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Deadlocked Convention?

As concerned Republicans look at their leading presidential choices, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, with some dread, they fear even more the possibility of a deadlocked convention in Cleveland this summer. Though Trump has a comfortable lead in the delegate count he still could fall short of the necessary 1,237 delegates necessary to sew up the nomination on the first ballot. Cruz’s strategy is keyed to such a scenario, hoping that on subsequent ballots he can pick off delegates pledged to Trump on the first ballot and leave Cleveland as the GOP standard bearer.

Trump, who eschews details, had failed to read the rules in the various states pertaining to the selection of Republican delegates. His eyes now open with things not going his way, he sees things differently. Cruz has used his knowledge of those rules to pick off delegates that Trump claims rightfully belong to him. As expected, Trump is now airing his concern with charges of fraud, lack of democracy, and inconsistency in the state-by-state delegate selection process.

In one of the stories in a recent memoir, Moments of Truth, I wrote about a similar situation, the drama leading up to the uncertainty in the 1976 Republican Convention in Kansas City that pitted incumbent President Gerald R. Ford against his capable challenger, former California Governor Ronald Reagan. At that time, only 1,130 votes were needed to secure the nomination. The story is as follows:  Read More 
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