The Republican Party released a video today describing the upcoming Republican National Convention and the party’s role as referee. Featured in the video is Sean Cairncross, Chief Operating Officer of the Republican National Committee.
Cairncross says in the video that “most of the delegates are grassroots,” and that one man and one woman represents each of the state parties represented at the convention. He argues that delegates at the coming convention in Cleveland would not want to be held to rules used in the past, he says that the rules change from convention to convention. Cairncross noted that nominees selected at conventions in the past have gone on to win general elections, citing Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon.
“But maybe you still don’t understand why’s all this necessary? Why can’t the rules stay the same for each convention? Listen, if you were a delegate you wouldn’t want to be governed by the rules of past conventions. There’s no reason that the rules that governed Romney’s delegates should be used to govern you. After all, this is a new convention for new candidates.”
Currently, Donald Trump has won 18 states and 739 delegates in the primaries he has won so far. Sen. Ted Cruz has won eight states, including Texas, and 465 delegates. The doggedly persistent Ohio Gov. John Kasich has won only his home state and 143 delegates. Up for grabs are the 171 delegates sworn to Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out last month.
If the delegates already committed to Trump, for instance, fail to vote for him in the first round of votes at the convention this July, the succeeding ballots are wide open. By enticing delegates away from Trump, Cruz could wind up the nominee on a second or third ballot.
Currently, the convention rules hold that a nominee must have won at least eight states to be considered a candidate at the convention. In today’s video, that rule may also be in question.
According to the Washington Examiner, Sen. Cruz may have secured many Arizona delegates who may support him over Trump at the convention. David Drucker at the Washington Examiner wrote today that Cruz “who ever since Iowa has played a stealthy ground game in contrast to Trump's chaotic populism, is taking steps to snatch the Republican presidential nomination from The Donald at the convention in July.”
Trump won the Arizona primary in March and took all 58 of the state's delegates. That's nearly 5 percent of the 1,237 Trump needs for the nomination, but they are only tied are to him on the first ballot at the convention. Currently, Cruz is recruiting among the available 55 delegates, who along with the other three delegate positions filled by party leaders, would be allowed to vote for him in a multi-ballot contested convention.