Conventions are a major part of our great American Democracy. You might already be hearing about the prospect of a contested convention this year due to so many candidates running to be the Democratic nominee running against President Trump. It’s unlikely anyone in the Republican party who wishes to jump in will have any chance to gain momentum. As for the Democrats, there are plenty of big personalities looking to take the top job, so you might be in the mood to buy a bunch of patriotic merchandise.
What Exactly is a Contested Convention?
Usually, a convention is used as a way for each respective party to put their stamp of approval and celebrate who their candidate will be going into the presidential election. By this time, a candidate should’ve already taken enough delegates to be considered the nominee. Except, that’s not always what happens. Sometimes the delegates can be split between two or more candidates by the time of the convention. That means that the convention is contested. This very scenario may very well happen this year at the Democratic National Convention.
With plenty of rumors swirling about who might jump into the ring late or even take the top spot, it looks increasingly likely we’re facing a contested convention. During a convention, the delegates themselves are on the floor and put their votes toward who they want to be the nominee. If you’re bound to a certain candidate because you already declared for them, then you must vote for that candidate.
If a tie happens for that first vote, then a number of the delegates become unbound and can then vote for whoever they choose. The logic here is that someone will change their vote to help declare a winner. If there’s still no winner, then even more delegates become unbound. The cycle continues until a clear winner gets the party’s nomination.
History of the Contested Convention
Contested conventions aren’t a frequent part of the election process. They have happened, but such conventions have been rare. By the time the event is getting near, there’s almost always someone leading the pack of candidates in delegates. You’ll have to look way back to 1952 to see what happened during our last contested convention. In 1984, there was a close call between Gary Hart and Walter Mondale. Mondale ended up winning the Democratic nomination. Ultimately Mondale lost to Ronald Reagan.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens this year. These days, it seems as if anything can happen. The country is more divided than ever, but so is the Democratic party. There appears to be a new socialist wing trying to overtake the dominant moderates who currently control things. Younger people are coming out in support of the socialist candidates, which means it can be a tossup.
With the recent inclusion of Michael Bloomberg, the DNC has been making special rules to allow Bloomberg to participate in the next debate despite not meeting the requirements. This shows the DNC’s desperation for someone with means to take out the surging Bernie Sanders. Bernie’s support has only grown since 2016, while the previous frontrunner, Former Vice President Joe Biden, seems to be losing support.
The 2020 Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place July 13-16, but it will be here quicker than we realize. The candidate who gets at least 1,990 delegates to pledge themselves to him or her will result in a first-ballot finish. While things look up in the air right now, there’s still a lot of time for one candidate to gain momentum and the lead.
If you’re too excited about the conventions this year, go ahead and visit https://www.shieldrepublic.com/ to buy your candidate’s favorite patriotic merchandise! They’ll thank you for your support!
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