REPORT: Trump’s Team Already Prepping For Contested Convention
As the establishment powers that be in the Republican party come face to face with the increasingly probable reality of a Donald Trump nomination, talk of a contested convention in Cleveland is bringing up arcane questions of procedure and strategy for the candidate, as well as the voters.
The term, also known as an open or brokered convention, refers to the process used by both the Republican and Democratic National Committees to select a nominee when no candidate has received the requisite number of delegates prior to the first vote at the convention.
When reporters ask about the possibility, Trump dismisses it with assurance, saying, “I know the press likes to talk about the brokered convention, but I think we’re doing really well,” although he recently told FOX Business, “I think you’d have riots,” referring to a scenario in which he was blocked from the nomination despite winning the majority of delegates in the primaries.
This election year, the unusually large field of candidates contesting the Republican nomination has made it difficult to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to win on the first ballot, freeing delegates to change their allegiance on subsequent ballots.
With three-months to go before the convention, Trump leads Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas 739 to 465 delegates, with Ohio Governor John Kasich staying in far distant third-place with 143, and 944 still available in the remaining primaries through June 7.
Despite Trump’s apparent confidence, he has already assembled a team of experienced political managers to develop a strategy reach the magic number of 1,237 to avoid the brokering and “horse trading” of an open convention.
The campaign can try to obtain signed, public commitments from unbound delegates after the primaries end, but given that Trump wrote the best-selling book, “The Art of the Deal,” he may be uniquely positioned to be the most successful horse trader on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena come mid-July.