Reports of Republican officials convening a closed-door session over the possibility of a deadlocked convention are feeding speculation over what happens if 19 weeks of primaries, caucuses and conventions leave a muddled picture. The past nine Republican conventions began with a presumptive nominee. And the chances of delegates arriving at the convention in Cleveland next July with no clear nominee remain small. But the odds are no longer infinitesimal thanks to the multicandidate field, required early proportional voting, and the fact that only 16.2% of the delegates will have been chosen in decisive, winner-take-all contests. Three convention scenarios can emerge after 56 states and territories choose their delegates between Feb. 1 and June 7: There will be a clear winner, a bunched up field of several candidates, or a leader who can’t get a majority of delegates on the first ballot. The latter two scenarios would make Cleveland uncharted territory.
… In any case, what there will not be is a “brokered” convention. There are no “brokers” left in the Republican Party. Closest to that status will be candidates who win some delegates before having to “suspend” their campaigns, but are able to come back at the convention with first-ballot leverage, or perhaps special-interest-group leaders whose members are delegates.
An early test of candidate strength will be votes at the credentials and rules committees the week before the convention. The very earliest test will be the selection at next spring’s state conventions of which delegates serve on these committees. Campaigns organized state-by-state to elect delegates loyal to them for these committees will fare best in Cleveland.
The credentials committee will hear challenges—over issues such as flawed state-convention procedures or a delegate’s true party registration—to delegate slates and individual delegates, a potentially decisive role in an unsettled convention.
Full Article: Flirting With a Chaotic GOP Convention – WSJ.