GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney won a majority of the 10 “Super Tuesday” presidential primary and caucus states March 6, though the unconvincing victory has many pundits wondering when Romney will be able to land the “knockout" blow against his rivals. If Romney does not garner the requisite 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination by the time Republicans meet in Tampa during the week of August 27, the result may be a "brokered" convention. This occurs when no candidate is nominated following the first ballot, and delegates previously pledged to a single candidate are released to switch their votes to other candidates.
This often involves deal making, in which one candidate will ask his delegates to vote for a rival in return for certain concessions, such as changes to the party's platform or for influence on the selection of the vice presidential candidate. The last time our nation experienced a brokered convention was the 1952 Democratic Convention, at which Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson secured the nomination on the third ballot. Stevenson was defeated by General Dwight Eisenhower in the general election.
The former Massachusetts Governor won six of the 10 “Super Tuesday” primary and caucus states, though former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum pulled out wins in Tennessee, North Dakota, and Oklahoma; and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia. Romney was able to chalk up wins in his home state of Massachusetts, a narrow 38 percent to 37 percent victory over Santorum in Ohio, as well as victories in Alaska, heavily Mormon Idaho, Vermont, and Virginia (the latter a 60-40 victory where only Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul were on the ballot).
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Photo: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters after voting in the Massachusetts Primary in Belmont, Mass., Tuesday, March 6, 2012.