The GOP establishment’s push for a brokered convention — crystallized yesterday in Mitt Romney’s thinly veiled calls for a contested floor vote to stop Donald Trump — could plunge the fractured party into a “civil war,” GOP observers warn, and alienate droves of voters who have flocked to the party under the Trump banner.
Romney, the party’s failed 2012 nominee, didn’t directly call for a brokered convention, but in his impassioned speech in Utah yesterday, he laid out a path for Republicans to deny Trump the minimum delegate count he needs to secure the nomination on the first ballot at the convention in Cleveland.
The spoiler strategy could in essence “take away the vote from the voters,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell. “If that’s the GOP’s goal, you’re asking for a civil war to break out.”
He added, “Frankly, if (Trump) winds up winning Florida and Ohio, they need to find a way to rally around him because if they don’t, you’re just going to allow Hillary Clinton to walk in the front door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”