Michigan’s GOP convention: How it works

Donald Trump Ted Cruz John Kasich
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich on March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This weekend, the Michigan Republican Party will choose which candidates its delegates will support.

“My parents and a lot of other people in town have said we already voted what’s going on,” said John Inhulsen, chairman of the Kent County GOP.

It looks more and more likely the Republican Party will have a contested convention this summer with none of the candidates securing the number of delegates needed to become the party’s nominee. And that’s why so much attention is being paid to the state conventions because that’s when delegates will pledge their votes.

Michigan voted in the Republican presidential primary on March 8.

“Based on the performance on the primary vote here in Michigan, 17 at-large statewide delegates were provided,” Inhulsen said. Those are a portion pursuant to how a candidate preformed.”

Trump won Michigan with 37 percent of the vote followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 25 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich was close behind with 24 percent of the vote.

As a result, Trump ended up with 11 of the 17 at-large delegates while Cruz and Kasich both got three.

The remaining 42 of Michigan’s delegates will be divided up this weekend at the state convention.

Michigan has 14 congressional districts and each congressional district has three delegates to allocate proportionally based on each candidate’s performance in the district.

In Michigan’s primary, each of the candidates performed relatively the same in each district. As a result, each will get one delegate per congressional district, or 14 each.

That would leave Trump with a total of 25 delegates and Cruz and Kasich with 17 each.

“We want this to be as fair, as transparent and as accurate of a reflection — not just the vote — but what the presidential campaigns want,” Inhulsen said. “There has been turmoil in other states, however, Politico just did an article this week on how good the process has been here in Michigan.”

In other states like Louisiana — some because of state party convention rules — Trump, who won the state’s primary, is estimated to walk away with fewer delegates than Cruz after the convention there.

Inhulsen said he does not foresee anything like that happening in Michigan’s convention.

“I don’t’ expect any major surprises this weekend and I would be surprised if there were,” he said.

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