Republican leaders bracing for brokered convention in Cleveland

Ohio hasn't hosted a presidential convention since 1936 and the Republican convention coming to the city in 2016 may be a lot more dramatic, judging by how Republican leaders are talking.

Robert Costa and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post reported today that Republican leaders are preparing for a brokered convention.

Since the primary system started, there haven’t been many of those. The last one was in 1952 when Democrats chose Adlai Stevenson on the third ballot. In recent history, both parties go into the convention already knowing the nominee.

The Washington Post story today says more than 20 GOP leaders including party chairman Reince Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met in D.C. to discuss the possibility of a divided party heading to Cleveland this summer.

"This emerging consensus at the highest levels of the Republican Party about how the 2016 race could unfold comes after a fresh wave of polls showing Trump leading in early voting states and nationally, even as he continues to unleash incendiary comments such as his proposal to block Muslims from entering the United States. It also marks the close of a months-long chapter in the campaign when a brokered convention was considered a fanciful concept rather than a possibility that merited serious review by the party’s top leaders,” the article reads.

One of the issues contributing to the uncertainty is the high number of candidates still in the race for the nomination. Super PAC money has allowed many candidates, some polling as low as 1-3 percent, to stay in the race long after many political experts and others say they should have dropped out.Republican Party members are meeting in January in South Carolina to discuss the convention, just weeks before voting starts in Iowa on Feb. 1.

BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Presidential candidates Donald Trump speaks during the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at University of Colorados Coors Events Center October 28, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado. Fourteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the third set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Donald Trump even told the post he’s preparing for a brokered convention.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a brokered convention. But if it is, I’d certainly go all the way — and I think I’d have a certain disadvantage,” he said.

“I’ll be disadvantaged,” he continued. “The deal-making, that’s my advantage. My disadvantage is that I’d be going up against guys who grew up with each other, who know each other intimately and I don’t know who they are, okay? That’s a big disadvantage. . . . These kind of guys stay close. They all know each other. They want each other to win.”

Read the full Washington Post story here.

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