The GOP may rig the convention — in Trump’s favor

From:,  by Timothy P. Carney,  on Apr 21, 2016,  see the article HERE.


Donald Trump is correct that the higher ups in the GOP may rig the Cleveland convention. But here’s the thing: They may rig it in Trump’s favor.

Trump is cutting it very close in his effort to win 1,237 bound delegates. In an openly and robustly contested convention, Trump would be the underdog, threatened by crafty conservative Ted Cruz and maybe also by an establishment White Knight. As much as they dread a Trump nomination, Republican leaders may fear the appearance of a coup even more. And the party leadership probably has the power to tilt the convention so as to secure a Trump win.

First, the delegate math:

Trump, after New York, has 845 bound delegates, leaving him with nearly 400 to go. Only about 640 delegates remain. If he has a very good day in April 26th’s five primaries he could take 105 or so delegates, leaving him in need of about 55 percent of remaining delegates. Making that tougher for Trump are three of the remaining winner-take-all states where Cruz is the favorite.

In Trump’s favor, however, is the tendency of hybrid states — where most delegates are allocated to the winner of a congressional district — to give 75 percent or more of their delegates to the statewide winner. California, with 172 delegates, is such a hybrid state.

In any event, it will be close. It’s highly likely Trump ends up close to an outright majority. Meanwhile, a few hundred delegates will arrive in Cleveland unbound. These unbound delegates will include some Rubio delegates, but also Pennsylvania’s 54 congressional-district delegates. Many of those Pa. delegates have indicated they will support whichever candidate wins their district, but no one can hold them to that promise.

So we could arrive in Cleveland with Trump not quite at the “presumptive nominee” level, but with more bound delegates than Cruz and Kasich combined, and close enough to 1,237 to win on the first ballot. That’s what Trump is counting on these days.

In this case, especially if national polls continue to show improved GOP acceptance of Trump, consider the perspective of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and his inner circle.

Would a Trump nomination be a disaster? Probably. He’d be very likely to lose to Hillary Clinton, he will be awful at raising money, thus draining party coffers, he could cost Republicans Senate seats in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, he could cost dozens of House seats, and he could kill party fundraising across the board.

A Trump nomination could be the political equivalent of a Category 5 Hurricane in the developing world, from which it could take more than a decade for the GOP recover.

But the party might view a perceived coup in Cleveland as something even worse.

First off, Trump will throw a fit over any result other than his nomination. We know that his definition of fairness is, “I win.” But the closer he is to 1,237 bound delegates, the more that cry would resonate with voters and observers.

Throughout the general election, a spurned Trump would continue to get the billions of the free airtime that cable networks love to give him, and he would use it to trash the Republican nominee and the party as a whole. Some share of the 35 percent of the GOP electorate that backed Trump could turn against the GOP nominee. That could also create electoral blowout, also with downballot consequences for the GOP.

Just as abhorrent to many GOP elites, an effort to stop Trump at convention could require supporting Ted Cruz, who is loathed in such circles. The GOP’s K Street fundraising network would be more shattered by a Cruz nomination than nominating Trump, who is flexible and corporatist enough to play ball with K Street.

Worst of all, if the GOP “steals” the nomination from Donald Trump, he could run again in 2020.

From the party leaders’ perspective, Trump 2016 might be an evil they have to embrace.

A contested convention would exacerbate Trump’s weaknesses — lack of organization, tactics, conservatism, and being a real Republican—and would play to Cruz’s strengths: ruthlessness, shrewdness, support among the conservative base and being twice as smart as Donald Trump.

That’s why the party establishment may have the motive to tweak convention rules so as to push a 1,200-delegate Trump across the finish line.

How will they tweak — or “rig,” if you prefer — the convention in Trump’s favor? Who knows? But the chairman of the Rules Committee will be a party hand. And if you’ve ever seen and RNC committee work, you know how much the chairman can steer the outcome. Aside from crafting the rules, the party leadership control the microphone for the relevant parts of the convention—in 2012,that microphone control was enough to suppress the will of the majority. I trust the GOP chiefs to be innovative if they feel the need to ensure Trump wins.

Nominating Trump would be a nightmare for the GOP. But in Cleveland, the party bosses may decide that it’s worse to let the delegates nominate someone else.


The RNC is skating on thin ice.

If Donald Trump has accumulated enough delegates to win on the first ballot, so be it. Sure, I’ll be pissed, but I’ll accept the “will of the people,” dumbasses though they may be. If he’s under the 1,237 delegates necessary to win on the first ballot and it goes to a second ballot (or more), I’ll take my chances with Ted Cruz. If the RNC somehow manipulates the “rules” to award the nomination to Trump either outside of the rules, or by way of some arcane “tweak” to the rules, that will be the effective end of the Republican Party. I’ll never vote Republican again. I’ll be looking to a new conservative party or maybe even the libertarian party if they field some reasonable candidate.

I sincerely hope that the powers that be within the Republican Party weigh heavily “gaming the system” to award the nomination to ANY candidate who hasn’t participated in the primaries AND/OR who hasn’t received the votes of at least 1,237 delegates.




Categories: Political

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20 replies

  1. Ok, let PollyAnna weigh in.

    Just read that Cruz will be going back to all the New York cong districts and gathering delegates…

    He just won 9 of Rubio’s delegates so far in Minnesota, the only state won by Rubio. There are more for him to go after as the districts have their own conventions. These are first ballot votes.

    Pa has 51 untethered delegates, 3 in each cd. We’ve got Cruz’s slate for the primary and have passed it around. Whoever gets the popular vote only wins 17 possible delegates.
    BTW Cruz had an event on Saturday morning at my old AlmaMater high school, Gateway High School in Monroeville, PA. I was so proud! About 1000 people jammed that auditorium. 😀

    There is so much disinformation out there. 3/4 of the conservative sites have gone TrumpPAC.

    I’ve got my sites set on the Lord and his works. They are all righteous. And Cruz is his, I believe. If we all remain humble and bring this to God Almighty in prayer, he will change our nation and I believe Cruz may be the way. 1 Chronicles 7:14. It’s a promise.
    And for our Revolutionary War against Britain, it only took 1/3 of the colony populace. And many many fewer fighters. Have faith my dear friends. And pray.
    Our forefathers, especially George Washington believed in God and prayed and God gave them the amazingly miraculous victories we see-if we look back at that war. Ever read the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia? It is inscribed with Leviticus 25:10 “…proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants…”

    Have faith.


    • I hope you are right about God’s hand guiding Cruz. If it be His will, it shall be!

      BTW, SORRY! A pet peeve of mine!

      The war between the colonies and Great Britain was NOT a Revolution. A Revolution unseats the holder of power. King George still sat on the throne when hostilities ended, thus it WAS NOT a Revolution. It was the War for Independence of the Thirteen Colonies from the British Empire. This is a very common misstatement, so much so that the obvious fallacy just explained is overlooked. Not picking on you, but . . . arrrrgh!!


      • Curtis, I think that you’re fighting an unwinnable war. The war is commonly called the Revolutionary War and that term is scattered throughout school texts as well as common jargon. Technically you may be right, but you’ll just be creating animosity by correcting people who’ve been using that term forever. I’m just suggesting that you temper your “correction” with some recognition that most people (even if in error) DO think of that war as the Revolutionary War. Perhaps introduce your correction as something like a “did you know” tidbit of information?


      • That’s an interesting take, Curtis, one I’d never heard before. I think it’s a commonly accepted term, at least for the past 240 years, because the colonies revolted against Britain’s tea tax and when Britain wouldn’t take no for an answer the battle was on, and it revolutionized this country into an independent nation. It’s true that overthrowing a government is a definition of revolution, but it’s just one of several definitions.


      • I don’t want this to denigrate into semantic wordsmanship, but the colonists rebelled against the Tea Tax. They weren’t trying to depose & replace the King. This is similar to Daniel Shay rebelling against the tax on whiskey in Shay’s Rebellion against the new US government, but he wasn’t seeking to overthrow it.

        Many uses of the word revolution or revolutionary are ill fit. But when used regarding governmental control, there is only one true meaning.

        I was honestly just trying to be helpful in clarity. Sorry if I offended anyone! Let’s end this cross talk and kick some Trump ass!


      • Point made, well done Curtis.


      • No offense taken, Curt. NONE!


      • All good here, and ditto on kicking some Trump ass!


    • tannngl, that is wonderful Cruz was at your old high school – I know that got you pumped up, lol!! You’re right – we need to take this to God big time – it’s now or never for our country!


      • Sometimes my comments seem to ramble. I do go from thought to thought as I type so if I had been talking to you, that’s how I would say it. Haha when I go back to read the next day, seems I could have said it better.

        Yes! It really pumped me up! My old community turned out for Ted! I used to sing in the sextet there and in the choir. Do they even have those anymore? LOL


      • From my perspective, tannngl, you should just keep on doin’ what you’re doin’! We can all look back and see ways to improve something – we shouldn’t have to worry about that here.


  2. The problem in NY is that the Conservative Party members couldn’t vote in the GOP primary.

    Yes, the RNC has a big problem, and neither outcome is ideal to them.

    As I see it, if the tweak ANYTHING in ANYONE’S direction, they & the GOP lose! If Trump doesn’t have the 1st ballot votes, so be it. They should do nothing to aggravate the Cruz/Rubio wing. Likewise, if the Cruz/Rubio wing isn’t able to stop Trump without procedural help, the Trump should get the nomination. Again, there is no long term benefit to aggravating the Trumpians!

    The main thing that the RNC should do is try to urge the nominee to choose a unifying person for the VP. My preference is that Trump & Cruz select the other. Though a tough, distasteful position, it is the only real way to unify the Party. Nikki Haley & Susana Martinez just don’t do that job of mending fences.


    • I agree that the RNC has caused enough havoc so far, they’d better not meddle with the “rules” at the convention – that’ll be the kiss of death.

      I understand what you’re saying, and as far as “unifying” the party goes, it would be helpful, but that’s a stretch to think that either man would agree to be the other’s VP choice. Can you imagine Donald Trump agreeing to be “2nd best” for the good of the party? I could be wrong, but I just don’t think that his mega-sized ego would allow him to be second banana to Ted Cruz.


      • Oh, I agree that Trump would refuse to ACCEPT the offer, but the public offer by Cruz would go a long way to defusing the Trumpians’ anguish about being out-maneuvered under the rules. I believe a 3rd Party run won’t happen due to Sore Loser Laws, but without the olive branch, Trump would be in the media attacking Cruz daily!

        I expect that Cruz would accept the VP slot, if offered, unless he was dead certain that the ticket would be defeated disastrously. If they lost respectably, he would be the heir apparent to the nomination, which he is, if he comes in 2nd now. But if the VP nomination went to, say, Rubio, he would then be the heir apparent from a respectable defeat.

        So Cruz has a calculus project here. Cruz can be acceptable to Trump as VP, as the attacks haven’t been personal. Trump can erase all the “Lyin’ Ted” stuff, by just saying it was just him being Trump!


      • I’m not sure that I think that Trump supporters would view Cruz offering a VP position to Trump as anything but worthy of ridicule and I don’t think that it would defuse the rancor either. I have mixed emotions about Cruz accepting VP. He has said that he wouldn’t, but they all say that. I agree that he has to weigh the options (when the time comes) and plan his next move, thinking several moves down the line. I do think that Cruz would be acceptable to Trump, but I think that almost anyone would be acceptable to Trump as second banana as long as HE is still alpha dog number one – the leader of the pack.


  3. At some point, Kasich has to give it up as a lost cause and his campaign is hemorrhaging money right now, so hopefully he’ll pull the plug soon. If, and that’s a big if, Kasich’s and Rubio’s delegates would switch over to Cruz, he’d be ahead of Trump right now.

    Trump is still riding high from his NY victory, but there’s still more to come. On the other hand, Cruz is counting on a brokered convention, and that may not happen.


    • It’s a damn shame that Trump was able to win NY so easily, I had hoped that Ted would be able to get 10-15 delegates and at least keep Trump down in the low 50’s. Now, with the big win, Trump has momentum again and will no doubt win most, if not all, of the upcoming Northeast states. I’m still holding out hope for Cruz to do well in Pennsylvania.

      I think that the best we can hope for is to keep Trump under 1,200 delegates on that first ballot – that’s doable, but tough.


  4. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    I’d feel sorry for them if they hadn’t brought this on their own heads.


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