Michael Steele: There's a 50-50 chance of a brokered convention

“It’s a real possibility,” Steele told HuffPost. “Right now I’d say it’s 50-50. The base wants its chance to have their say. They aren’t going to want it to end early, before they get their chance, which means that the process could go all the way to Tampa.”

And if it does, Steele says, the result will not be an unpalatable anti-democratic display of insider deal-making, but rather an advertisement for the ideological and grassroots input of the party.

“You would see the people who had the influence to begin with — the Tea Party, the social conservatives, you name it, hashing it out right in front of us all. I think that is good.”