© 2024 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ciboski: Expect a Contested GOP Convention

The Republican National Convention to choose a candidate for president will be held in Cleveland in July. There is no presumed nominee, and there has been no contested convention since 1948. Three candidates, Senator Ted Cruz, Governor John Kasich, and businessman Donald Trump, remain in the race. The Chairperson of the Convention’s Rules Committee, Bruce Ash of Tucson, Arizona, thinks that Cruz and Trump will most likely be the two candidates put forward as nominees at the Convention, but that could change. Also, he thinks that the Cruz, Kasich, and Trump campaigns are probably preparing strategies for first and second ballot voting at the convention.

Ash says that no one on the National committee predicted there would initially be 17 Republican candidates for president, and that a super reality television star, Donald Trump, would run.

Party Rule 40(b) stipulates that a candidate must win at least eight state primaries in order to qualify for nomination. Senator Cruz has won a few and Trump already qualifies with his wins. Rules chairperson Ash says he discussed changing this rule with each of the campaigns in January, but none wanted to change it because each campaign expected to win at least eight states by this coming July. Also a candidate needs 1237 delegates to win. Trump has a bit less than half of that.

The outcome of the remaining contests is likely to be mixed.  The last, on June 7th in California, awards delegates by congressional districts instead of on a winner-take-all basis. My guess is that we will see a contested convention and whether Trump wins or loses the nomination, there will be demonstrations. 

Dr. Ken Ciboski is an associate professor emeritus of political science at Wichita State University.