As Floor Fight Looms, G.O.P. Convention Delegates Become a Hot Commodity

The task of herding and cajoling 2,472 men and women spread out across two oceans and 10 time zones is an immense and intricate undertaking that few in the political world have any experience participating in — let alone managing.

It is a process that can seem far removed from the way most Americans think presidential nominees are selected: Small gatherings of obscure county and state leaders can overrule the popular will of voters. Few ethical or legal constraints govern how delegates can be courted. And outposts like Guam or the Virgin Islands could have just as much say as Iowa or New Hampshire in picking the nominee, because of the unusual way in which some states and territories have permitted their delegates to act as roving free agents.

So few political operatives know…

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