Second look at a brokered convention?
posted at 3:00 pm on December 9, 2011 by Karl
That’s been a running gag on Allahpundit’s Twitter feed throughout the GOP presidential debate season. But RedState’s Erick Erickson seemed to be serious about it yesterday:
[T]wo stories — the failure of the political press to get the stories right and the failure of the political consultant class to get the candidates right — are not written about enough. And both impact the horserace for 2012. And the muddied stories of both these problems may interweave directly to a brokered convention. I think it is time to move beyond wishful thinking and take seriously the idea of having a brokered convention with someone other than the current crop of candidates becoming the nominee. And that, for the first time, adds a new candidate to this week’s horserace, *** None of the Above.
I think the Weekly Standard’s Jay Cost would be onboard with it, too: ” Our nomination process is a joke. The more I’ve studied the history of nominations, the more convinced I am of its gross inferiority to the past way of doing business. I could go on and on…” Looking at the polls, Nate Silver observes: “Republicans are dangerously close to having none of their candidates be acceptable to both rank-and-file voters and the party establishment. It’s not quite clear what happens when this is the case; there is no particularly good precedent for it…”
Count me as skeptical, especially given the current populist bent of the grassroots GOP. However, since caucuses and primaries came to supplant smoke-filled backrooms of party insiders, the GOP has still continued to nominate establishment candidates. Reagan was arguably an exception, but after Ford declined to enter the race, Reagan was the consensus candidate in public opinion polling and “next in line” after nearly beating Ford for the nomination in 1976. The only question is how much worse the establishment candidates would be if not checked by grassroots sentiment.
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