Could the 2016 Republican convention be the least attended in decades?
That is a possibility, as CNN reports.
"With the presidential campaign hitting a fever pitch and Donald Trump warning about riots if he's denied the nomination, some House and Senate Republicans tell CNN that it makes more sense to spend time with voters back home rather than be associated with the drama engulfing their party."
"Quietly," the CNN report added, "some officials in the highest rungs of Republican leadership are advising their rank-and-file members to stay away from Cleveland."
Two top Republican officials who are advising their clients to stay away from the convention were referenced. Both asked not to be identified.
Among the Republicans who are already planning to skip the July convention:
- former Florida governor Jeb Bush;
- New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte;
- North Carolina senator Richard Burr;
- Congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina.
Nastiest Republican Primaries in Years?
The news comes on the heels of heightened acrimony and accusations, especially surrounding Republican front-runner Donald Trump. As was reported by the Inquisitr earlier today, Trump accused Texas senator Ted Cruz and the Colorado Republican Party of stealing Colorado delegates from him.
However, the Denver Post reported last August that Republicans had cancelled their quadrennial poll, which meant that candidates would have to court potential delegates on their own, which Cruz did. At the Colorado state GOP convention, Cruz won all of the delegates.
The Right Scoop reported today that Trump supporters are tweeting out the addresses of Republican delegates apparently in an effort to intimidate them into supporting Trump.
And, the Washington Examiner opined that the GOP convention "could be on its way to an internal version of the 2000 election, the race in which the candidate who lost the popular vote won the presidency."
"And it could be worse than that. The 2000 winner of the popular vote, Al Gore, lost the presidency because of the constitutional structure under which electors, not popular vote totals, determine who enters the White House. Seeing the popular vote loser, George W. Bush, win the election was unfortunate — it hadn't happened since the 19th Century — but it was specifically provided for in the Constitution...
"In an intra-party Republican fight, on the other hand, the winner of the 2016 nomination could be determined not by the Constitution but by rules written by party activists and insiders the week before the GOP convention. If those rules can be reasonably viewed as unfair, they won't command the fundamental respect and consensus of a constitutional provision. And the resulting nominee won't command that respect, either."
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan has repeatedly denied that he will seek the Republican nomination at the convention.
Problems Ahead at the Convention
The three remaining Republican candidates, Trump, Cruz, and Kasich, all have problems heading to the convention. A Gallup poll gave Trump a 70 percent disapproval rating with women, whom the Republicans have tried to court for years. Additionally, Rasumussen Reports found that 33 percent of Republicans will not support Trump if he is nominated at the convention.
Meanwhile, Politifact found that Ted Cruz was not beating Hillary Clinton in "poll after poll after poll," as he has claimed. They found that in the nine most recent head-to-head polls, Cruz only wins one -- a point likely to be brought up by his rivals at the convention.
With just 143 delegates, it is already mathematically impossible for Kasich to claim the Republican nomination prior to the convention. If he were to somehow secure it at the convention, it would weaken his case before the voters.
All of which explains why, as CNN reports, many Republicans have "tried to separate themselves from the ugly fight at the top of the ticket" by skipping their own convention.
[Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images]