Diary

CLEVELAND, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Why the Convention MUST get to a Second Ballot

DON’T DRINK THE DRANO YET!

The most important factoid yet, while I’m digging through all the stats:

Donald Trump is wildly, wildly unpopular with Republican voters. Despite having amassed a plurality of the Primary Vote thus far, the Anti-Trump Vote is almost TWICE AS LARGE IN TOTAL TERMS:

As of 11:06PM, March 15, the total votes cast thus far are:

TRUMP:  6,492,202

EVERYONE ELSE:  11,378,071

While direct Primary-to-Primary results are difficult (owing to the vagaries of the election calendar in 2012 and now, changes in election formats, etc.), at this point in the voting process four years ago, this is what it looked like:

ROMNEY:   6,018,802

EVERYONE ELSE:   5,365,337

Clearly, there was a consensus building around Mitt Romney by this time in the Primary Process. The only consensus building in 2016 is that DONALD TRUMP IS DISLIKED ALMOST 2:1 OVER ALL OF HIS RIVALS. The other interesting thing is how many more people are voting in general…

…The OTHER interesting thing is that, yes, Donald Trump is pulling new people to the polls– Mostly to vote against him.

This is why Political Parties hold conventions: To avoid situations where a despised politician is given the nomination– not to “thwart the will of the people”. In this case, the “will of the people” is manifestly NOT Donald Trump. The Republican Party, after all, is a political party, with rules, codicils, meetings, and so on: It is not a governmental entity, bound by laws of the state. These conventions are called not to perform a coronation, but to choose the best candidate. Otherwise, we would simply put the guy that won the most votes on the general election ballot, and be done with the whole convention process.

But, we don’t. If the “will of the people” was the paramount concern, we should have given the election of 2000, by the way, to Al Gore, who won the popular vote by almost 300,000. But, again, there are rules in place…

I will remind you that many presidents in the past were chosen by late-ballot elections. It took 50-some ballots to choose James K. Polk as the standard bearer that year. Woodrow Wilson was a dark horse, too. There are many others that went on the represent their parties after many successive ballots at their various conventions. Some were great candidates, some weren’t– but they best represented their parties.

Donald Trump does not. Not by a long shot.