Tag Archives: Rule 40

Convention Games

As each week passes, it is looking more and more likely that the Republicans are facing the great white whale of politics geeks — the contested convention.  While as discussed earlier, it is likely that the campaigns will maneuver to change the rules governing the convention, there are also some games that the candidates can play within the existing rules as set forth in the Rules of the Republican Party.

We have already seen one type of game being played — trying to “steal” pledged delegates.  As noted at this site, the national rules of the Republican Party do not give candidates the right to have input into the delegates pledged for that candidate, leaving it to the states to define what role (if any) candidates have in delegate selection.   As the folks at 538 have noted, the majority of Republican delegates are selected by party conventions or committees.  While each state has slightly different rules, a candidate with a good delegate selection strategy can slip his supporters into slots allocated to other candidates.  While these delegates are supposedly bound by state party rules and Rule 16 to vote according to their pledge on the first ballot, those state rules only bind the delegates for a certain number of ballots (mostly only the first ballot).  If nobody gets a majority on the first ballot, these stolen delegates could decide who wins on the second or third ballot.

The other games involve interpretation of the rules and the use of uncommitted delegates.

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