February 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm
Front runner Mitt Romney’s weakness as a candidate threatens to create a worst-case scenario for Republicans in Tampa this summer. If the primary drags on with no clear winner by August, the convention in Tampa could be thrown into confusion.
The last time the Republicans had what’s called a brokered convention, it was 1948. After three rounds of balloting, New York Governor Thomas Dewey secured the nomination. But contrary to the infamous headline, it was Democrat Harry Truman who won the election.
“It’s not a good thing for the party and it’s not a good thing for the election,” says GOP strategist April Schiff of Tampa.
Schiff believes a contested convention, in which no candidate comes to Tampa with the required majority of delegates, is unlikely. But if it happens, many will blame Mitt Romney.
“He still has an effect on people, and it’s not warm and fuzzy. It’s not bringing people in,” says Schiff.
In a contested convention, the delegates would get a chance to reconsider their favorite candidate among the remaining four and vote again.
But in a truly brokered convention, a brand new candidate comes forward. Pundits mention popular Republicans like Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, all of whom had said they are not interested in running.
But Ken Jones, President of the convention host committee in Tampa believes there is a definite upside to the uncertainty.
“When there’s a presumptive nominee very early, there’s advantages to that. But there’s also disadvantages to that in terms of the host city. It just becomes another routine event. This time, it’s not just another routine event,” said Jones.