Follow by Email

Monday, April 4, 2016

Convention Games

With Cruz poised to win Wisconsin, the Republican Convention is looking more and more like a two person floor fight.

There are now reports that Cruz and Trump are both working to keep Kasich off of the Convention ballot.  Republican Convention Rule 40 requires that a candidate can only get on the ballot if he has the majority of delegates from at least eight states.

Kasich does not meet that criterion, but has been banking on the fact that the delegates can change that rule at any time.  It is obvious why Trump might want this rule, as it makes his chance of victory much stronger, even if he does not have the majority of delegates.

Cruz's support for such a strategy seems stranger.  Conventional wisdom would hold that he would try to win the nomination in a brokered convention after the first ballot.  If there are only two candidates on the first ballot, and Trump has more delegates than Cruz, he is much more likely to win on the first ballot.  He would only need a very small percentage of the delegates who had been awarded to candidates who did not meet the eligibility requirements.  Say, for example, Trump in only 40 votes short of the majority and there are 400 delegates not bound to wither Trump or Cruz. Trump would need only 10% of those delegates to choose Trump over Cruz in order to win.

Perhaps Cruz believes that Trump will be much further from the number for a majority and that the anti-Trump sentiment is strong enough that he can pick up the overwhelming majority of delegates on the first ballot.  It is a risky bet, but perhaps better than fighting a two front war against Trump and Kasich for delegates on later ballots.

Whatever strategy finally prevails, it looks the the Convention will be both interesting and consequential this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment