As of this moment, it is looking more and more probable that none of the candidates running for the Republican nomination for President will reach the 1237 delegates required to secure the nomination outright. What does that mean? It means that it is very likely that there will be a
contested Republican Party Convention in Cleveland come July. I am a Republican. I am angry. I am angry for every single reason that Trump supporters list for being angry, but I am not a Trump supporter. Does my anger not count?
Mr. Trump and his supporters should consider the following from this one, of many, angry Republican primary voters:
- Whining, crying, kicking, screaming, and insulting people will not change the fact that if Mr. Trump doesn’t get the 1237 delegates needed, there will be a contested convention.
- In a contested convention, the delegates are bound for the first, and only the first, round of voting. Therefore, if Mr. Trump does not get 1237 delegates, it is unlikely that he will receive the nomination in the first round of voting unless he is very close to the 1237 requirement. It isn’t likely he will be.
- After the first round of voting, any delegate can vote for any candidate they choose. The candidates, just like the Founding Fathers at their conventions, can yell, debate, discuss, convince, petition, make deals, or do whatever they like in an attempt to convince the delegates to vote for them.
- Whether Mr. Trump, his supporters, you, I, the Pope, or anyone else doesn’t like this, it doesn’t matter! These are the rules that are in place, this is what all the candidates signed up for. Just because people are ignorant of the law, or in this case RNC convention rules, it doesn’t mean they don’t have to follow the law, or the rules. The nominee who wins a contested convention didn’t “cheat”. The “will of the voters” wasn’t silenced. The rules are in place for a reason: to prevent a MINORITY of the party (Trump’s 39%) selecting the candidate of the MAJORITY of the party (the 61% who did not vote for Trump).
- Perhaps Mr. Trump should have considered that he needs the over 60% of Republicans who don’t support him at the moment to, in fact, beat Hillary should he ever get the nomination.
- Perhaps Mr.Trump’s demeanor, including his bullying style, his skipping out on debates, and his vicious attacks on whoever dared question him, will now come back to haunt him at the contested convention.
- Perhaps Mr. Trump and his supporters should have considered this before bullying other Republican voters, telling them to “Get in Line”, or “Get On-board the Trump Train Or Get Left Behind”, usually followed by a loud “WOO WOO!” or any of the myriad of other childish taunts and jeers they have been sending our way. Mr. Trump’s supporters might not like to hear any of this. It might make them even angrier. Well, now they know how the Republicans who haven’t supported Mr. Trump these past months felt because of the treatment we have received.
Because when all is said and done, he isn’t the nominee until he either gets 1237 delegates, or “Makes Deals” at the convention to get them. That is the reality right now. So perhaps he should stop telling everyone how great he is and stop acting like he has already won, because guess what? He hasn’t. According to the Realclearpolitics current Republican Party Top Four Primary Vote Count, there have been 19100822 votes cast in the Republican primary for the top four candidates thus far. Of that, Mr. Trump has received 7536465. If you do the math (or if you are as terrible at math as I am, you can go here), you will see that is 39.45623387307624%, rounded to 39%. And, when you consider that a portion of that percentage comes from Democrats who were allowed to vote in some states, it is likely even LESS than that. So the fact is clear: less than 39% of Republican voters support Mr. Trump. Now it is conceivable, that if he just did his job, if he went to every debate, and if he simply stopped acting like such a jerk all the time, then maybe, just maybe, he would now have more than just 39% of the vote.
It doesn’t seem likely that Mr. Trump will change his style, because even now, he still won’t change his tune. Consider this: the two most influential newspapers in this country are the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal. The NYT is the liberal leaning newspaper, the WSJ is the conservative leaning newspaper. Last week, Mr. Trump more or less declared war on the WSJ, tweeting:
So even though Mr. Trump doesn’t even have enough delegates to win the nomination, he is going to war with the most influential conservative leaning newspaper. That is his strategy to win over the 60% Republican voters who do not currently support him? Mr. Trump and all of his supporters can say, “To Hell with them! Trump doesn’t need them!” all they like, but NEWSFLASH: guess what? He does after all.
Before Republican voters, and Trump supporters in particular, start getting all angry and discouraged about a contested convention, they really need to consider all the facts. A contested convention is designed to nominate a candidate who is acceptable to the majority of the party and who has the best chance of beating the opposing party’s candidate. There have been ten contested Republican Party Conventions in the party’s history in which the nominee was picked by the convention.
- 1976: Ford, Most Delegates, Loss vs Carter
This was a contested convention going into the convention, but because Ford was selected in the first round of voting, it didn’t have to go any further. Here are the other ten:
- 1952: Eisenhower, Second Most Delegates, Win vs Stevenson
- 1948: Dewey, Most Delegates, Loss vs Truman
- 1940: Willkie, Third Most Delegates (last place), Loss vs Roosevelt
- 1920: Harding, Fourth Most Delegates (6.7%, last place), Win vs Cox (60% Pop Vote)
- 1916: Hughes, Most Delegates, Loss vs Wilson
- 1888: Harrison, Fourth Most Delegates (10%, last place), Win vs Cleveland
- 1884: Blaine, Most Delegates, Loss vs Cleveland
- 1880: Garfield, Zero Delegates (Was Selected at Convention), Win vs Hancock
- 1876: Hayes, Fourth Most Delegates (8%, last place), Win vs Tilden
- 1860: Lincoln, Second Most Delegates, Win vs Breckinridge/Douglas/Bell
It is important to note, that the candidate with the highest delegates going into the convention, Mr. Trump if the convention was to be held today, and who was picked, LOST EVERY SINGLE TIME, providing 3/4 contested convention losses!
- Dewey LOSS
- Hughes LOSS
- Blain LOSS
Whereas the candidate with the second highest delegates, Sen. Cruz at the moment, won 2/2 times he was picked!
- Eisenhower WIN
- Lincoln WIN
With the candidates with either the third or fourth amount of delegates, Gov. Kasich at the moment, winning 4/5 times he was picked.
- Willkie LOSS
- Harding WIN
- Harrison WIN
- Garfield WIN
- Hayes WIN
So, there have been ten contested Republican Conventions in which the candidate was chosen after the first round of voting, and thus, not directly according to the primary voting results. Republicans won 6 out of 10 of those elections. Three times they picked the candidate with the most delegates coming into the convention (Mr. Trump) and those three picks were losses EVERY TIME, providing three of the four contested convention losses. Twice they picked the candidate with the second most delegates (Sen. Cruz) and they won both of those times. Angry voters can do one of two things. They can react solely in anger, an emotion, or they use that anger and combine it with logic. In my opinion, Mr. Trump is the emotional choice, Sen. Cruz is the logical choice driven by anger. History supports my opinion, and those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
So Republicans can either reconcile with one another, or not. We can either support WHOMEVER the eventual Republican nominee will be, or not. I know I will. I know I will vote for Mr. Trump if I must. The alternative is far worse. A Clinton Presidency will ensure that our country drives off the cliff that President Obama will leave us dangling on in January. I know Mr. Trump, or Sen. Cruz, or any Republican for that matter, is capable of backing the country up and away from the precipice. I just hope enough Republicans realize this, and vote in November. But hey, I’m just a cop.