Breaking down a brokered convention situation

Randy Evans of the Republican National Lawyers Association breaks down what happens if a GOP candidate doesn't reach 1,237 delegates.

What Happens if 'Magic Number' 1,237 Isn't Reached by a GOP Candidate?

By Election

Talks are swirling about the possibility of a contested convention, despite Donald Trump being the clear frontrunner in the GOP race for the presidential nomination.

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During an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Varney & Co., Randy Evans, a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association, explained what happens if no candidate acquires 1,237 delegates on the first ballot.

“Well really we just go to the second ballot and the third ballot,” Evans said. “The real challenge is that every state is completely different on how long they bind their delegates. So, for example, here in Georgia as a delegate you’re bound by two ballots. In Florida, you’re bound by three ballots. There are some states where delegates remain bound until the candidate releases them.”

Evans added: “You do have to be supported by the majority of eight states in order to get your name in nomination. So it won’t be just anybody that they can vote for. It would have to be the majority of eight states to stand up and say we support this candidate. We’d like to place that name in nomination in order to even be eligible to receive votes in the convention tally.”

The candidates still have a few months to go before the Republican National Convention, scheduled to be held in mid-July in Cleveland, Ohio.

When asked if the GOP would lose if the candidate who has the most delegates is not the nominee, Evans responded:

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“It’s happened before. If fact, most times when a candidate goes into the convention and they don’t have enough to be presumptive—in other words they’re not within 75 or 100 or so—someone else ends up being the nominee.

Evans suggested Trump has a high probability of becoming the Party’s nominee.

“I just think that unless something really strange happens, I think you’re going to see Donald Trump either get to the 1,237 or in the alternative, based on my calculations, I think he’ll end up about 75 delegates short. But, you’ll have 100-150 delegates that are unbound. He should be able to win it on the first ballot if the current trajectories continue.”

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