In a dream come true for Democrats, Republicans are geared up for a fight on the convention floor and dreaming up strategies to deny Donald Trump their nomination if he wins the primaries.
Republican officials and leading figures in the party’s establishment are now preparing for the possibility of a brokered convention as Donald Trump continues sit atop the polls and the presidential race.
More than 20 of them convened Monday for a dinner held by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, where the prospect of Trump nearing next year’s nominating convention in Cleveland with a significant number of delegates dominated the discussion, according to five people familiar with the meeting.
Considering that scenario as Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) listened, several longtime power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party’s establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight, in which the GOP’s mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative, the people said.
Because of the sensitivity of the topic — and wary of saying something that, if leaked, would provoke Trump to bolt the party and mount an independent bid — Priebus and McConnell were mostly quiet during the back and forth. They did not signal support for an overt anti-Trump effort.
There is nothing in the RNC’s convention rules about delegates being committed to primary winners. The RNC set up the rules so that if a Donald Trump would storm through the primaries, he could be stopped dead at the convention.
Republicans are setting up the sort of chaos that has been seen at a presidential nominating convention in decades. The years of fighting within the Republican Party could all blow up on the convention floor in Cleveland.
Republican power brokers aren’t going to sit back and let Donald Trump win their nomination. They are going to fight Trump every step of the way, even if that means rigging the convention to deny him the nomination.
This is turning out to be a dream come true for Democrats. A deeply divided Republican Party is looking less and less able to settle on a nominee while Democrats remain unified and ready for November. If Republicans give Trump the nomination, they will lose in November. If Republicans rig the nominating process against Trump, the billionaire will run third party and hand the White House to Democrats.
It isn’t a surprise that Republicans would meet to try to rig their own convention, but as long as Donald Trump is around, the GOP looks sure to lose.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association