It hasn’t happened in more than 30 years, but I’m afraid that the answer to my question may be yes. I have been watching the polls and keeping track of who is leading in which states, and, right now, I can’t seem to find a scenario that does not lead to a split convention in 2008. As the race currently stands, Romney is doing well in the West, as well as parts of the Northeast. He is also leading in Iowa and Michigan, both early primary states. There are also other places where is polling second or with relatively good numbers, such as South Carolina, where polls show him between 11-16%. Giuliani is also doing well, essentially the frontrunner, he is leading in states on the West Coast, the Northeast, and the Midwest. Fred Thompson is leading in parts of the South, and is doing well in Nevada. John McCain is probably in the worst shape, with declining support and few places to grow. I don’t expect McCain to last until the Iowa Caucus, he will probably drop out and endorse Fred Thompson. I believe McCain’s supporters will probably split 40%-40%-20% between Thompson, Romney, and Giuliani. That will probably provide no major changes to the race, though it could allow Romney to pick up a couple extra states in the Western half of the country.
With all that said, it seems likely that we will have a split convention – a very evenly split convention at that. Giuliani would likely have the most delegates, but he would still be far from being “over the top”. Romney would probably be second in delegates, and would have the broadest, most spread-out appeal, and Thompson (in the event that he does not drop in the polls) would come in third, with almost all of his delegates coming from the South. At this point, I believe that Romney and Thompson would make some kind of agreement, like forming a Romney/Thompson ticket. The would probably push Romney above Giuliani in delegates, and eventually hand him the nomination. Again, there is also the possibility of a backroom deal that would make Giuliani AG. I do think Romney will be the nominee, but if the above situation plays out like I think it may, it might not matter who the nominee ends up being, because they would already be at a huge disadvantage to Hillary. I’ll admit it, I really have serious concerns about the possibility of the nominee not being chosen until the convention.