No one, not even me, thought Trump would last this long. I was sure that he would have dropped out of the race by now due to boredom, or lost a fair amount of states. But that has yet to happen, and I, like most of the country, am freaking out about the possibility of Trump actually winning the Republican nomination, which is why I, along with the rest of America, am hoping and praying for a contested convention.
A contested convention occurs when no candidates have the 1,237 delegates needed to win. This number only applies to the Republicans (the Democrats have a much higher number of delegates needed) but the rules of a contested convention are similar for both parties.
In the first round of convention voting, delegates are "bound" to follow their states results. So for the first round of voting, all Ohio delegates have to vote for John Kasich, and all Florida delegates would have to vote for Donald Trump. But if no candidate has the 1,237 delegates, a second round of voting starts.
In that second round of voting, more than half the delegates become "unbound" and can vote for whoever they want. If no one reaches the 1,237 delegates in the second round of voting, even more delegates become unbound. This continues until one candidate receives the majority of delegates.
According to the number crunchers at 538, none of the candidates are currently "on track" for the nomination, though Donald Trump is close. It is also becoming more and more clear that, rather than focusing on getting enough delegates to win the nomination, the Cruz and Kasich campaigns are focusing on wooing Trump's delegates in case of a contested convention.
The craziest things about these nominating conventions is that the rules can kind of change at any time. If a majority of the RNC Rules Committee agrees on a rule change, they can drastically change the proceedings of a convention, even allowing delegates in the first round to become "unbound" and not vote how the states voted. While this is highly unlikely, is is an allowed and understood power of the Rules Committee, but that surely won't stop people from complaining about it if it does happen.
Regardless of what eventually happens in Cleveland in July, all you faithful blog readers get to see something special and rare right now: me admitting I was wrong. I never thought Trump would make it this far, and apparently my prediction skills are not what I thought they were. But, I could still be right about the Democratic nomination, so stay tuned!
First Published: March 24, 2016