had stated, I owe nothing to them and I only vote Republican so long as they nominate candidates who at least pay lip service to conservatism. In the past I told them to stop calling me with their money solicitations.
        My opinion is that the GOP should deny Donald Trump the nomination based on his threats. I don’t need to be a Republican to have that opinion.
        If Trump’s fans ran people like me out of the GOP and tell me that I don’t matter, what do you call it?

          Nobody is running you anywhere. You posted the GOP meant nothing to you and you were leaving for a different party. That’s the sound of you leaving on your own. I was merely holding up a mirror to your statements.

          ‘Run you out of the party’? I call it a win-win. The Republicans get a more unified party and you can go sit and dream about your libertarian utopia. Just think, maybe you’ll get the libertarians organized and actually break five percent on a presidential ballot someday. Better hurry.

          “Nobody is running you anywhere.”
          “‘Run you out of the party’? I call it a win-win.”
          Love. If you don’t feel like your candidate needs my vote, I’ll be happy to indulge.

Well I want to thank Mr. Boehner f9r saving me a lot of typing:

I found this web page two months ago by searching the GOP web site and I saved the URL and printed the 21 pages. You can no longer search the GOP site and find this page.

Circulate the Rules of the Republican Party as of a couple months ago, because the Rules will change.

The NYT has analysed the rest of the primaries and shows Trump has a trajectory towards winning enough delegates.

My own analysis suggests Trump is on track, unless his support collapses and he loses California.

Lindsey Graham endorses Cruz for President today. Confirming what should have always been known Cruz is a sitting senator with no experience outside of government. Cruz is Mr. ESTABLISHMENT. He is part of the GOPe collective. Cruz has sold out on the first amendment already. Selling out the rest of his conservative “principles” for power and dominionist riches won’t be far behind.

Trump vs Clinton is Mutual Assured Destruction. It doesn’t matter which side pushes the button. The republic is gone either way.

Professor Jacobsen is 100% correct. I would remind everybody that Ronald Reagan won more “bound” delegates in the 1976 primaries than Gerald Ford did. Ford’s narrow lead heading to the convention in Kansas City was built on committed “super delegates”. That was the reason for the Schweiker gambit which Reagan’s campaign strategist John Sears hoped would lead to a flip from Ford to Reagan by the Pennsylvania GOP state leader Drew Lewis (later Reagan’s Secretary of the Treasury) who was a boyhood neighbor and lifelong close personal friend of Pennsylvania’s junior Senator Richard Schweiker whom Reagan proposed as his VP running mate in advance of the convention. Lewis remained loyal to Ford, but had he switched out of friendship/loyalty to Schweiker, and if he had taken the Pennsylvania “super-delegates” with him, Reagan might very well have taken the nomination. (my recollection is that roughly 20-25 of Pennsylvania’s delegates were party reps not chosen in, or bound by, the primary election (in which Reagan was not even on the ballot).

The nominee will be decided by a MAJORITY of the elected and qualified delegates. To argue that the candidate who while garnering the most, but not a majority, of the bound delegates in the primaries where roughly 60% of those voting voted against him, should be handed the nomination without the support of the majority of the delegates present is just absurd. In order to be nominated, the candidate (whomever it may end up being) needs to convince a majority of the delegates present to support him. That is called democracy.