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The New York primary is big for both parties, but especially for the Republicans. If Donald Trump doesn't win most of the state's 95 delegates, it becomes even more likely that the Republican National Convention in July will be contested, meaning the nominee won't be automatically determined before the first round of voting. If that ends up being the case, the candidates will descend into a delegate frenzy, using any means available to secure the nomination before someone else beats them to it. This year, with Donald Trump's deep pockets and Ted Cruz's super PAC backers, that means money — paying for meals, travel expenses, trips to Florida, and anything else you can think of to swing delegates. It's perfectly legal for candidates to pay delegates at a brokered convention, and it could have a deciding impact on this year's Republican race.
According to Republican election lawyer Ben Ginsberg, the infrequency of brokered conventions means that there aren't a lot of rules to regulate the candidates' interactions with delegates — the 2,000 or so people who get to decide the party's nominee. Back during the last brokered convention in 1976, when incumbent President Gerald Ford was fighting off a challenge from Ronald Reagan, Ford offered the delegation from Mississippi some pretty incredible things in exchange for their votes.
Can Candidates Pay Delegates At A Brokered Convention? The Answer Is Pretty Surprising