5 facts about brokered presidential conventions: Could we have one in 2016?


Political junkies and journalists every four years hope that there is a brokered presidential convention for one of the major parties.

With Republicans having a crowded field of more than 10 candidates, some think that this year that could happen. However, once voters start weighing in in early February in Iowa and New Hampshire, candidates will drop out and the race will take shape. The likelihood of a brokered convention is still a long shot.

Back in December, we reported that Republican leaders are preparing for a brokered convention in Cleveland this July. We won't hold our breath.

Here's a look at 5 facts about brokered conventions as we head into the 2016 election season:

1. The longest nominating convention in U.S. history was in 1924. It took Democrats 103 rounds of voting and it took two weeks. The party ended up nominating Congressman and UK Ambassador John Davis who went on to lose in a landslide to Republican Calvin Coolidge.

2. 1952 was the last time there was a brokered convention in the U.S. If no candidate gets 51 percent of the delegates on the first ballot, then there’s another round of voting and that continues until someone gets 51 percent. In 1952 Tennessee Sen. Estes Kefauver won 12 of 13 primaries held at the time. Kefauver had the most votes from the voters, but not enough to win the nomination on the first ballot. Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson was encouraged to get in the race after the first round of voting at the convention and ended up winning the nomination on the third ballot. Since he had support from party leaders and the backing of President Harry Truman he was able to win the nomination without winning a single primary. Stevenson lost the general election to Dwight Eisenhower.

3. Party changes in the 1960s changed everything. After Vice President Hubert Humphry won the 1968 Democratic nomination, despite the fact that Sens. Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy won most of the primaries, Democrats changed the system. Some argue that if Kennedy had not been assassinated that June, the convention may have been brokered. Starting in 1972, delegates chosen in primary election by voters were binded to the delegates. This gave more power to the voters and less to party leaders. This change made the possibility of brokered conventions much less likely.

4. The last time Republicans were headed toward a brokered convention was in 1976 when Ronald Reagan challenged President Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination. After the first round of voting, Ford squeaked by with 52.5 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Reagan.

5. The last winning U.S. presidential nominee produced by a brokered convention was Democrat Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. Roosevelt had a majority of delegates going into the convention, but not the two-thirds required at the time. He finally won on the fourth ballot, defeating former New York Gov. Al Smith and House Speaker John Nance Garner from Texas.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Ohio Politics

10 change makers weigh in: How can Dayton recover from opioid crisis? 
10 change makers weigh in: How can Dayton recover from opioid crisis? 

Working as a treatment professional since 1973, I’ve created a unique program I call “The Dayton Model of Recovery” – it says there are five things that are important to know about addiction, and five things one must do in order to access full, long-term recovery.  The fix is found in what I call “The Big Five Values/Commitments...
Cincinnati Zoo says farewell to last white tiger, Popsy
Cincinnati Zoo says farewell to last white tiger, Popsy

Popsy, the last white tiger at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, was euthanized Thursday due to age-related health issues. The zoo announced the death of the 22-year-old “Queen of Cat Canyon” on its website and social media. Popsy was the oldest tiger of her kind in any accredited North American zoo. The rare white tiger...
Ohio Democratic voters surged for primary, Husted reports
Ohio Democratic voters surged for primary, Husted reports

Democratic Party voters more than doubled Republicans in party-switching and overall voter affiliation growth for Ohio’s 2018 primaries. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted released voter data Thursday tracking changes for the May primary. RELATED: Trump may factor into Ohio governor’s race In 2016, Republicans had outgained Democrats...
Young Reds pitcher Mahle tough on hitters, tougher on himself
Young Reds pitcher Mahle tough on hitters, tougher on himself

One of the biggest reasons Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle has been doing so well lately might be that he doesn’t think he has been doing all that well. The 23-year-old right-hander offered a harsh assessment of his latest outing, when all he did was hold the Detroit Tigers to two runs through six innings with eight strikeouts to pick up...
Man sentenced after claiming he trafficked fentanyl because his mother was kidnapped
Man sentenced after claiming he trafficked fentanyl because his mother was kidnapped

The man federal prosecutors say trafficked enough fentanyl to kill one million people was sentenced this week to more than five years in prison after claiming he received a videotape showing his mother had been kidnapped. Jose Alonso Rios, 35, was sentenced in Dayton’s U.S. District Court to 63 months in federal prison for distributing more than...
More Stories