Who selects the actual people who go to the convention as pledged delegates? The candidate who won them or the state Republican Party? In either case they are committed to vote for the candidate who won them for one or two ballots but if it goes further than that it could make a big difference. Is there a general rule or is each state different? Also, what kind of enforcement mechanism is there for a delegate who fails to vote for the candidate they are pledged to? With the way things are going, these factors could have a huge impact on who the eventual nominee is.
I sis a little research on this. It seems that each state makes its own rules. Here is an outline of the process in Texas, for example:
You vote in the Texas primary and are then eligible to participate in the precinct convention.
Participants at the precinct convention elect delegates and alternates to the county convention.
Delegates to the county convention elect delegates and alternates to the state convention.
At the state convention, meeting by congressional caucus in Presidential years, state convention delegates elect delegates and alternates to the national convention and elect a member to sit on the National Nominations Committee, which selects at-large delegates to the national convention.
At the state convention, meeting as a whole, delegates to the state convention ratify all delegates and alternates to the national convention.
Usually this process has little impact except possibly on the platform where social conservative have in the past had a large influence. This year, with the possibility that no one will have a majority on the first (pledged) ballot, this process could be the deciding factor in choosing the GOP nominee; especially the precinct level conventions. I would suppose that the well organized campaigns will be putting in some effort to get their fair share, or more, of representation at this level.
I have never participated in party politics at this level. Anyone here?
PS I got the above info at Convention Information – Republican Party of Texas Other states may do it differently.