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From the Hill

April 22, 2016

As the primaries begin to near their end over the next two months, the conventions begin to creep into sight. With the Republican National Convention taking place in Cleveland from July 18th through the 21st and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25th to the 28th, they will certainly be events to watch. Although the Democratic National Convention will be interesting, the Republican National Convention will be downright fascinating due to the fact that there is a huge possibility that it will be a contested convention.

As of April 20th, Donald Trump continues to lead with 845 of the delegates, Ted Cruz follows with 559 and John Kasich carries the rear with 148. To secure the nomination, a candidate needs to be the first to reach 1,237 delegates. As of press time, there are still 733 delegates up for grabs. It is important to remember that, although the Democrats have super delegates, every delegate on the Republicans side is a pledged delegate. Although he is mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination through the primaries, Cruz is planning on creating a contested convention in order to continue the fight for the Republican nomination.

To fully understand how that will work, you must first understand what a contested convention is. A contested convention occurs when no candidates have secured a majority of the delegates. When this happens, the pledged delegates are able to switch their allegiances to whomever they wish. This leads to campaigns attempting to court the delegates over to their side before the final vote is taken by the Republican National Committee at the convention. The last time that a contested convention occurred on the Republican side was the 1952 Republican National Convention in Chicago, where Dwight Eisenhower went up against Ohio Senator Robert Taft, California Governor Earl Warren, and General Douglas MacArthur. Eisenhower would win a majority of the votes and run alongside vice presidential nominee Richard Nixon, later defeating Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson with 442 electoral votes compared to Stevensons 89.

After losing New York in a landslide to Trump on Tuesday, the only way for Cruz to receive the nomination is to have a contested convention. To do this, Kasich and Cruz will have to deny Trump as many delegates as they can to ensure that he does not reach 1,237 delegates before the last primary. If they can do this, the decision will come down to the delegates at the convention to decide.

Jacob Marx
Political Columnist

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