By Ben Kamisar
Priebus: Contested convention is unlikely
Greg Nash/The Hill
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is disregarding the idea of a settling the GOP presidential nominee with a contested convention.
"I think the odds of a contested convention are very small. I've been saying that for a long time," Priebus said Friday during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
"It’s a strategy people can use, but look, I would suggest that it's better to win races and accumulate delegates.”
When pressed, Priebus estimated that there's an "85 or 90 percent" chance that a candidate garners enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention.
The statements came a day after 2012 nominee Mitt Romney called on voters to stop front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDems find voice with disruption Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering US a moving target Clinton camp blasts Trump over Brexit response: 'He patted himself on the back' MORE from getting the GOP nomination, warning he would damage the party.
Hannity characterized Romney's speech as laying out a strategy to ultimately deprive Trump of the 1,237-delegate threshold and take the nomination from him on the convention floor.
Romney's call came in the shadow of a "#NeverTrump" movement by operatives and super-PACs to build interest in stopping Trump any way they can.
Priebus shied away from talking about those efforts. But he had a message to those clamoring for a contested convention: slow down.
“A lot of this is early talk. There are 1,237 delegates needed to be the nominee of our party. There are 1,744 delegates left to be distributed. We have a long way to go," he said.
"Everyone's talking about Ohio and Florida, but between now and that day, 14.5 percent of the delegates are left to be distributed.”