What is a brokered convention? Will we have one during this election?
If no candidate makes it to the convention with the number
of delegates needed to receive the nomination of his or her party, the
convention could be decided by special party leaders who are known as
"super delegates." These delegates are members of Congress, state
legislators, governors, and ex-presidents. These party leaders may make deals
depending on who gets what position in a Democratic administration, what bills
might be supported in the next Congress, and who is willing to compromise on the
choice of nominee. Delegates who will vote for their state's popular vote winner
are called "pledged" delegates because they are promised to the
state's winner. Barak Obama has suggested that the super delegates vote to
nominate the person with the most delegates coming into the convention.
It is possible that we may see a brokered convention for the Democratic convention in August. The Republicans already have a presumptive nominee in John McCain as of this writing (February 12, 2008, the day of the Potomac/Chesapeake primaries). Their convention will be more like a coronation, even though McCain lacks the support of his party's right wing, made up of evangelical Christians, who seem to be keeping Mike Huckabee's candidacy alive.