There are so many Republicans running for president, or thinking about running for president, that the Republican National Committee is having a hard time keeping track of them all. An official GOP online straw poll lists 36 potential candidates (and as Politico noted, that list actually missed at least two former governors who have said they’re mulling White House bids). Regardless of the final tally, it’s becoming increasingly clear that debate planners will need to come up with creative ways to fit so many podiums on the stage when the candidates first face off in August.
But what makes this election so interesting isn’t just the sheer number of candidates. It’s that it could remain undecided until the GOP’s national convention in the summer of 2016. With so many candidates splitting the vote, it’s quite possible that no candidate gets a majority of delegates by the end of the primary season.
Now, it’s true that political junkies like me hope for a brokered convention every four years — one where backroom deals ultimately decide the eventual nominee. (Read more about brokered conventions here.) Each time, our dreams are ultimately foiled by one candidate who gains momentum through the primary season, causing the others to drop out.