Mitch McConnell Is 'Optimistic' About Second Ballot at Republican Conference

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 6:16 AM

Since Donald Trump is well ahead among pledged delegates and likely the only GOP candidate who could win the nomination on the first ballot, the KY Republican'south enthusiasm about a second vote suggests he doesn't favor Trump.

Mitch McConnell Is 'Optimistic' About Second Ballot at Republican Conference

Senate Republican Boss Mitch McConnell said on Monday that he's "optimistic" that the Republican National Conference in July will necessity a second ballot to define the party'south nominee.

Since Donald Trump is well ahead among pledged delegates and likely the only GOP candidate who could win the nomination on the first ballot, the KY Republican'south enthusiasm about a second vote suggests he doesn't favor Trump.

"We're going to chase the rules of the convention," McConnell told Louisville'south ABC affiliate WHAS. "When a nominee gets to 1.237, he'll actually be the candidate. If he doesn't, there will be a second ballot. sixty % of the delegates who are bound on the first ballot will be free to do whatever they wish on the second ballot."

He added, "I'm increasingly optimistic that there will actually be a second ballot."

McConnell'south comments are likely to heighten an escalating feud between the GOP establishment and Trump. As Ted Cruz outmaneuvers Trump at state conventions that actually determine the delegates who'll attend the convention, the genuine estate mogul has been complaining that this process is unfair.

Trump argues that since he's likely to win the most delegates and states in the nomination process, he should be the party'south nominee, even if he arrives at the conference with fewer than the required 1.237 delegates.

He says these delegate procedures are anti-democratic and ignore the will of voters.

But McConnell, in his remarks, is taking the view of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Cruz and other Republicans who have argued that the delegates can select whichever candidate they love if they're not bound by state law. The delegates, these Republicans say, specifically choose the nominee.

McConnell has said that he could be one of Kentucky'south delegates to the RNC himself.

And McConnell'south stance is particularly significant because of his status as both a key Republican boss and as a person from a state that Trump won.

Trump carried Kentucky'south caucuses in March with about thirty-six % of the vote, compared to thirty-two % for Ted Cruz. So if McConnell doesn't perceive compelled by the vote of his home-state Republicans to back Trump at the convention, Republicans from other states that Trump won may do the same.

McConnell is widely viewed by fellow Republicans as one of the party'south smartest political strategists. If he's hinting to fellow Republican delegates that they should avert nominating Trump, that message too may be heeded.

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