Let’s look at two entirely separate scenarios of what might happen in the race for the presidency.
On the Republican side, let’s say that neither Donald Trump, nor Ted Cruz, and certainly not John Kasich get to the magic number of 1,237 delegates to receive the nomination. So the convention is “contested”. It wouldn’t be the first time, and it won’t be the last. Delegates are, in most cases but not all, committed to vote for their candidates on the first ballot, but after that, they are free to switch allegiances. So after the first ballot, there’s not winner. Now the fight is on. And of course, the “smoke filled back room” heats up as the power-brokers of the GOP meet to try and hammer out a deal that will get someone to 1,237. And it could be someone not even in the race. And it could be that whomever is chosen, if not by the delegates but by the power brokers (in a “brokered convention), end up splitting the party in two. It’s happened in the past in our history, and it could happen again.
If that happens, a lot of folks feel the GOP is dead in the water; not just for this presidential cycle, but for good. It didn’t happen when the Tea Party was formed, but it might this year. Something to think about.
Now, let’s look at the Democrats. Let’s say for grins and giggles that Hillary Clinton keeps the momentum and wins enough delegates to get to say 2,712 delegates (they need 2,382 to get the nomination). That will include the 476 “super delegates” that have already sided with her. But oops. Just before the convention, FBI Director James Comey sends a referral to Attorney General, Loretta Lynch with massive amounts of evidence that Hillary committed federal law violations. And just for grins and giggles, let’s say it’s so overwhelming that Lynch has no option but to send it to a Grand Jury to indict Hillary. Well, in that case, the 2,036 delegates that are pledged for Clinton need to stay put. The 476 “super delegates” start peeling off one by one. And let’s just say that enough of them peel off and move to Sanders to make sure neither candidate receives the 2,382 that they need to be nominated. Then the Democrats will have a “contested” convention. Yeah, it’s happened with them before too (remember Kennedy/Carter in 1976?). In this case, same scenario as the GOP…most of the delegates are pledged to vote for their candidate on the first ballot, but can switch after that. And what happens if they don’t find Bernie Sanders “electable”? Someone else needs to swoop in and save the day.
In this scenario, someone like a Joe Biden comes in and gets the nod. But also in this case, I don’t think the party splits up. I think they DO coalesce around the new candidate and Hillary slinks off into history. That is the difference between the two parties this year. There is a lot more emotion built up on the GOP side than the Democrat side. And while usually that’s a good thing, in this case, it may rip one party apart.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!