Because the RNC has been accumulating a war chest to use in the general election, “I don’t think a brokered convention would be detrimental to the candidate,” says Phyllis Woods, national committeewoman for New Hampshire.
Priscilla Rakestraw, national committeewoman for Delaware, agrees — to a certain extent. “A brokered convention is an advantage probably only to the viewing public,” she says, “and perhaps to the point that it adds additional excitement and electricity to the convention.”
Although she believes Romney will ultimately win, Rakestraw adds that she’s concerned with the tone the other candidates have taken recently. “I think from time to time they’ve forgotten who they’re running against. They’re not running against their fellow Republican; they’re running against President Obama.”
“I’m an agnostic on whether a contested convention would be a good thing or a bad thing,” says John Ryder, national committeeman for Tennessee. “The idea of the delegates elected by primary voters throughout the country making actual decisions is not a bad thing — in terms of small-r republican principles. On the other hand, the convention finishes on August 30, and early voting starts in many states 30 days after that. I think our candidate’s going to need more time to lay out the case against Barack Obama.”
Solomon Yue, national committeeman for Oregon, thinks the chances for a contested convention are slim, and for evidence he cites the lack of lobbying of RNC members by the candidates. “In 2008, I helped to organize RNC members for Mitt Romney, and we had 87 supporters,” he says. “Nothing is happening this year.” The reason, he suspects, is that the Romney campaign is confident it can win the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination without a “buffer” of super delegates.
For now, the prospect of a contested convention remains mere speculation, albeit speculation that brings a gleam to the eyes of some conservatives.
— Brian Bolduc is an editorial associate for National Review.