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How the #GOPConvention Rules and Delegates Would Work

Image Courtesy Phil Skinner, ajc.com

If you’re a political junkie like me and have been a little bit more concerned than usual about how things might go at the RNC National Convention this summer, fear not, based on what the man pictured above had to say to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the past few days.

His name is Randy Evans, and his bio reads thusly:

Randy Evans is the chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association, a member of the Republican National Committee, as well as a member of the RNC’s rules and debate committees. He has served as outside counsel for two U.S. House speakers, Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert, and was a top advisor to Gingrich during his 2012 presidential run.

Evans has also presided over debate at every Georgia Republican Convention that most of us can remember. In other words, his interpretation of rules and bylaws matter.

The AJC went into quite a bit of detail over five questions they asked him about the upcoming convention — it’s worth a full read here.

The newspaper also spoke about the happenings from today’s delegate conventions. Of note, here’s a synopsis of how Mr. Evans sees things:

Evans also addressed four changes to convention rules that are likely to be considered at an April meeting of the RNC:

— One would unbind all delegates. That’s unlikely to pass.

— Currently, a candidate must win a majority of delegates in eight states to have his name placed in nomination at the Cleveland convention. Proposals have been made to change that to five, or even three. This would benefit Gov. John Kasich, who has won only his home state of Ohio so far.

“I have consistently said if you play seven innings of a ball game, you need to finish the last two innings with the same rules you started with,” Evans said.

— A third rule change proposal would permit candidates to pledge delegates. This would allow two to combine forces and broker the main outcomes of the convention – both the nomination of a presidential candidate and selection of his running mate. Evans indicated he’s likely to oppose that, too, because it would reduce the clout of individual delegates.

On his existing trajectory, Evans said, billionaire Donald Trump is likely to enter Cleveland 75 or 100 short of the 1,237 needed for outright nomination.

And then these two thoughts, especially regarding former Gov. Romney:

“It’s ‘way more likely than not that we end up with a presumptive nominee. It’s not that I know some inside secret. It’s that I know how the process that I designed actually works,” Evans said.

“It’s why I chuckled when I heard Governor Romney talk about strategic voting. Cause I told him it might be helpful if he first knew how it worked before he started recommending how people could strategically vote.”

Both links are worth a full read.

As always, it’s not quite as crazy as talking heads make it out to be.

-Phil

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