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Brokered Convention: Do the Republicans really want one?

Updated on March 15, 2012
Republican Presidential candidates
Republican Presidential candidates

Many Republicans are not happy with the candidates that are left in the race for the 2012 presidential nomination. Because of the dissatisfaction with the candidates, many Republicans are wanting a brokered convention. So what is a brokered convention, how does one arise and what happens if there is one?

Basically what happens is this, each state is assigned a certain number of delegates based on their population. When a candidate wins a primary, he is awarded delegates. States have different ways of awarding these delegates, some simply give the winner of the primary all of their delegates and other states divide the delegates based on the percentage of votes each candidate receives. The reason for the difference in the way states award their delegates, is because the way a state awards its delegates is up to that state's Republican party. In the nomination process, a candidate must receive a minimum of 1,144 delegates to win the nomination. So what happens if no one gets 1,144 delegates?

When the time comes for the delegates to cast their vote, they are committed to the candidate based on their state's policy. Once the initial vote is cast and no one has received 1,144 votes from the delegates, the convention then becomes a brokered convention. All of the delegates are then released from their pledge to any certain candidate and they can vote for whomever they wish. That means, in 2012 for example, any one could get the nomination. Romney, Santorum, Paul and Gingerich would of course be in play but the door would also be open to people such as Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and any other Republican you can think of.

The Republican establishment has been pushing Mitt Romney for their nominee, the problem is that the Republican base seems to be saying "anyone but Romney". That is why there is so much talk about a brokered convention. So it seems like a brokered convention would be a good idea and the Republicans could get a candidate that the base likes right? It sounds good, but remember the republican establishment will be running the convention. That means when it is all said and done either Mitt Romney or a candidate similar to him will wind up getting the nomination.

If the Republican base is so set against Mitt Romney, in my opinion, the best thing they could do would be to rally around one of the other candidates help that person to get the nomination.


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