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The Contested Convention

Andrew Kerari, Reporter

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Currently in our elections, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton are both the frontrunners for their respective parties. This however, may not mean much.

In the last few weeks, everyone has been talking about a possible contested convention for the Republican Party due to the fact that people are starting to feel that none of the GOP candidates will make it to the 1237 delegate count that a nominee needs to win the GOP nomination.

Donald Trump has 743 delegates, Cruz has 545 delegates, and Kasich has 143 delegates. There are 854 delegates that are still available, but people feel that neither Trump or Cruz will reach the 1237. It is also mathematically impossible for Kasich to win the race, so he is hoping for a contested convention.

The Democrats have a much lower chance of a contested convention due to the superdelegate system, but it is still possible. Hillary Clinton has 1756 delegates, and Bernie Sanders has 1068 delegates. However without the superdelegates, Hillary Clinton has 1287 delegates, and Bernie Sanders has 1037 delegates.

The superdelegates can change sides whenever they want, which makes the possibility of a contested convention much greater. If many of them move to Bernie Sanders, and neither of the candidates reach the 2383 delegate count required to win the Democrat nomination, then the Democrats will have a contested convention.

At this point, you might be wondering what a contested convention is. The Republican, and Democrats have different rules, but due to the possibility of a contested convention being much higher on the Republican side, I will go over the GOP rules.

Basically, the goal of a contested convention is to give one of the candidates a majority of delegates instead of a plurality. The delegates are typically long time party members, but there are two types of delegates; Pledged, and Unpledged.

Pledged delegates are given to a candidate based on the amount of votes that they get in a certain state. With some states, the delegates are given based on congressional districts, but some states are winner take all.

Unpledged delegates are not given to anyone based on votes, and they can choose whichever candidate that they want at a convention. All superdelegates are unpledged delegates, but not all unpledged delegates are superdelegates.

The contested convention starts with a first ballot, and during the first ballot, most of the delegates are pledged, but there are a few unpledged delegates that can choose their own candidate, and possibly take him to the 1237 required for the Republican nomination.

If the unpledged delegates are unable to bring a candidate to the 1237, than it moves to the second ballot, and in this ballot a lot of pledged delegates become unpledged delegates. With each ballot that goes by, there are more, and more unpledged delegates until a candidate reaches the 1237.

Another thing that can happen in a convention is that after the first few ballots, it is possible that someone who did not run for president could be nominated by 1237 delegates. Overall, these are the basics of a contested convention.

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The Contested Convention