Ronald Reagan nearly beat incumbent Gerald Ford for the Republican Presidential nomination at the national convention in 1976. That was the last time the GOP convention was almost brokered.
When a candidate lacks the number of delegates to become the nominee heading into the convention, pundits refer to this as a brokered convention. Missouri State University Political Scientist Brian Calfano says this year’s convention could be brokered – leading to delegate vote trading and re-votes to nominate a candidate.
“Trump is actually doing us a favor because he’s reinvigorated these conventions to actually mean something in terms of providing value for the public in understanding what’s going on with this nominating process and what it’s supposed to mean. It hasn’t meant anything for the last 30 years, at least on the Republican side,” said Calfano.
Some say Republicans could block Donald Trump from becoming the nominee. Calfano believes that tactic could harm the GOP Party just as much as nominating him.
Calfano says Presidential primary elections held in June, like in New Jersey and California, usually don’t matter, but this year he says every state primary matters.
“These other states that are voting on June 7th are going to have a say,” said Calfano. “That’s extremely interesting because a lot of those folks in those state party conventions where they meet, choose the delegates, figure out who is going to support whom and even the constituents in the Republican Party in those states are a bit more moderate than what you’ve got in the south, west and southwest.”
Calfano says some moderates could support candidate John Kasich over Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Hillary Clinton leads the Democratic race with more than 1,700 of the nearly 2,400 delegates needed.