How could a brokered convention impact RNC plans?

Six months until RNC invades Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- The first caucus vote or primary ballot has yet to be cast. 

But the scrambled political landscape to see who the Republicans will nominate is prompting more and more media speculation that there may be no clear-cut favorite at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Donald Trump is leading in the polls and fending off a challenge from Ted Cruz for the angry voters who want dramatic change.

John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush are battling to see if one will emerge as the establishment Republican candidate.

READ MORE Local bars, restaurants to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. during RNC

So what if the next few months do not produce a clear-cut nominee, and it's a wide open tussle in Cleveland?

Many Republicans downplay that possibility but acknowledge it's something the party must be ready for just in case.

Kirsten Kukowski, the spokesperson for the RNC Committee on Arrangements that is planning the committee, compares it to Republicans having to be ready for a hurricane at the Tampa convention in 2012.

Ohio's Republican Chairman Matt Borges says, "We aren't going to have a contested convention...We're going to have a nominee...There has not been a single ballot cast."

But what could the impact of a contested convention be?

Is it possible more than 50,000 people will descend on Cleveland? More than 15,000 media members?

Could some players arrive early to try and hammer out nominee-making deals?

A contested convention might mean less time for parties and extracurricular events, posing financial losses and logistical changes.

READ MORE | Secret Service agent downplays RNC security disruption

And what about security?

Protecting and providing secure quarters for one known nominee is a big challenge.

The deluxe 15th floor of the Cleveland Clinic's InterContinental Hotel is being made over in expectation of hosting the nominee and their team.

That is the only Cleveland hotel that now meets Secret Service requirements.

How would protecting multiple possible nominees complicate things?

The nominee's team helps script the convention's events. No clear choice may mean more work for Republican planners.

READ MORE | Local firm and Tri-C partner to create RNC security jobs

And could there be an impact on fundraising?

Cleveland must still come up with a big chunk of the promised $64 million towards the convention. History shows the final leg of fundraising becomes easier if donors are excited about a chosen candidate.

Chairman Borges predicts, "We'll end up with a candidate who has a more unifying message, someone like John Kasich."

Thus far, both Republican and Democratic campaigns have followed the rule "expect the unexpected."

A contested convention is still a long shot, but contingency plans are being made.

 


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