The Donald Trump Campaign has a two-phase comprehensive plan to win the nomination, even if the remaining primaries do not go as well as he hopes. He could win automatically by getting the majority of delegates assigned in the primaries. If this fails, but phase one of the plan works well, he could still gain more delegates after the primaries and prevent the brokered convention. Phase two involves dealing with the brokered convention, if it happens.
Donald Trump Campaign leaders say a brokered convention could be bad news as The Donald allegedly lacks support from key figures in the Republican leadership. They could work against him in that situation. According to NBC News, Trump has contingencies in place to avoid a brokered convention, sometimes called a contested convention.
Brokered conventions occur when after the first vote no one candidate has the majority of votes. If this should happen, then all delegates are free to change their votes. They are no longer bound by the primary outcome. They can cast a second ballot based upon their own conscience.
Donald Trump is set on avoiding a contested convention because the outcome can be unpredictable. Delegates are no longer committed unless they choose to stay with the candidate they came to support. Speeches are made. Then there is more voting. Voting continues until someone has a majority. Theoretically, anyone could walk away with the nomination, even if they did not run in the primaries at all.
One way Donald can win without a contested convention is to secure the 1,237 delegates required to win from primary voters. He can do that simply by getting enough votes in the remaining primaries. There is 2,472 total, so all that is required is to gain the vote of half of all the delegates plus one. If he can do that, he automatically gains the Republican nomination. That leaves no recourse for any opposition within the Republican Party leadership.
Donald Trump already has 739 delegates, according to Real Clear Politics. That means he only needs 498 more. There are still 18 state primaries to be held and that represents a total of 839 more delegates. The Donald spoke optimistically to NBC about this possibility.
“I know the press likes to talk about the brokered convention, but I think we’re doing really well.”
Trump campaign leaders are projecting that by the end of the primaries, Donald will have 1,400 to 1,450 delegates. That margin would usher Trump into the Republican Nomination with no questions asked. Still, campaign leaders are taking no chances.
Should Donald Trump fail to gain the majority from the 18 remaining primaries, he does have a contingency plan in the works. He has assembled a capable team of experienced operatives. NBC reports that Barry Bennett, former campaign manager for Ben Carson, has been recruited to lead that team.
Averting the brokered convention has become the responsibility of Barry Bennett and his team. Bennett explained the strategy to NBC. There are 323 delegates who are no longer committed to anyone. The candidates they were chosen to support have dropped out of the race. Also included are all the delegates from states like Colorado and North Dakota who are not bound and may vote their with their conscience according to state law.
Donald Trump is sending Barry Bennett and his team out to court these 323 people and convert them into Trump supporters. They can do this, legally, only within the 40 days between the primary and the convention. This method could work especially well, Bennett explains, if they need fewer than 100 more delegates to win.
If the primaries do not yield enough voters, and then phase one, recruiting uncommitted delegates also fails, then there is always phase two. An aid not authorized to speak remained anonymous as he explained phase two.
“Our goal, is to make sure every delegate Trump has now stays a Trump delegate on the second ballot… That’s when the negotiations start. It’s everything from, ‘Come campaign in our state,’ or ‘Do a fundraiser for a state party,’ or ‘Put stronger language about right to life in the platform,’ Or all kinds of crazy things that are important to whoever the delegate is.”
Donald Trump has prepared a team for the convention floor negotiations. They are standing ready should they be needed. One anonymous RNC official stated the opinion that resistance to Donald’s nomination would not be strong enough to prevent it.
“Lee Atwater always told us, ‘If it’s happening, be for it,’ This is happening.”
Donald Trump has a plan to avoid a brokered convention, but should it happen, he is preparing to negotiate a win anyway.
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