... Marco Rubio suddenly faces a path to his party's presidential nomination that could require a brokered national convention.This echoes what former senator Judd Gregg, a Jeb Bush backer, told The New York Times immediately after the New Hampshire primary:
That's according to Rubio's campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, who told The Associated Press that this week's disappointing performance in New Hampshire will extend the Republican nomination fight for another three months, if not longer....
"We very easily could be looking at May -- or the convention," Sullivan said aboard Rubio's charter jet from New Hampshire to South Carolina on Wednesday. "I would be surprised if it's not May or the convention."
Former Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire said Republican voters would either coalesce behind a single challenger to Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz after the South Carolina primary or risk a free-for-all stretched out over 50 states. “We’ll know after South Carolina,” said Mr. Gregg, who is a Bush supporter. “I mean, if four people come out of South Carolina, we’re into a brokered convention.”I know, I know: These are backers of two candidates hanging on by their fingernails. But it's conceivable that the two of them might persist, and make some headway, while Ted Cruz and Donald Trump also fight it out. Would Establishment donors keep funding Bush and Rubio in the desperate hope of forcing a brokered convention? Could they pull that off?
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, it turns out that the blowout in New Hampshire was actually a tie:
Hillary Clinton is expected to leave New Hampshire with just as many delegates as Bernie Sanders, even after he crushed her in Tuesday’s presidential primary.I still think Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, just as I think it's going to be Trump or Cruz on the first ballot for Republicans. But what if Sanders gets close, but not close enough? Could Clinton win just on the basis of superdelegates?
Sanders won 15 delegates with his 20-point victory Tuesday while Clinton won nine.
But Clinton came into the contest with the support of six superdelegates, who are state party insiders given the freedom to support any candidate they choose.
Chris Hayes thinks that possibility would set off a wave of outrage:
A note about super-delegates. I think it's important to keep democratically earned delegates and super delegates separate in tallies.— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 11, 2016
it's true, according to the DNC rules there's no difference between them. And it's also true HRC has hundreds pledged to her.— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 11, 2016
But in the even that Sanders were to head towards the convention w more awarded delegates, I think it would provoke a pretty profound— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 11, 2016
small-d democratic crisis for the DNC to award the nomto HRC just on super Ds. I don't think that's at all a likely scenario. But still.— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 11, 2016
These are highly unlikely scenarios -- Clinton put over the top by superdelegates and Bush or Rubio (or Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney or...) picked by a brokered Republican convention. But they're theoretically possible. Maybe they add up to the across-the-board political system failure we deserve.