As the primary season heads into the final three months before Republicans convene in mid-July to nominate their candidate for November’s general election, the power brokers of the party continue to raise the possibility of a contested, or brokered, convention and the prospect that the person who becomes the standard-bearer may not be the one who enters the arena with the most delegates – or even someone who has actively pursued the nomination this year.

The unusually large field of candidates who set out on the long road to the nomination last year, 17 in all, meant that none of them may have earned the required number of delegates, 1,237, to claim the prize on the first ballot, forcing additional ballots and bargaining, sometimes called “horse trading” by the party leaders behind the scenes.

A simple majority of delegates is not sufficient, setting up a scenario where the current frontrunner, Donald Trump, could fail to win the nomination despite having won more delegates than the other candidates.

The party establishment, openly hostile to a Trump nomination and only slightly less so to choosing Texas Senator Ted Cruz, is now talking about bringing in a last-minute candidate who can unite supporters of both candidates for the run against the presumptive choice of the Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Party leader Karl Rove, said on the ABC Sunday news program, “This Week” that a “fresh face” would be welcome at the convention, and Ohio Governor John Kasich is putting himself forward as that candidate, even though he has been in the race almost as long as Trump, participating in all the debates along the way, while only winning one state – his own.

“We’re going to have an open convention… and that’s why I think I’m going to be the nominee,” Kasich said, tipping a hand to his strategy to let Trump and Cruz battle it out as he prepares to be the compromise candidate in the end.

The result may be that voters who took the trouble to learn about the 17 candidates, watch debates, possibly argue with friends and relatives, and vote their choice will be shocked, disillusioned and possibly angered when they learn that their participation in the election process was for naught.


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