Trump Delegates, Hanging Chads and Horseshoes

Does anyone remember the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore? It all came down to the Electoral College. Gore won the popular vote. That battle was played out in the State of Florida, and one of the attorneys on the team was Ted Cruz. He walked a stack of papers to a federal district court.

The billion-dollar question today is: Will Donald Trump win enough delegates to garner the Republican nomination? Under the concept of delegate math, Trump has to win 60 percent of the remaining delegates, which is highly unlikely. Since Gov. John Kasich won Ohio and will probably do well in some of the other northern states. In addition, it is also probable that Cruz will win Utah and perhaps Arizona and California.

Trump says that if he is short of the number of needed delegates, he should receive the nomination anyway. The only problem with that premise is that it is not legal; one only has to remember the general election between Bush and Gore to understand this. It is even more complicated during a primary.

A total of 2,400 Republican delegates will vote at the GOP convention in July. Nearly all will be required to vote for a specific candidate on the first ballot based on the results of the primaries and caucuses in their state. If no candidate has a clear majority, subsequent rounds of voting will take place. In that scenario, the vast number of delegates would be free to vote as they please. It is possible that there will be a brokered convention. If that should happen, the individual who has the advantage will be the candidate with the strongest ground game. Just because a candidate wins a state doesn’t mean that those delegates all support him.

Seventy-three percent of the delegates are selected by direct vote during presidential primaries in each state, or in the state and local conventions. The vast majority of delegates in a second round of voting would probably support Ted Cruz. For example: The March 1 primary in Virginia resulted in 17 votes for Trump, five for John Kasich, and over 30 for Ted Cruz as he will most likely receive Marco Rubio’s delegates.

Another factor will be the Republican establishment. Huge amounts of money and numerous volunteers will pour into the Cruz and Kasich campaigns from the other drop-outs. Donald Trump’s strategy in circumventing a ground game by utilizing the secular media to promote him could backfire. He will need more “shock and awe” to retain his momentum; but the same tactics could undermine his support with actual delegates.

At the Republican National Convention in 1976, Gerald Ford had won more primary delegates than Ronald Reagan. He also had popularity among the voters. Ford, however, did not have enough delegates to secure the nomination outright. When the vote took place during the convention, Reagan received 1,007 (47.39 percent), and Ford received 1,187 (52.57 percent), and beat Reagan.

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