A Brokered or Contested Republican Convention: What Does it Mean?

The 2012 Republican Party presidential primary is unusual because of the inability of one candidate to maintain a favored role to win the nomination.

The saga began in mid-2011 when eight major Republican candidates declared their intentions to run for President of the United States; against presumed Democratic Party nominee President Barack Obama who is seeking a second term. Since then, at one time or another in this primary, six of the eight candidates enjoyed the position of front-runner. Oddly, though, now only four candidates remain in the contest, as three one-time leaders saw their support erode and dropped out of the race. Also unusual is that the winner of the primary is still in doubt, because, as a general rule, this far along in the primary process it’s apparent who will win the nomination.

Why, then, as an unorthodox presidential primary unfolds, does the possibility of a brokered or contested Republican convention merit surprise? The answer is simple; Mitt Romney, who is the choice of the Republican establishment to carry the Republican banner in the forthcoming presidential election, does not have the support of the majority of the Republican base. Thus, the base seeks an “anti-Romney” candidate, or someone other than Mitt Romney, to carry the Republican banner in the election for president. This fissure prohibits Romney from wrapping up the nomination, and enhances the possibility the Republicans may endure a brokered or contested convention.

The Republican Convention is in Tampa, Fla., beginning Aug. 27. If none of the candidates arrive with the ,delegates needed to be the party nominee, it’s a brokered convention, according to “Could the GOP have a Brokered Convention.” In that situation, the Republican leadership chooses a new candidate from outside the ranks of the candidates already in the primary, and that person becomes the Republican nominee to run for President of the United States. The person nominated may be a surprise, or maybe was a candidate in some of the later primaries. Nevertheless, this person will not become the nominee by having 1,144 delegates, but by making the best deal with party leaders, in closed door meetings.

The premise is the same in a contested convention in that no candidate has 1,144 delegates, however, this time, no new candidate enters the contest. Instead, the candidates who went through the primaries make deals with different states, and after each deal, all the state delegates vote until one candidate has 1,144 delegates and becomes the Republican Party nominee to run for president.

Usually, a brokered or contested convention is not a good scenario because the risk is that a convention that begins in a divisive manner ends divisive. Thus, it becomes more difficult for factions to unite under a certain candidate with a common cause, which is, of course, winning the upcoming presidential election.

Although the Republican Party has no definite leader in the primaries at this time, this may change after Super Tuesday, on March 6, when 10 states vote for their choice of a Republican candidate to run for President of the United States.

Roaring Republican: Primary & Republican GOP Candidates for 2012: roaringrepublicans.com/
Karl Rove: Could the GOP have a Brokered Convention: fownews.com/
Daily Kos Staff: Republican establishment getting nervous about Mitt Romney: dailykos.com/

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