Current primary results have reportedly led GOP leaders to consider a contested convention if Donald Trump falls short of the 1,237 delegates needed to qualify for the nomination.
According to a report from the Washington Post, recent gatherings of the Republican Governors Association and various conservative financiers have led to the “consensus that Trump is vulnerable and that a continued blitz of attacks could puncture the billionaire mogul’s support and leave him limping onto the convention floor.”
A contested convention occurs when “no single candidate has secured a majority of the delegates ahead of the party convention” which is in July, and as a result, the party’s nominee is “chosen by the delegates who come to the convention, on a series of one or more ballots.”
Out of the 2,472 available delegates in the GOP, Donald Trump currently has 384, Ted Cruz has 300, Marco Rubio has 151, and John Kasich has 37. Primaries will be held in Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi on Tuesday, which will determine the direction of 150 of the remaining 1,585 delegates.
The Post’s report noted that the strategy of pushing for a contested convention is “risky and hinges on Trump losing Florida, Illinois and Ohio on March 15,” which has led some party figures to believe that “any stop-Trump efforts could prove futile.”
According to the report, the movement to stop Trump is led by the super PAC Our Principles PAC, which has devoted “more than $3 million in television advertisements, plus direct-mail pieces, digital ads, phone banking and emails — all designed to sow doubts about Trump’s character, convictions and fitness for office,” just in the state of Florida.
As previously reported, GOP officials were discussing the possibility of a contested convention in December, when more than 20 members of the Republican National Committee attended a dinner held by Chairman Reince Priebus.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, 2012 GOP Nominee Mitt Romney said he does not plan on running, but that if the GOP were to reach a contested convention, he wouldn’t rule out becoming the party’s nominee if he received the support.
“I don’t think anyone in our party should say, ‘Oh no, even if the people of the party wanted me to be president, I would say no to it.’ No one is going to say that,” Romney said. “But I can tell you this, I’m not a candidate, I’m not going to be a candidate, I’m going to be endorsing one of the people who’s running for president.”
During a phone interview on Fox’s “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning, Trump said he is bothered by the possibility of a contested convention, and he thinks, “It’s really not fair.”
“I think that whoever is leading at the end should sort of get it,” Trump said. “That’s the way that democracy works. I don’t know that that’s going to happen. But I’ll tell you, there are going to be a lot of people that will be very upset if that doesn’t happen.”
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