As it appears in the Dunn Daily Record on March 24, 2016 By DAVID LEWIS
I love basketball. My kids love basketball. My kids love to PLAY basketball.
I’ve watched them agree that “first one to 10 points wins” many times.
You know, sometimes, even if one of them gets off to an early lead, say 5 to 1 or so, they can both step up their defense and, while playing great ball, the score doesn’t change and certainly doesn’t get to 10.
Now, in this kind of situation, there are a few options. They could call off the game to 10, which the one leading would probably be OK with. They could change the goal and say, “next point wins,” which the one trailing would probably be OK with. The bottom line is, the stated goal of getting to 10 points, with neither of my kids willing to just give up, may just be nearly impossible to reach, especially before the sun goes down and they have to start on homework.
Both kids want to win. The one with the highest score has the best chance to win but may not get to the pre-agreed 10 points to claim the win.
While this is a simple situation around my house, it reminds me of what is going on in the Republican presidential nomination.
Without a doubt, Donald Trump has the highest score. Let me quickly say that he has earned these points fair and square. He works hard, has strong resources and, quite frankly, has inspired people not usually engaging in politics to get involved.
If Mr. Trump continues to earn delegates and gets the required and pre-agreed to number of 1,237, he wins on the first ballot and will be the Republican nominee for president. If he doesn’t reach the pre-agreed to number of delegates, some other way of nominating a Republican presidential nominee will have to be used.
To be candid, I pray this is not necessary and that either Mr. Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz gets to the 1,237-vote threshold and Republicans can rally in Cleveland to unite, be inspired, and commit to keeping Secretary Hillary Clinton out of the White House.
But, if it doesn’t happen, it is not and will not be the result of some grand conspiracy. Yes, I can certainly read and listen to various reports of small groups of people scheming against different candidates and trying to influence voters. I am certain this is not a new phenomenon. I am also sure it’s not confided to only one candidate.
In North Carolina, we have a stable system of selecting delegates to the national convention. Those selected are BOUND to vote proportionately to reflect the way North Carolina voters marked their ballots during the primary. When the roll call of states is offered, if someone doesn’t get the pre-agreed to 1,237 votes, Republicans will move to additional voting until someone gets the pre-agreed to number of votes.
Fancy words like “brokered convention” really just mean the delegates figuring out how to nominate someone if no candidate reaches the pre-agreed 1,237 votes.
Should that, Lord forbid, need to be done, I am very confident that the delegates will consider all the information available to them. Yes, whomever got the most votes, but short of the pre-agreed to number, will certainly be in a strong position. Of course, there may be other considerations the delegates make as well. Frankly, by July, there may be more information known by delegates than was known when ballots were cast and caucuses held earlier in the year.
The bottom line is, much like the potentially endless basketball game, there will be some accommodation made to reconcile the situation if no one person reached the pre-agreed 1,237 delegates.
Our challenge is to make sure the process is fair and agreeable, and, that no one takes their ball and goes home. The writer, a Dunn Republican, represents state House District 53 (most of Harnett County) in the North Carolina House of Representatives where he chairs the powerful Rules Committee.