Election 2020

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Cleveland Convention But Were Afraid to Ask

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

In an effort to clear up confusion about the convention process, the Republican National Committee (RNC) launched a new website Thursday morning, detailing what happens at the Republican National Convention, which will take place July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Confusion is rampant, as Donald Trump has complained about the “random number” of delegates he needs to win. Mitt Romney endorsed Ted Cruz, merely to make sure Trump does not win enough delegates to prevent a contested convention. John Kasich, who cannot numerically win enough delegates to take the nomination outright, has openly declared that his only hope to win the race is at the convention.

ConventionFacts.gop seeks to answer the “increased interest and curiosity about how the convention works in general,” RNC spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told PJ Media in an email statement. “This site explains the process.”

Website Screenshot

Website Screenshot

If no candidate has a majority of delegates (1,237 or more) by the convention, it will be an “open convention,” meaning the nomination has not yet been decided. The entire process is meant to be very transparent, so that no matter who emerges as the candidate, there can be no cries of foul play.

Walters insisted that, in the case of an open convention, the process to determine the nominee will be civil and open. “Delegates elected by voters and/or their peers will engage in a democratic process to select a nominee and it will all be on live TV,” the RNC spokeswoman wrote.

Walters would not say whether the RNC considers an open convention likely. “The only thing that’s predictable is that this race is unpredictable so we won’t engage in hypotheticals,” she wrote. “That said we’re prepared for all scenarios but we think it’s important to let voters vote and for the process to play out.”

Next Page: 5 Simple, But Important Facts Everyone Should Know About the Convention

The website’s home page lays out five simple, yet important facts about the convention in July:

1. What the convention is.

Every four years, the Republican Party comes together “to determine the Party Platform, vote on the rules to govern the Party, and to nominate candidates for President and Vice President.”

2. Who delegates are, and what they do.

Delegates to the convention are “selected and empowered at the grassroots level by their peers to represent their state or territory.” The website explains that there are 2,472 delegates overall.

3. What it takes to become the nominee.

In no uncertain terms, the website explains that “a candidate must win the votes of a majority of delegates to secure the nomination.” This means that 1,237 is not a “random number,” as Donald Trump once called it, but “50% + 1 of the 2,472 Convention delegates.” Most delegates will be “bound” to vote for one candidate in particular, at least on the first ballot, based on how their state or territory voted.

4. How the rules are determined.

The rules of the convention are “unique to each Convention and voted upon by the delegates,” the website explains. This may seem arbitrary to those unfamiliar with the process, but it makes sense, since this convention determines nearly every defining feature of the Republican Party.

5. What the RNC does and does not do.

The website stresses that the Republican National Committee “plays a purely administrative role at the convention, ensuring that the rules and processes are carried out in a transparent manner.”