The Corner

The Case Against Cruz at a Contested Convention

In response to Edwards

Ramesh writes:

What’s the case that the delegates should also reject the second-place finisher in this scenario? Near as I can tell, it’s a) that a lot of Republican officials dislike Cruz and b) that they have a hunch he would lose the election. Nei­ther of those things seem like a good reason for nominating someone who got fewer votes, or no votes, in the primaries.

I guess this is where we disagree, because I think those are two excellent reasons. Why should delegates feel any obligation to nominate someone who will have trouble eliciting enthusiasm both inside the party and outside of it?

This is exactly the kind of situation that the convention system was designed for: One or more candidates have a large base of support but are opposed by the majority. If Trump can’t persuade 1,237 delegates that he’s the best choice, he doesn’t deserve the nomination. The same goes for Cruz. And if any Republican—Kasich, Ryan, Romney, whoever—can win over that many delegates, he does deserve the nomination. That’s why we hold conventions with living, breathing human delegates—to find a candidate that a majority of the party can get behind. Otherwise the GOP should just abandon the charade and adopt a point system, like NASCAR.

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