As Ted Cruz continues to accumulate a sufficient number of delegates to give Donald Trump some competition, the Republicans are edging closer to Mitt Romney’s proposed solution to his party’s Donald Trump problem. Romney thinks Republicans need a brokered convention. Candidate John Kasich agrees. “What’s the big deal about that, other than it’s exciting?” Kasich told ABC’s This Week. “Think about how much education our kids are going to get about the way in which we pick a president … I think it will be very cool.”
In order for Romney and Kasich’s wish to come true, it would mean that no candidates received the necessary 1,237 delegates. The convention in Cleveland would require several rounds of voting, with a majority of delegates eventually free to vote for any candidate. Then, through wheeling-and-dealing, they would pick the nominee. Someone other than Trump—presumably.
But holding a brokered convention won’t be very easy in 2016. In contrast to the party convention in House of Cards—in which naming a vice president is left to be decided in a floor fight until Frank Underwood steps in with a Machiavellian plan to restore order—a real convention fight could easily produce the kind of chaos and disillusionment that Democrats experienced after their 1968 Chicago convention, when all hell broke loose over how to handle Vietnam in the party platform. The internal fighting was terribly damaging for the Democrats, and the party left the Windy City feeling that they needed to fundamentally reform the nomination process. Indeed, it was as a result of the 1968 convention that Democrats abandoned the process of selecting nominees in smoke-filled rooms.