Something we haven’t seen in years could be brewing due to the vast Republican field in 2016. The prospects are still probably unlikely but the circumstances are such that it makes it more possible. If a top three or four candidates wind up with a good number of primary wins without a definitive winner in sight, we could easily head to the convention floor in July of 2016 to see a GOP nominee crowned.

Report from RealClearPolitics:

I think the Republican Party really could wind up with a brokered convention – that is, a race where no candidate receives a majority of the delegates by the end of voting. In fact, it might well be the most likely outcome, if only because no particular outcome is particularly probable.

So here you have a perfectly plausible scenario where we exit the early primary phase of the contest with four winners, each of whom is a legitimate presidential contender. What’s more, it’s not entirely clear how they knock each other out. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul all represent different wings of the party, would draw from different fundraising bases, and would have different demographic appeals. Just as important: None is an obvious choice, but at the same time, unlike 2012, all will have a group of supporters that really likes them; it won’t just be an “anti-Bush” vote trying to coalesce. You can mix up the various winners (Rubio, Christie, Perry, Paul), but the same analysis holds.

Plus, we have states like New York, Utah and North Carolina that have moved up their primaries. We don’t have a good feel for these states, but you could take any one of the above scenarios, add Chris Christie in New York, Mitt Romney in Utah and any number of candidates in North Carolina. Moreover, a strong second-place finisher could decide that he is the next Bill Clinton (who famously won only one of the first 11 primaries in 1992), and try to keep going.

At that point, it really is anybody’s game. No one really has an incentive to drop out, as the RNC’s compressed schedule means the finish line is in sight by the time Super Tuesday rolls around, and all of these candidates can probably win a race here and there to keep the old ball rolling. Money might get tight, but the threshold for winning these contests remains low. It also becomes very difficult for any one candidate to amass a majority of the delegates very, very quickly.

I’d encourage you to read the full article for all Sean Trende’s deep analysis which goes state-by-state to setup his scenario. I’d be guessing this would be a worst-case scenario for the Republican National Committee. If they have to wait until July to begin formulating plans with a set nominee, they’ll be behind schedule. Plus, just consider the intra-party fighting if a ticket is brokered which doesn’t satisfy all factions of the party.


  1. In depth article, but also a very unlikely scenario — next to zero chance.

    Here is why — knowing that Hitlery will be coronated, the only Repub that made her look the fool is Rand Paul, so the powers to be will have to swallow a bitter pill and Stand with Rand!

    Off topic (since no new threads are getting any responses):

    How do you feel about US Drivers being spied upon and our driving habits collected in “a massive database containing the data of millions of drivers, logged from automatic license plate readers around the US”? [quotes are from article below]

    Obama’s rogue federal agencies such as the DOJ (Department of Justice), DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) have conspired to try and spy on people who go to PUBLIC GUN SHOWS, by scanning license plates at such events (and DMV records will give them your full name and address of persons owing those vehicles)…”the revelations raise questions about how much further the secret
    vehicle surveillance extends, which other federal bodies are involved
    and which other groups may have been targeted”!

    Most telling about this latest DISCOVERED Obama lawlessness is this statement:
    “The perception that an average citizen’s car could be monitored upon
    entering or leaving a gun show – or any other lawful assembly – infringes upon civil rights, said Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
    “It would be chilling,” Olson said. “You could think twice about exercising that right.”

    How do you feel knowing that if you attend what Obama thinks is an “inappropriate” meeting for you — some federal rogue agency will click on your license plate and get all your info and tag you in a database?

    Anyone care to respond — or are you all just sheep?

    • Surfisher…being a Texan, I don’t cater to sheep so here is my response. It is probably the closest you and I will ever come to an agreement.

      In Feb 2014, the Department of Homeland Security did put out a bid request for a national system that would let the federal government track millions of people’s comings and goings just as it tracks data from about every phone call we make. But the proposal was suddenly withdrawn in March 2014. The Federal Communications Commission withdrew a plan to “monitor” news coverage at not only broadcast stations, but also at print publications that the FCC has no authority to regulate.

      However, through various government grants most of the larger police departments in the United States now use license plate scanners. Cameras mounted to poles or traffic signals track all the cars that pass by; cameras mounted to police cars record all the vehicles they can pick up on the road,
      parked alongside the road, parking lots, or in driveways. All new cars, starting 2014, will include black boxes that can track your location. The DEA has used a scanner database to track vehicles near the border with Mexico to help fight drug cartels for several years. Just as it has always been, drugs
      are still being waded across the Rio Grande. Can’t help throwing this in. There is no way to actually close the Rio Grande border. #1 it is an international border waterway, with the country of Mexico half owner. #2 at least 1,800 miles of the Rio Grande is wadeable.

      The most offensive to me – Every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the United States Army to state and local police departments. When you have 20 heavily armed SWAT officers ride up in an armored personnel carrier, armed officers using flash-bang grenades, funnel
      military equipment, along with swat teams in their combat array, charging a house with one man hiding in it. Several large Texas Police Forces now have drones…they can just watch you or just kill you.

      These deplorable facts are not the directives of any president, past or present. None of
      these things could go on without the consent of our Congress.

      • Tess Liehard:

        Wrong again. Obama sets the agenda of federal agencies. Therefore, he is guilty as charged — turning the DOJ, DEA, BATF, etc., into anti-American Citizens rouge governmental agencies. This is an impeachable offense!

        Congress had no clue of this travesty, until a few days ago when the UCLA exposed it:

        How ultra-liberally brainwashed are you — to state the opposite when faced with undeniable facts!?!

        • Surfisher…name calling and accusations are a camouflage for lack of research. I had read the Guardian article. If you will review it you will find that it was very careful to use the words ‘revelations raise questions”…”ACLU warned”… that means they do not have provable facts.

          Wherever did you get the idea “Congress had no clue of this travesty” Awake! The United States Congress passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act in 1984. These agencies have been given even more powers by Congress over the years.

          Attorney General Eric Holder(Jan 16, 2015) ordered that federal agency adoption of property seized by state or local law enforcement under state law be prohibited, except for property that directly relates to public safety concerns, including firearms, ammunition, explosives and property associated with child pornography. The policy does not limit the ability of States and local agencies to pursue the forfeiture of assets pursuant to their respective state laws.

          I am no fan of the DEA. It is a rogue lot. But only Congress can disband this

      • I agree with your sentiments about the travesty of eroded privacy and the militarization of police.

        However, I think the blame is shared between the legislative and executive branches, administrations past and present. Congress is usually briefed, perhaps just small committees who need to know, etc.. so they know. The president is briefed, or at least the agencies and people who answer to him and it’s his job to know (whether that was Clinton, Bush, Obama, etc…)

        They all know to some degree or another. The question is usually how much they want to know or how much they’re being told, but they know.

        • I agree without question “they all know”and they all sing the same chorus “the
          rules are for thee, but not for me”.

  2. A brokered convention would be a great boost for the GOP. For once, people would WANT to watch it, the platform could be blasted into the living rooms, and it would look like a return to the democratic process.

    But the article doesn’t go far enough. The party could be splintered even more, so that the convention could look like an Italian coalition.

    Look at the constituencies:
    Christie—Anger Management Pros
    Cruz—Other Canadians, Don Quixote
    Huckabee—Bible Thumpers
    Paul—Libertarian Wannabes
    Rubio—Other Middle Schoolers. . .

    Ah, heck, here’s the list from this page, and they all appeal to different types:

    DECLARED & EXPLORATORY: Bowers, Bush, Christensen, Dummett, Hill, Kinlaw, Larose, Lynch, Petyo, Russell

    Amash Ayotte Bachman Barrasso Blunt Branstad Brown Brownback Bryant Carson Chaffetz Christie Coburn Corbett Cornyn Crapo Cruz Dalrymple Daniels Daugaard DeMint Fallin Fiorina Fischer Graham Haley Haslam Heineman Herbert Huckabee Huntsman Jindal Kasich King Martinez McCrory Mead Paul Pence Perry Phillips Rice Rubio Ryan Sandoval Santorum Snyder Stein Toomey Trump Walker

    • LOL — good one!

      But no brokered convention in the end — Rand Paul will win a clear majority, with ‘Jebediah’ becoming a laughing stock second.

      • JEB is not going to be a laughing stock. Unlike his brother, JEB is shrewd and clever. Look at how quickly he disposed of Willard.

        There are only two candidates in the party who have the brains, positions, and support to go all the way–JEB and Rand. The rest are wasting their time (and ours).

        But JEB has already staked out the honesty/courage pose. He says he’s going to take a stand, even if he has to lose primaries here and there. That will make Rand’s flip-flops and pandering and what you call “distancing himself from the truth” make Rand vulnerable.

        • Nah, Jeb will become a laughing stock in the end — for Real Americans want nothing to do with another Bush!

          NO MORE BUSH, the people are tired of warmongering Bushes (that invade nations at a drop of a jewish hat)!

  3. This article completely overlooks another element that could ensure a disruptive Republican primary AND convention and that is the changes made back in 2012 to “Rule 40”, the rule that regulates which Republican candidate can have their name actually placed in nomination at the convention.
    Prior to 2012, the rule stated that a candidate had to have won a “plurality” of the votes in five (5) primaries in order to be qualified to have their name placed in nomination but that didn’t preclude Ron Paul from having his name placed in nomination (thus eligible to be voted on) during the 2012 convention. The Republican powers-that-be didn’t like that so they decided to amend the Rule to make it harder for some upstart, fringe candidate to challenge Romney in his supposed re-election campaign this year. So, they changed to rule to actually make it harder for a candidate to qualify to have their name placed in nomination by requiring a candidate to have won a “majority” of the vote (as opposed to the original plurality) in eight (8) primaries, an increase from the original five. In addition, they also mandated that even in “winner-take-all” states, the winner still had to have won a “majority” of the popular vote. Given the number of viable candidates in the Republican field this time, have even one win a majority of the vote in eight primaries will be a herculean task . . . if not impossible. Many of these lesser candidates are fully aware of this development and will strive to stay in the race until the convention when anything can happen.

    • Fascinating. This could be an example of the GOP establishment being “hoisted on [their] own petard.” Seems to me, the goal would be to focus the most time and attention on the “empty” states. It’s too hard to win a majority in a state like New York, California, Texas, or Florida, but not as hard to reach a majority in states with fewer voters.

      There are fewer than ONE hundred thousand GOP voters in Vermont! Fewer than TWO hundred thousand in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. Add South Dakota (210,610), and you have your eight–a total of fewer than a million voters, total.

      So the goal would be to simply win a majority in eight states–ANY eight states–rather than worrying about total votes, or even total wins.

      Then, the lesser candidates should work JUST hard enough to keep the establishment candidates from getting a majority in any state. One way to do this is to simply “suspend campaigning,” rather than withdrawing. If there’s a long list of candidates on the ballot, there’s more of a chance to keep one person from getting an absolute majority, anywhere. And, remember that Huckabee won a primary after he stopped his campaign, so it’s not unreasonable to see a lot of non-candidates siphon off sufficient votes to deny a majority.

      And what if the game is played so well that NOBODY gets a majority in eight states? The first ballot would have to be eliminated, since no one would qualify to run! The effect would be to say no one deserves the nomination–a de facto “none of the above” outcome.

      The upside would be that people would actually WATCH the convention, listen to the arguments, and get the GOP messages at a very low cost–as long as it doesn’t turn into hostile chaos, like the 1968 Dem convention. . .

      • Another big problem this issue would raise at the Republican convention is the fact that the main role of modern political conventions is to act as a three day Infomercial for the party, getting their pre-packaged “messages” out there, relatively free of media meddling. But with a chaotic and disruptive “brokered” convention, the intended Republican messages will be drowned out by the intensive media coverage of the process of a floor fight and rule changes, in addition to all the behind-the-scene deal-making and other shenanigans.

    • Elim Garak: Excellent post.

      Ron Paul rocked the Establishment’s boat to the point that the GOP by overcompensating may actually sink it themselves!

      How deliciously ironic this would be!

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