Political junkies, take heart: A brokered convention is possible, if improbable. Using Rhodes Cook’s delegate count, I’ve made a spreadsheet that tabulates the results of different primary outcomes. If you use some imagination — but not too much — you can allocate the delegates in such a way that no candidate wins on the first ballot.
To secure the nomination, a candidate must get “a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the convention,” according to GOP rules. Cook predicts there will be a total of 2,282 delegates*, so a candidate needs 1,142 votes to win. Here’s a not-impossible outcome: Mitt Romney wins 1,131 delegates, Newt Gingrich gets 954, and Ron Paul wins 181.
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