Chatter is already taking place among GOP insiders about how to handle complications such as faithless delegates.
There are roughly 30 states and territories where delegates aren’t bound to a particular candidate. The majority of the other states, according to a number of party officials, call for delegates to be bound for a first round of balloting, but not the ensuing rounds.
“The dirty little secret is: at the end of the day, these guys and gals can vote any way they want,” said a Republican who has attended national conventions for decades. “Each state has different (laws) on pledged delegates.”
Earlier this year, a group of GOP Washington lawyers began to meet privately to review party rules passed following the epic 1976 nomination battle between President Ford and Ronald Reagan.
(...) But the possible convention issues are hardly limited to faithless delegates.
There is also the scenario, first reported by POLITICO’s Mike Allen, in which a late entrant (like, say, a Daniels or a Christie) arrives after Super Tuesday on March 6, which is still before the filing deadlines in some of the most delegate-rich states such as California and New Jersey.
A document is circulating among several Washington Republicans titled “GOP Delegate Count Will Build Slowly, noting how many delegates are still up for grabs after Super Tuesday.
A “contested” convention could result, meaning the party heads into August without a clear nominee. A late entrant could try to amass enough delegates to win the nomination, given that only 34 percent of the total delegates are in play in contests before Super Tuesday. But they might have to pick up the remainder in a contested convention where delegates would still be up for grabs.
A candidate entering under that scenario — and it would mean amassing the necessary ballot-access petitions, which can take weeks, in an extremely short amount of time — would make a play by winning delegates in post-Super Tuesday states, and then heading into a the convention where they could peel off delegates.
Then there is the “brokered” convention, at which a new candidate could essentially be airlifted in, and, through an arranged deal, awarded the right number of delegates. The notion of a dropping in a candidate at the last minute strikes many as extreme and hard to imagine.
But a “brokered” convention could also be the end result of a contested one, with power players uniting if no one agrees with a majority of delegates, or if no one can assemble a majority after the first few rounds of balloting.
A brokered convention is unlikely to happen if a number of hopefuls drop out. But it’s conceivable if all four of the current Republicans running stay in the race, as they have pledged, as delegates would continue to be split among them.
(...) In such a scenario, the power-brokers would likely be party elders, like former Republican National Committee and Republican Governors Association chairmen and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, according to multiple Republican insiders, along with figures like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Marco Rubio. But the major power figures would be Republican governors who would hold sway over their state delegations — including Florida’s Rick Scott, Ohio’s John Kasich, and Michigan’s Rick Snyder.
Republican leaders in populous states without a major elected GOPer, like California and New York, may see their GOP chairmen playing a role as well.
If one of these nightmarish scenarios materializes, Republicans believe the party will eventually need to appoint either a senior statesman in the mold of former Secretary of State James Baker to oversee the convention, or find a rules maven who can be an honest broker when it comes to credentials. One such name already being floated: Billy Pitts, a respected former congressional aide well-versed in parliamentary procedure from decades working for former House GOP leader Bob Michel and more recently as the staff director of the House Rules Committee.
“I’ve never been to a brokered convention,” said David Norcross, an RNC member from New Jersey who is neutral in the primary. “There hasn’t been a brokered convention in my lifetime…if this does get to, say, August with no clear winner, you can look for a fight in the convention Credentials Committee for who has how many delegates.”
It would played out in both the Credentials and the Rules Committees, he said, adding, “If we get to August and none of the people running have enough delgates that’s a clear indication that … the Republican primary electorate is not satisfied with any of them.”
Still, Norcross said he didn’t believe things would still be unsettled by the time of the convention. The only people that he hears discussing that possibility, he said, “are journalists.”
lunes, 20 de febrero de 2012
¿Hacia una convención abierta? (IX)