Politico reignited talk of some GOP leaders pining for a “fresh face” nominee who would win during a later ballot in a contested primary.
That “fresh face” would be Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
One of the nation’s best-wired Republicans, with an enviable prediction record for this cycle, sees a 60 percent chance of a convention deadlock and a 90 percent chance that delegates turn to Ryan — ergo, a 54 percent chance that Ryan, who’ll start the third week of July as chairman of the Republican National Convention, will end it as the nominee.
“He’s the most conservative, least establishment member of the establishment,” the Republican source said. “That’s what you need to be.”
Ryan has on several occasions, including most recently as this morning, said that he’s not interested and that the nominee should be someone who ran for President.
Monday morning on Hugh Hewitt’s show Ryan said, “People put my name in this thing, I said, ‘Get my name out of that.’ This is — if you want to be president, you should go run for president. And that is the way I see it.”
Look, as I see it, this is a pipe dream.
First, Donald Trump needs to be stopped from getting 1237 before the convention, something I think becomes extremely likely if he loses the Wisconsin Primary on Tuesday.
Second, if Trump doesn’t reach 1237 then Cruz and Trump will likely be very close in delegates. Then this “fresh face” candidate needs to overcome Cruz’s organization who has been busy recruiting and picking up delegates. Donald Trump has been able to win bound delegates, but he’s been largely ineffective at winning delegates who will be loyal to him on the second ballot. Cruz has not had that issue.
Third, Rule 40, which requires candidates to have a majority of delegates from eight states or territories in order to be placed on the first ballot, would need to be totally scuttled. There could be no minimum threshold at all for a “fresh face” candidate to even make it on the first ballot, let alone win the nomination.
Fourth, even if there is not a minimum threshold the likelihood that a “fresh face” delegate with few or no delegates pledged to him (there are only about 100 or so that are unbound before the first ballot – and Cruz has been working to snap a lot of those up) would place last on the first ballot is high. The thing to remember is that most of the candidates with 10 or fewer delegates have already released their delegates or some states if a candidate suspends their campaign reallocates them. To my knowledge, Rubio is the only candidate who has asked state parties to keep his delegates bound. So with no minimum threshold you would have Trump, Cruz, Kasich and Rubio on the ballot along with the “fresh face” and that person would have fewer delegates than the remaining four. They would be dropped off after the first ballot. So the chances of a “fresh face” even making it to the second ballot I believe is slim and none.
Unless they do some major gymnastics with the rules (like suspending them) which frankly I don’t see happening because even GOP leadership understands they would have have a rebellion on their hands.