The Donald Trump campaign has taken steps to start a “two-phase” strategy to guarantee Trump’s victory at a potentially contested convention in Cleveland in July, according to NBC News on Friday.
Barry Bennett, a former campaign manager for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson who is leading Trump’s delegate strategy, told NBC News that “phase one” is wooing “unbound delegates.”
He estimated to NBC a candidate could “put together 50 to 75 delegates” before the convention.
A candidate must win a majority of 1,237 primary delegates to ensure the presidential nomination, but if no majority can be reached, all bets are off.
“You’ve got 40 days between the last primary and the convention to go woo the appropriate number of unbound delegates,” Bennett added.
To clinch his victory at the convention, according to NBC News, Trump has expanded his team to include his general counsel and former FEC commissioner Don McGahn, former Carson aides Jason Osborne and Ed Brookover, who is a former RNC political director.
An anonymous source described phase two as making sure every delegate continues to remain with Trump if a second ballot is required.
“Our goal is to make sure every delegate Trump has now stays a Trump delegate on the second ballot,” the source told NBC News.
Bennett said “negotiations” with delegates will happen in the later balloting as well.
“It’s every man and woman for themselves and that’s when the negotiations start,” he told NBC.