This is from The Politico. “The only way Republicans can stop Donald Trump from capturing their partyÂ’s presidential nomination will be if they go to the July party convention without a clear standard-bearer. Virtually every GOP member of The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of operatives, activists, strategists and elected officials in four key March-voting battleground states — said after Super Tuesday, the door has closed on the possibility of another candidate winning a majority of delegates.”
Now, the conventional wisdom is that if Rubio does not win Florida, he is toast. And by the same token — let’s look at it — the real conventional wisdom is this. If Trump does not win Florida and Ohio, then it is possible that Trump will not win the required 1,237 delegates necessary to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention because delegates are pledged to the candidate in the first ballot.
So every delegate that Trump wins in every state in these primaries on the first ballot has to vote for him. But if nobody wins, if nobody gets 1,237 votes on the first ballot it’s wide open. The delegates are no longer pledged and the horse trading and the promising and the persuasion and who knows whatever else kicks into high gear. And so the strategists are hoping that that’s what happens. They want Rubio to win Florida, Kasich to win Ohio, to have the excitement of a wide-open convention. This happens to be what the party insiders are hoping.
Ted Cruz talked about it last night after the debate on the Fox News Channel. He was interviewed by Chris Wallace. It was the post-debate special and it was Megyn Kelly, and she said to Cruz, “I want to ask you about today’s news that Mitt Romney, in a speech he gave denouncing Trump. Did he have a point that Rubio needs to win Florida, Kasich needs to win Ohio, for you or any of the others to have a path other than Trump?”
CRUZ: This contested convention nonsense is something the GOP establishment loves to talk about. If the power brokers in the GOP try to pick the nominee at a brokered convention, you will see the people revolt. It’s the dumbest idea, and it’s what the lobbyists have come up with because they don’t understand why the voters aren’t voting for the candidates they like.
RUSH: That’s all true. That doesn’t mean they’re not gonna try it. And I want to clue you in to something that, if this goes forth, and if all this it looks like it may be possible, you are going to have to become familiar with convention rule 40. There are many interpretations and variations of rule 40. For example, it’s not just a candidate has to get 1,237 and if nobody does, it’s wide open. Even at that point, even if nobody gets 1,237, you still have to have won a majority of eight states to be eligible to win the nomination. Did you know that?
However, rule 40 can be changed the day before the convention by the Republican Party. And there is a party convention meeting in April, and if it looks like whatever eventuality is gonna happen, they can easily change that eight states to two. They could change it to four in order to make everybody eligible. Let’s say they want Rubio and Rubio does not win a majority of delegates in eight states. This is not the 20% threshold we’re talking about. We’re talking about a majority. If he doesn’t, then there’s no way that even if Trump doesn’t get to 1,237, there’s no way that Rubio would be eligible, according to rule 40.
However, they can change rule 40 the day before the convention. That’s also in the rule! Rule 40 basically says what it says today, and has the provision that they can rewrite it and say whatever they want it to say the day of the convention or the day before. (interruption) Well, it’s their convention, Snerdley. It’s the Republican Party’s convention. They can write whatever rules they want. And they have given themselves all kinds of outs and latitude and leeway to write new rules whenever they need them. (interruption) It’s exactly right, why they don’t trust — and this is what Cruz is talking about. If they start messing around like this, it’s all over.
What Cruz is saying here, even if Trump doesn’t get 1,237, but he’s at 1,150 and if they try to take it away there’s still gonna be a revolt, and you guys throw this convention open. His point is to the party, if you throw this open and try to pretend that these primaries have had no impact, that these primaries are not a factor, that all this campaigning and all of this voting doesn’t mean anything, if you try that, there is going to be a revolt at that convention like you can’t believe. And Cruz is right about that.
But you just keep a sharp eye on rule 40, particularly after this weekend and after Super Tuesday. If Trump wins Florida and Ohio — if Trump just wins Florida — don’t know what Kasich might do in Ohio. But it’s getting to the point now where there just isn’t enough time and there aren’t enough primaries left, not enough delegates left for anybody other than Trump to get anywhere near 1,237. So rule 40 is gonna be the last best hope.
Rush: Equal time. John Kasich this morning on America’s Newsroom, Bill Hemmer, said, “Last night was a repeat of a week ago, Governor Kasich. Rubio and Cruz going after Trump. They had their thing going on, and you waiting in the wings to talk about something that you call more sober and people called you the adult in the room. Does a sober candidate break through in a contest like this, Governor Kasich?”
KASICH: When I win Ohio it’s a whole new ball game. I mean, we’re gonna be off to a convention, and I think at a convention they’re not gonna pick who’s the best slanderer. I think they’re gonna pick who is it that can actually be the commander-in-chief of the United States of America. If Trump wins Florida and Ohio, it’s ball game over. He’s not gonna win in Ohio. I’m on home turf. I’m up north. I’m gonna be in Pennsylvania, Illinois, will be going to the eastern seaboard. You won’t be able to get the numbers to win on the first ballot that looks increasing, if I win Ohio, we will have a convention that will come together to a pick, I would think, the adult in the room.
RUSH: Well, okay. Maybe better just to keep going here. Hemmer then said, “Well, what did you think of Mitt Romney’s plea from Utah yesterday?”
KASICH: I think part of Mitt Romney’s plea was way over the top. I just don’t believe you beat Donald Trump by smearing him. I think you have to have a bigger vision. If you spend your time trashing somebody else, you’re not giving ’em hope. Mitt said some policy things that were exactly right, but I’m not gonna call names.
RUSH: (imitating Kasich) “No, no, ’cause I’m the adult in the room and gotta stop all this bickering over there. I’m the guy that works with the school board and I’m the guy that works with the governor, the legislature, and you gotta come together and you’ve gotta get these done local, just I’ve done it before, you know, I’ve been in Washington, was the Budget Committee, and you know what, I was with Reagan, I knew Reagan. These guys they talk about Reagan, I was there with Reagan in the eighties.”
And I sat up, and I said, what? I didn’t know that. I didn’t know Kasich was part of the Reagan eighties in an official political capacity. Nobody said anything about it. So I guess he tried a Lloyd Bentsen type answer, but he held up short, he assumed everybody knew what he was talking about and let everybody fill in the blank in the last answer.