What is a Brokered and Contested Convention?


KIMT News 3- The current presidential election has garnered a lot of attention; on the Republican side, 17 candidates emerged allowing for many options for early primary and caucus states. On the Democratic side, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have been locked in almost a virtual tie in New Hampshire and Iowa. In order to move forward to the National Convention candidates need to gain enough delegates, but the number of candidates on the Republican side, as well as the tight race on the Democratic side, makes this hard to do.

Experts are now talking about a possible Brokered Convention or Contested Convention as a way to alleviate these issues. According to our political analyst, Bennett Smith, a Contested Convention can happen before a single vote occurs in the National Convention. A Brokered Convention happens after the National Convention and candidates still don’t have enough support, which also allows for pledged delegates to support other candidates.

“This could make for a very interesting race,” says Smith. “On the Republican side, I can see a 3 candidate race, but if they don’t get the 1,237 delegates needed, the pledged delegates for candidates who have dropped out now can support another candidate. Another interesting fact about the Republican side is the “threshold”. Many of the up coming states require a certain percentage of delegates to qualify as a way to reduce the number of candidates.”

“On the Democratic side, this will have a huge effect because of how close the race is,” says Bennett. “If we go into one of these conventions pledged delegates could jump on to one of the other candidates changing the race completely.”

Smith also says many of the upcoming states will have a huge impact on the number of delegates candidates will have, while most states before March 14 allow candidates to win a certain number of delegates, others, like Florida and Ohio, are winner-take-all.

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