The Washington Post is reporting that top Republican leaders met privately in Washington this week to discuss how to handle a contested convention. Donald Trump’s surprising staying power atop the polls as the first primary events draw nearer has made the possibility — once considered somewhere between remote and nonexistent — now conceivable enough to merit the worry of GOP brass.
The scenario, in short, sees Trump maintaining sufficient hold on his loyalists to pile up a significant number of delegates heading into the party’s July convention in Cleveland. Then, arcana like the rules governing how a candidate’s name gets placed into nomination at the event would suddenly become relevant again for the first time since 1976, when an insurgent Ronald Reagan almost snatched the nod from Gerald Ford.
Back in August, we considered how the early primaries could unfold in such a way to stretch the contest all the way to the convention. Trump’s lead hasn’t much budged since, and the math is the same:
Earlier today, we considered what it would take for Trump to launch an independent bid. That would represent the ultimate nightmare scenario for Republican leaders, who know it would all but guarantee a split conservative vote that delivers the White House back to Democrats. But a floor fight in Cleveland would run a close second.