How A Brokered Republican National Convention Would Work

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks as Donald Trump listens during the debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to rack up delegates in primaries and caucuses, talk has begun of a brokered Republican National Convention.

Trump has won in 10 out of 14 states that have voted in Republican primaries or caucuses so far, with only 34 percent of the popular vote. The GOP establishment appears to be increasingly looking to the possibility of a brokered convention to ensure that Trump does not win the Republican nomination.

For the strategy to work, Trump must fail to secure a majority of delegates before the Republican National Convention.

A brokered convention happens when no candidate running for a party's presidential nomination has the majority of delegates needed to secure the nomination.

For the Republican race in 2016, the number of delegates needed to win the nomination is 1,237 out of 2,472 delegates.

At a brokered convention, first, a ballot is taken. After the first ballot, if no candidate has the number of delegates needed to win the party's nomination, the convention is considered brokered.

This means that all the delegates won by candidates during the primaries and caucuses are then free to vote for whom they want, and are no longer "bound" to the candidate who won the popular vote in the state they represent.

Then, another vote is taken. If no candidate gains a majority, delegates continue to vote until a candidate gets the required number of delegates to win the nomination.