This Saturday, Virginia Republicans will hold an unassembled convention to pick their 2021 gubernatorial nominee — a confusing process designed to help them choose a more electable nominee to hopefully win their first statewide contest in 12 years.

But given the byzantine rules and insular nature, it's virtually impossible to handicap who will come out the victor — and Republicans themselves may not know for several days, depriving them of a headstart they'd hoped to have ahead of the Democratic primary on June 8. And, in a microcosm of the widespread tension in the Republican Party, the frontrunners are still reckoning with former President Trump's influence on the party and how to win in an increasingly blue state with a conservative GOP base that's out of step with the commonwealth at large. All this comes just two years after Democrats took total control of the state legislature, meaning unified control for the first time in 25 years.

There are seven candidates on the ranked-choice ballot for the 53,000 registered delegates to choose from, but just four have legitimate chances

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