Author Topic: History of GOP Brokered Conventions  (Read 1066 times)

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Offline Calvin6s

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History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« on: March 29, 2016, 11:26:59 PM »
Year:  GOP Convention winner - result in General Election - link to wiki Primary and Convention
1860:  Lincoln wins (Convention)
1876:  Hayes wins (Convention)
1880:  Garfield wins (Convention)
1884:  Blaine loses to Cleveland (Convention)
1888:  Harrison wins (Convention)
1916:  Hughes loses to Wilson (Primary) (Convention)
1920:  Harding wins (Primary) (Convention)
1940:  Willkie loses to FDR (Primary) (Convention)
1948:  Dewey loses to Truman (Primary) (Convention)
1952:  Eisenhower wins (Primary) (Convention)

Not official, but in the spirit:
1976:  Ford loses (Primary) (Convention)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 04:30:14 AM by Calvin6s »
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 11:42:57 PM »
The original post opens up the table of contents for discussion.  So I will point out some of the things I've observed.

First, it wasn't until 1916 that we even had some type of primary (popular vote by state).  So the first 5 brokered conventions do not apply to this year's scenario.  Apples and Oranges.

So that makes the record of brokered convention to general election win ratio: 3 losses to 2 wins
The two wins
Eisenhower
Harding

Harding frequently ranks in the bottom of most US President lists.  Side note, he only had 4.5% of the popular vote during the primaries.  Hiram Johnson won the popular vote.

But are the 5 20th century brokered conventions comparable to this year's GOP primary cycle?  No.  Click on the 1952 Primary link above and you will find that the "popular vote" only represented 12 of 48 states.  The other 36 did not have a primary at all.

So think about this the next time you hear about how well brokered conventions work and how it has always been this way.  It hasn't.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline portnoy311

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 01:18:08 AM »
1976.

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 03:02:06 AM »
1976 has always been referred to more as a close call than brokered convention.  Ford led and was a mere 9 votes shy of the majority.  Reagan was infinitely closer to Ford than Cruz is and is most likely to be.

But, that would increase the defeat rate making it 4 losses to 2 wins of the 6 brokered conventions of the 20th century where actual primary voting started to become *a thing*.

It is always surprising when people point to a year the party in question loses as an example of how things work out for the best.  It is like the Democrats using 1980 as an example of how conventions work out for the best.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline portnoy311

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 03:40:29 AM »
I didn't say it worked out for the best, I just posted a year, lol. It was quite literally a contested convention (if not a brokered convention in the technical sense). Reagan even tried to make Ford have to declare his running mate before votes were taken, hoping that would harm Ford.

I think your takeaway is incorrect though, contested conventions happen historically because of weak frontrunners. Not that the convention itself was the cause of the weak chances.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 04:13:32 AM by portnoy311 »

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 04:02:35 AM »
I believe 1976 wasn't technically brokered.

This thread is taking the oft-repeated phrase of the week that contested / brokered conventions usually end up for the better frequently stating that 6 of 10 end up in victory. Further stating it has never been about the favored (leading) candidate via the will of the people (voting).  Rather than just being a parrot, I decided to check into the claim.  It is simplistic and misleading.  The claim completely disregards that primary voting wasn't even part of the process for at least half.  And the other half, it is only in a few states.

As far as it being more about a weak candidate than the contest itself, that's completely disregarding a party trying to sabotage its own primary process.  It would be like claiming a car that was far out ahead would have lost the race even if the president of NASCAR didn't shoot out the tires.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline portnoy311

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2016, 04:08:30 AM »
I haven't really been around much so I'm not sure what all has been said. 1976 wasn't brokered technically since Ford won the first ballot, but it was contested in that the nominee was chosen at the convention. The convention started without a nominee. Reagan didn't give in to Ford until the last possible moment. That's all I'm getting at. Technically, no not brokered but the party wasn't rallied around Ford at this time in the cycle.

I disagree. Trump isn't going to be President, and that's not because of Romney. He's just not set up to do well in the GE. Same with Ford.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 04:14:48 AM by portnoy311 »

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2016, 04:17:25 AM »
Looking up some of this stuff is tough, but it looks like 1972 was the first serious primary cycle for the GOP.  Where all the states had a primary (or caucus of the people) vote.  That was an incumbent year.  So the first time it was truly tested was 1976.

The sources don't come right out and say it, but it appears to be the case.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2016, 04:28:09 AM »
But the point is, Romney made sure we might never know.  Instead of seeing if that NASCAR racer was going to finish first, he took out his sniper rifle and didn't want events to play out naturally.

The only saving grace is Hillary is an incredibly horrible candidate.  If Sanders had already secured the nomination, I wouldn't have any doubt of his win (other than the completely unforeseen like him getting caught in his grand wizard robe).  An election isn't just about demographic splits.  It is about turnout.  And it is why Kasich does so poorly.  He's the weakest candidate of the 5 remaining.

I stick with the assessment I made what feels like 6+ months ago.  Had one of the candidates with a "traditional" presidential demeanor taken away a couple of Trump's issues, Trump might have faded before they even made it to the first primary (caucus).

But I digress.  This thread is more about the history of the GOP nominating process.  Dem process should be open for discussion as well.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2016, 04:31:45 AM »
Added 1976 with a caveat because it is the closest in modern GOP nominating history.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 04:38:25 AM »
1968 is an interesting year.

Reagan had more of the popular vote than anybody, but that is misleading because only 12 states had primaries which put the heavily populated CA win for Reagan as a skewed result.  CA was his only win (of the 12).  Nixon was the only candidate to win more than 1 state.

But if you notice, it shows Nixon far from the required majority on what appears to not be the first vote, but the pre-first vote tally.  However, he led by quite a bit over Rockefeller, Reagan, Rhodes and one George Romney.  So despite being far from a majority, he was clearly the favorite.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline Stadler

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Re: History of GOP Brokered Conventions
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2016, 09:48:06 AM »
I didn't say it worked out for the best, I just posted a year, lol. It was quite literally a contested convention (if not a brokered convention in the technical sense). Reagan even tried to make Ford have to declare his running mate before votes were taken, hoping that would harm Ford.

I think your takeaway is incorrect though, contested conventions happen historically because of weak frontrunners. Not that the convention itself was the cause of the weak chances.

Bull's-eye.  Whether the "brokered" convention resulted in a win or not is a false equivalency.  You need to isolate whether a) the frontrunner won the nomination or not; b) whether the alternate candidate(s) would have done better than the selected candidate, and c) why and how the candidate was selected. 

As is usual, I think the "conventional wisdom" and the "phrase of the week" are more of the same: over-simplification of an incredibly complicated and case-by-case phenomenon. 

There are too many false assumptions at play here (not least of which is the tired and patently untrue assumption that Trump is hanging EVERYTHING on, and that is that the Primary leader is by definition the best candidate for the General Election). 

This is just bad logic all around.