Now, to be clear, I don't expect a brokered convention. I don't expect a late savior entry. I expect that after a very bumpy ride Mitt Romney will amass enough delegates to secure the nomination and that will be it.
But we're hearing enough (highly unrealistic) talk about late entries or brokered conventions that it's worth giving a look to just what the rules governing these quite unlikely scenarios would be.
One scenario I already know ain't going to happen: the late entrant scenario. Our team looked at the filing deadlines in all the states a few weeks ago. And upshot is that it's simply too late. In a big chunk of the states, the filing deadlines have passed. You can't get on the ballot. And in a week or so more, most of the big states will be closed. So even if Ronald Reagan rose from the dead and wanted to get in, he just couldn't get on the ballot in enough states.
So what about the brokered convention? Two key questions come to mind. And I don't know the answers to these yet, though I think we'll probably put a reporter on the question tomorrow. First, do the rules allow the convention to choose a nominee who has not run in any state contests? And how much freedom do the individual delegates have under this year's rules at the convention? Can they decide to vote for whoever they want or are they bound to vote for the candidate they were selected to represent? And do the rules change after one or more ballots?
In the real world, I think the whole scenario just wouldn't fly in this day and age. Romney, Newt and Santorum spend hundreds of millions of dollars, get tons of people to the polls and it all ends up with nominating Mitch Daniels by acclimation in Tampa? I just don't see that.
But again, curious to know just what the rules are.