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Can Romney's Rivals Force Him Into a Brokered Convention?

Can Romney's Rivals Force Him Into a Brokered Convention?

Former Gov. Mitt Romney’s win in Illinois Tuesday put his total delegate count at about 560, nearly halfway to the 1,144 delegates required to secure the GOP presidential nomination. At this point in the race it is impossible for any of the other candidates—former Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Ron Paul—to reach that golden number. Therefore their only hope is to block Romney from getting there, which could result in a brokered convention. In such a case, after a first vote at the Tampa convention fails to pick a candidate, delegates would be freed to get behind someone else in the following votes until a nominee is selected. In fact, the other candidates have discussed how a brokered convention could work in their favors. “There are a couple of different ways it could play,” Gingrich told Greta Van Susteren. Speaking to Charlie Rose, Rick Santorum said, “We believe that if we get to the convention, Charlie, that the convention will nominate a conservative. They will not nominate the establishment moderate candidate from Massachusetts.” Even Ron Paul, who trails the pack in delegate count, is optimistic about the prospect of a brokered convention. “The second go-around, they can go with their conscience,” he told Jay Leno. “Then, I believe, we’ll get a lot of the votes.”

However, is such a possibility even realistic? Though Romney has stumbled in the South among evangelical voters, his campaign machine has proven superior in battleground states like Ohio and Michigan. Furthermore, the solid win in Illinois brings Romney more momentum, media attention, and money. The Romney camp has brushed off suggestions that the race will come down to Tampa, but that doesn’t mean Gingrich, Santorum, or Paul will drop out any time soon. Can they realistically force Romney into a brokered convention? Here is the Debate Club’s take:


The Arguments

#1
50 Pts
Brokered Convention Improbable, Even If Superdelegates Get Floor

No – Brokered Convention Improbable, Even If Superdelegates Get Floor

Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst

#3
12 Pts
Brokered GOP Convention Would Ensure a Second Obama Term

No – Brokered GOP Convention Would Ensure a Second Obama Term

Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'

#4
5 Pts
Conservatives Must Force an Open Convention

Yes – Conservatives Must Force an Open Convention

Judson Phillips Founder of Tea Party Nation

#5
1 Pts
Chances of a Brokered Convention Are Small

No – Chances of a Brokered Convention Are Small

Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic Nominee for Congress

#6
-7 Pts
Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum Pose No Threat to Mitt Romney

No – Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum Pose No Threat to Mitt Romney

Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference


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