But as the delegates game out scenarios for an unpredictable floor fight, they concede that there’s no way to know if they’ll embrace the power to pick the nominee granted to them under GOP rules, or fold under immense public and private pressure and throw the GOP nod to Trump, the likely top candidate in raw votes and primaries won.
The Republicans haven’t been in this position since 1976; it’s been even longer since a GOP convention featured more than one round of balloting. Delegates concede that social media harassment and an international media spotlight scrutinizing their every move — and vote — could impact decision making in Cleveland.
“If it is an open convention, no matter what happens, it’s going to be a pressure-cooker in there,” Blaise Ingoglia, the Florida Republican Party chairman, said this week in an interview with the Washington Examiner. Ingoglia is a delegate, and under his state party’s unique rules is bound to vote for Trump, the winner of Florida’s March 15 primary, on the first three rounds of balloting.