Even if Donald Trump earns the required 1,237 delegates before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, he still may not be the party’s nominee for president. .
Curly Haugland, an unbound delegate from North Dakota, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on March 16 – the day after Trump rolled up more big primary victories – that political parties, not voters, choose their presidential nominees:
“The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That’s the conflict here.
Haugland, who’s also a Republican convention rules member, also questioned why primaries or caucuses are even held. He’s one of 112 Republican delegates who are not required to cast their support for any one candidate because their states and territories don’t hold primaries or caucuses.
Even with Trump’s huge projected delegate haul in four state primaries Tuesday, the odds are increasing that he may not ultimately get the 1,237 delegates needed to claim the GOP nomination before the convention.
This could lead to a brokered convention, in which unbound delegates, like Haugland, could play a significant swing role on the first ballot to choose a nominee.
Most delegates bound by their state’s primary or caucus results are only committed on the first ballot. If subsequent ballots are needed, virtually all of these delegates can vote any way they want, said Gary Emineth, another unbound delegate from North Dakota.
“It could introduce Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, or it could be the other candidates that have already been in the race and are now out of the race [such as] Mike Huckabee [or] Rick Santorum. All those people could eventually become candidates on the floor.”
If this wasn’t confusing enough, here’s another twist. Haugland said he sent a letter to each campaign alerting them to a rule change he’s proposing, which would allow any candidate who earns at least one delegate during the nominating process to submit his or her name to be nominated at this summer’s convention.
“The rules haven’t kept up. The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That’s just the way it is. I can’t help it. Don’t hate me because I love the rules.”
Translated: It’s our party and we’ll choose the candidate we want – regardless of what the people think.
This year’s election cycle has been nothing short of unpredictable, volatile and enlightening. Both Republican and Democratic party leaders have shown voters that they run rigged games, and not for the benefit of the American public.
Conservative Republicans around the country are already beyond angry. If party leaders manage to steal the nomination from Trump, this could be the beginning of the end of the (formerly) Grand Old Party.
Do you think party leaders are willing to commit political suicide in order to nominate the candidate of their choice?