Breaking down a brokered convention

Expert: Contentious brokered convention could lead to revolt

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s been 40 years since there was any real drama at either the Republican or the Democratic national convention, but that could change this year.

The possibility of a brokered convention for the Republicans could be the last chance for Donald Trump’s opponents to block him from getting the nomination.

Trump continues to dominate the race for the Republican nomination, but it’s still unclear if he’ll have enough delegates to secure his nomination before the Republican National Convention in Ohio in July.

If Trump doesn’t get the 1,237 delegates he needs ahead of the  convention, the delegates are released from their commitments, and they will have the opportunity to vote again in what's known as a floor vote. Political experts warn, however, that a brokered convention could be a very contentious one that could end in a revolt within the Republican Party.

A brokered convention could be the only path to the nomination for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or Ohio Gov. John Kasich. News4Jax political analyst Jennifer Carroll said everything hinges on Tuesday's vote.

“It could be it all depends on how the electorate turns out,” Carroll said. “The next set of primaries and the number of votes that (Ted) Cruz or Trump can garner.”

Carroll said a brokered convention could end in an all-out revolt. She said Trump supporters could feel disenfranchised and walk away from the ticket all together.

“What we may see if we go to a brokered convention where there is still an effort to stop Donald Trump and he came out with having the majority number of delegates, we could see a walkout of people revolting against not having their person the majority of delegates the victor of the primary nomination,” Carroll said.

Carroll said that behind the scenes already, outside groups and party officials are quietly maneuvering for a nomination fight that goes all the way to the end. Rick Mullaney of the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute said a brokered convention would not be in Trump’s favor.

“If, however, he has a plurality, he has the most and he doesn't have 1,237, the odds are against him getting the nomination,” Mullaney said.

If Trump wins Ohio and Florida, the chance of a brokered convention is very slim. The last time Republicans held a truly brokered convention was in 1948 in the contest between Thomas Dewey and Harry Truman, and for the Democrats it happened in 1952 in a race for the White House between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.

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