What a Brokered RNC Convention Would Look Like

What a Brokered RNC Convention Would Look Like

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Christian Holm
March 15, 2016

As the GOP contest moves forward into the later primaries, the Republican National Committee has already begun to schedule additional debates in anticipation for a nomination process that could drag out well into the summer.


That’s because according to a recent poll by ABC News/Washington Post, GOP front runner Donald Trump’s numbers have slipped considerably - a sign that the race could be far from over.


This is welcome news for establishment Republicans who see a Trump nomination as a lose-lose for the party - not only in the general election, but in the party’s hope to curate a more inclusive brand.


Why a Brokered RNC Convention Would Matter


For the Republican establishment, their best hope in stopping Trump is to prevent him from reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. If a candidate does not reach that threshold, many party delegates would be “unleashed” and allowed to vote for the nominee of their choice, rather than the candidate previously ascribed to them by voters.


Under new RNC rules, delegates must vote within the will of the voters during the very first round of nomination voting. If the magic number of 1,237 is not reached, delegates will continue voting until that figure is somehow reached. Delegates will become “free agents” once their state party rules allow them to do so. This is where it get’s interesting: some states, such as Texas, don’t allow their delegates to become unbound until the third of fourth round of voting, giving the states in question the potential to have a lot of leverage later in the convention.


What would follow is a throwback to the pre modern era of American politics. Backroom deals, state's trading in delegate votes for favorable cabinet picks, you name it. Think House of Cards but in real life, on the convention floor (and perhaps a little less scandalous).


Want to attend the RNC?


A brokered Republican convention would be a one in a lifetime opportunity for students attending the 2016 convention seminar this July. Not only is the convention a front row seat to political history, but it could end up being a front row seat for the most hotly contested presidential nomination in modern history.




Convention students will end up on a number of fieldwork assignments in the convection zone - from working with top tier media networks, to meeting with their state delegations and helping the planning committee, students will be on the front lines of the biggest event in American politics.


Learn more about the convention seminars here:


Republican Convention - July 10-22

Democratic Convention - July 17-29

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