Image 01 Image 03

What to Expect at This Year’s Republican Convention

What to Expect at This Year’s Republican Convention

The more you know

There’s a very slim chance any remaining Republican candidate will secure the Republican nomination prior to the convention. The possibility of an open convention has wrought all kinds of conspiracy theories, doomsday scenarios, and wish casting.

Which is probably why the RNC decided to make this little explainer video:

To supplement the “How Conventions Work” video, the RNC published a handy expansion to their site called “Convention Facts.”

By now, most political folks understand delegate math and are familiar with the magic 1,237 number required to win the nomination. But there’s still a fair amount of confusion about how delegates are selected, what their responsibilities are, and what they’re required to do.

how are republican delegates selected

Campaigns who’ve fostered good relationships with state parties are better off in an open or contested convention scenario where delegates have an opportunity to be persuaded.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus promised the convention will not drag on indefinitely through a gazillion ballots until a winner is selected, but that doesn’t mean a Republican nominee will be selected in the first ballot. And that’s where things get interesting.

Most candidates are “bound,” or required to vote for a certain candidate on the first ballot. The rules vary by state, but on the second ballot, the majority of delegates are “unbound.”

Worth remembering — the RNC does not endorse candidates nor are they allowed to provide preferential treatment to any candidate until they have secured the nomination for their respective race. This applies not only to presidential primaries, but to Congressional and Senate races as well. The RNC also reiterated their responsibilities in the convention since that’s largely misunderstood, “the RNC plays a purely administrative role at Convention, ensuring that the rules and processes are carried out in a transparent manner.”

Stay tuned for Professor Jacobson’s upcoming post on convention strategies at play.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


I’ve noticed that nobody has considered the possibility of an open Democratic convention if Hillary Clinton is indicted.

I can easily see yet another fiasco like that of the Thomas Eagleton affair (1972).

    4fun in reply to Neo. | April 4, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    The news that Hillary Clinton’s closest aides have retained well-connected D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson to represent them in their boss’ email scandal is bad news for those that held out some hope that justice would be done in the case.
    On her own though, Wilkinson can chose to run her fixed fee cases (like those of Hillary’s aides) without keeping detailed records of what she’s actually been doing with her time. Thus, in the event there are future accusations of conflict of interest, these would be much harder to prove without detailed accounts of Wilkinson’s activities, which she will probably (and deliberately) not have

If it goes to a brokered convention the GOP had better be very careful about who they end up nominating. Cruz is absolutely correct when he says that anyone other than he or Trump will result in a republican revolt.

    redc1c4 in reply to rabidfox. | April 4, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    unless, of course, they can run zombie Reagan…


    Henry Hawkins in reply to rabidfox. | April 4, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    The GOP is adamantly against Trump, obviously. However, they may see Cruz as an acceptable alternative to a currently off the radar step in, i.e., ‘the devil you know’ sort of thing.

    The GOP managed to freeze Reagan out in 1976, but found him an acceptable ‘devil they knew’ in 1980.

    snopercod in reply to rabidfox. | April 4, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I’m wondering what form a “republican revolt” would take. I mean, if the GOPe put one of their own in there, what could we do about it?

    conservative tarheel in reply to rabidfox. | April 4, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I really do not think the GOPe believes that .. or they do not care.

my prediction for an open GOPe convention:

the establishment screws the base and nominates an “electable” RINO.

the base stays home in November, and the GOPe gets what it wants: they maintain their personal access to power in wealth in DC, and to hell with the rest of the country.

the how and why of how the above is achieved doesn’t really matter, does it?

How *charming* and amusing to read the FEIGNED INNOCENCE of the author, a confirmed Cruz groupie.

It’s all about the power remeining in the hands of the elites. The GOP may “prefer” a Republican wins but they’d be happier with Hillary, their Democrat elite “relative” than with Trump.

I’d say the GOP hasn’t yet decided how to use their willing, useful idiot, Ted Cruz.

Given Karl Rove’s open admission about
the GOP Establishment (GOPe) now working towards
dumping all current candidates for a “fresh face,”
and how the delegate numbers will look at the end of April…
…the best – and most noble (i.e. “true and principled”) – thing Ted Cruz could do now is
A) acknowledge that his further participation in this Primary
is merely as a tool to advance the ends of the GOP Establishment,

B) drop out and let Donald Trump crush the Democrats.

But I don’t expect Cruz’s hubris and greed/ambition will allow him to do so.

This all works to the benefit of the GOPe,
which is TERRIFIED of Trump
and is pulling out all the stops to block him.

Should blocking Trump be successful, the GOPe THEN has the choice, either to:
1) sweep Cruz to the side and go with some as-of-yet-unannounced GOPe toady “fresh face”
(which would mean the automatic suicide of the GOP),
2) finagle a way to hand Cruz the nomination (which would be only a Pyrrhic Victory)
followed by millions of Democrat and Independent crossover voters
(plus the Trump supporting GOP Base) walking away from Cruz,
giving America a President Clinton.

Option #2 above gives the GOPe the advantage of being able to not only
save face (and thereby try to retain a chance of viability for the future) by projecting blame
but also being able to say, “See? A conservative can NEVER win!”

In either case, with Trump out of the way,
the GOPe can maintain the Status Quo of control of power
by having their Democrat elite “relative” Hillary win…

At this point, the GOPe is utterly schizophrenic,
trying *anything* to appear fair, all while sabotaging Trump.

They claim, ”We need a bigger tent,”
BUT: they only use this as an excuse to move their policies closer to the Socialist Democrats.
Then they claim, ”We need more conservatives, not radicals like Trump,”
BUT: they say that, all while sabotaging REAL conservatives like Chris McDaniels, Dave Brat and others.

They don’t want a “bigger tent.”
They don’t want more conservatives.

    gmac124 in reply to Kauf Buch. | April 4, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    After Trump attacked Ted’s family he will not give anything to Trump. If Trump can’t win the nomination in the primaries I see now way for him to win the nomination.

    “drop out and let Donald Trump crush the Democrats.”

    You have been trying to pass this off as gospel for a while now. Do you have any proof? Or is this just all ouija board and tinfoil hat blogs?

    conservative tarheel in reply to Kauf Buch. | April 4, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    you seem to think that Cruz/Marco/ and Carson voters will
    support the person who made personnel attacks an art form.
    I wonder if he studied Romney’s style …
    lets see .. Carson is a Pedophile
    “little” Marco and Lyin Cruz …
    these people are very likely to stay home
    and give congress the senate and the WH
    to Hillary ….

Henry Hawkins | April 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm

There is a disturbance in the force as Trump supporters begin to understand that if Trump does not win Wisconsin tomorrow, he won’t reach 1,237 by the convention and he won’t be the GOP nominee. The level of drool and all caps is rising precipitously.

    LOL, Henry, after your lecture on basic math, I’m surprised you are unable to make simple computations.

    6 NE states, Trump leading (in the polls, yes a question as always), in 5, no polling for Delaware, plus Indiana and California pushes Trump over the magic number of 1237 by 28. These states are winner take all, or (NY & Conn) winner take most.

    Wisconsin? In your anti trump dreams. Now it’s possible Trump will fail making your “prediction” correct. But Wisconsin isn’t the hinge…

    It is California, with 172 winner take all delegates. If Trump gets those he is almost assured of getting 1237+, if not we’ll get the R party meltdown as they try to figure how to keep trump and cruz out.

    You should stick to mixing hot and cold water.

Twitter Feed:

Voting Female

ALERT: Donald Trump Leads Cruz by 10 Points In Wisconsin


#copolitics #nra #maga #tcot #ccot #pjnet

TYLER COWEN: The Criticism Of Trump That Few Will Utter:

“It is sad to see so many people, including those on the Left or in the Democratic Party, criticize the idea of a Trump presidency without ever uttering the phrase: “No man or woman should have so much political power over others.” I agree with many of the moral criticisms of Trump as a leader, but don’t let them distract you from this broader truth.

It is strange but instructive how many Democratic criticisms of Trump circle back into criticisms of other, earlier, and now often irrelevant Republicans. That is simply a language of attack they are more comfortable with.

The good news, if that is what one should call it, is that the best criticisms of Trump involve the concept of individual liberty and freedom from arbitrary legal authority and pure presidential discretion. The bad news is that so few intellectuals have the relevant ideological vocabulary in that regard.”

They’re fine with an all-powerful, oppressive government. They just want to be in charge.
Posted at 6:01 pm by Glenn Reynolds

Yeah, but I DO have that relevant ideological vocabulary, though I’m no intellectual…!!!

Poor Trumpophobes… they let emotion and bitterness get the best of them then cut their screaming ranting belligerent noses off to spite their face by attacking fellow voters like a pack mongrel dogs. I say great! Carry on, morons.

The more pissed off at the Establishment you make everyone else, the better.

It’s a win win no matter what.

You might call this an ‘open can of worms’ convention. It just might be the GOPe’s last.

Sammy Finkelman | April 5, 2016 at 11:10 am

What to expect?

A rules fight.

There will be a Trump package of rules, a Cruz package of rules, and a standard package of rules.

The Trump rules will say whoever gets the most votes on the first ballot, even if it is less than a majority, get the nomination (and delegates must vote for who they were pledged to, or they are deemed to have resigned etc – the udsual)

The Cruz rules will say, directly or indirectly, there will a two-man runoff in the second ballot between teh tp two finishers.

The standard rules will say all votes are counted and any delegate can vote for anyone at all on the second and subsequent ballots except for when their pledges extend past the first ballot.

The Trump rules will be put up first, and lose, unless for strategic reasons people opposed to Cruz decide to vote for it.

The Cruz rules will come up second. This may turn out to be the key vote of the convention.

The standard rules will come up third.

The convention will probably be operating under temporary rules till then

They may all lose or one or more may win. It may be in order still to propose another set of rules even after one is adopted.

If the Trump rules win, Cruz may possibly walk out.

If the Cruz rules win, the establishment could walk out.

If the standard rules win, Trump could walk out.