Florida’s delegate rules could boost Donald Trump at contested convention

WASHINGTON — Florida may prove crucial to Donald Trump’s presidential hopes if the Republican nomination race goes to a contested convention.

Under the state’s GOP rules, all of the 99 delegates Trump received when he won Florida’s March 15 primary must vote for him through the first three nominating ballots at a contested convention.

That makes Florida unique.

trumpfla_small Florida's delegate rules could boost Donald Trump at contested convention

Thirty-one states and territories require Republican delegates to support the winner of a given primary or caucus only for the first ballot, according to the Republican National Committee. Seven require delegates to back the primary or caucus winner for the first two ballots. The remaining 19 don’t bind their delegates at all or let them make their own choice once the candidate they were tied to either withdraws from the race or releases them to vote for someone else.

That means Florida, the most important swing state in the November election, also could play a key role buttressing Trump at the July convention in Cleveland if he doesn’t secure the necessary 1,237 delegates before then, which seems increasingly likely.