If It Ain’t Brokered, Don’t Fix It!
In other words, if a national political convention chooses a candidate on the first round of balloting, celebrate! That candidate won a majority of delegate votes in the first round. Enjoy the party! However, if a candidate is not chosen to represent their party on the first ballot, the convention may become a brokered (or open) convention.
Now, if the word “brokered” conjures up ideas of wheeling, dealing, and vote-trading in back rooms or over dinner, you nailed it. That’s exactly what happens in a brokered convention. The struggle is real to win the nomination, All bets are off. This is similar to a contested convention, where no delegate has a majority of the votes. The lobbying begins in an effort to win the support to hit the magic number of votes -1991 for the Democratic nomination and 1237 for the Republican nomination. Here’s the catch. These totals change in a brokered convention. Like I’ve said before, it’s complicated. (See article dated 3/2/20 on the main page for Common Sense Civics and Citizenship).
Here’s the thing… a candidate who is selected in a brokered or contested convention is less likely to beat his/her opponent in the general election. The more rounds of balloting you have, the less likely it is that your party’s candidate will win. This is why conventions try to avoid multiple rounds of balloting. The primary system we have today has greatly cut back on the amount of brokered conventions in US politics. The last brokered convention was in 1952. The most remembered one was in 1924, when John W. Davis won the Democratic nomination after 103 rounds of balloting!
I’ve watched the Democratic and Republican National Conventions since I was a kid. (Yeah, I’ve been a civics geek from a young age). Some are more interesting than others. The 2020 conventions are shaping up to be entertaining and educational. Should be an election year for the books!
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.??