The common thought is that Donald Trump has enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for President. Trump supporters claim that only an act by “elites,” overriding the “will of the People” at the National Convention could avert his nomination.
The Republican National Convention is absolutely NOT anything like those super delegates appointed by Dem Party leaders. Republican National Convention delegates are elected by Republican voters who have a very real opportunity to become delegates, themselves. Beginning at the Precinct, through the State Convention or Caucus.
However, under current rules – the various State Party rules in place before the individual primaries – there’s a chance Trump will not win the first ballot. If he doesn’t, then he certainly won’t win the second.
In Texas, we actually require our delegates to sign a pledge. We elect delegates proportionally, with a “winner-take-most” method for candidates who received at least 20% of the votes. Cruz, with 44% of the Primary votes, was alotted about 2/3 of the delegates as bound to him on the first ballot. About 1/3 are pledged to vote for Trump, with Rubio getting 3 pledged to him.
Other States have different methods for electing delegates. Some are winner-take-all for the candidate with the most votes, while State Republican Party rules call for “unbound,” “uncommitted,” “unpledged,” or “available delegates. Look at the breakdown and explanations here and here.
Why should someone who got 40% of the votes expect the elected delegates representing the other 60% to vote for him against their conscience?
I hope the former candidates can come together before the Convention to pledge their delegates to one man other than Trump. If they are able, and/or some one other than Trump becomes the Republican candidate for President, we will see representative democracy in action, not a power play by fictional “elites.”
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