For the first time in several decades, the Republican Party is likely to face a contested convention when delegates gather in Cleveland, Ohio to choose a nominee just over three months from now. With three candidates remaining and none likely to drop out before July, many voters and party regulars are concerned about rising tensions within the party preceding the convention. If no candidate receives a majority (1,237 Delegates) on the first round of voting, the subsequent rounds of voting and reshuffling of supporters could be seen as chaotic and unfair -- undermining the legitimacy of the eventual nominee. To address these concerns, many are calling for ranked choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting) as a solution to fairly produce a majority winner.
Today, Matthew Dean Hindman writes for the Washington Post that instant runoff voting would be the "most fair, transparent and democratic manner possible," to select the eventual nominee. FairVote's second choice polling series has explored how instant runoff voting could improve not only the convention process, but also the individual primaries taking place in states and the public opinion polls used to gauge voter preferences. By analyzing second and third choices, pollsters and the public could project a clearer picture of any candidate's strength in the electorate, and gain some insights into who their delegates might rank second or third at the convention.