Convention Looks Unlikely to Deny Trump Nomination

View of the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 25, 2012
View of the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 25, 2012 (PBS/Mallory Benedict)

Efforts to take the Republican presidential nomination away from Donald Trump do not appear to be going anywhere.

Some of the delegates to the party’s convention in Cleveland, Ohio next week haven’t given up. They fear Trump would lead them to an historic defeat in the fall’s election.

Opinion polls suggest they’re right. The RealClearPolitics average has Hillary Clinton leading the Republican candidate 45 to 41 percent support nationally.

FiveThirtyEight gives Trump a one-in-five chance of winning. It predicts he will lose crucial swing states like Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia. Read more

Anti-Trump Delegates Don’t Have the Numbers

Businessman Donald Trump makes a speech in Derry, New Hampshire, August 19, 2015
Businessman Donald Trump makes a speech in Derry, New Hampshire, August 19, 2015 (Michael Vadon)

A last-ditch attempt to take the Republican presidential nomination away from Donald Trump does not appear to have the numbers.

Politico reports that only a minority of the 112 delegates who will write the rules for the party’s nominating convention in July are sympathetic to the bid.

Most want to keep the rules as they are, which bind delegates to the popular vote in their district or state.

1,542 delegates are pledged to support Trump. A majority of 1,237 are needed to claim the nomination. Read more

Anti-Trump Delegates Start Organizing Putsch

Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

The Washington Post reports that dozens of delegates to the Republican National Convention in July are organizing a last-minute putsch against Donald Trump, the presumptive presidential nominee.

Eric Minor, a delegate from Washington state, said he joined the effort because “I hear a lot of people saying, ‘Why doesn’t somebody do something about this?’ Well, you know what, I’m one of the people who can. There’s only 2,400 of us. I’m going to reach out to us and see if there seems to be momentum for this.”

Trump has won enough bound delegates in the primaries to claim the nomination, but those delegates could themselves change the rules at the convention and vote for someone else. Read more

Conservatives Plot Last-Ditch Effort to Stop Trump

Businessman Donald Trump gives a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, December 11, 2015
Businessman Donald Trump gives a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, December 11, 2015 (Clay Masters)

After a week in which Donald Trump startled fellow Republicans with his blatant racism (claiming the judge in a court case against him is biased because of his “Mexican heritage”), some are plotting to take the presidential nomination away from the businessman at the convention in July.

Erick Erickson, a right-wing activist who was involved in the futile search for a third-party candidate to run against Trump, writes at his website, The Resurgent, that some are looking at Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to save the party from a Trump nomination.

Behind the scenes, it has not gone unnoticed that many of the major donors who are still opposed to Trump were also Scott Walker fans. There are rumors cropping up that Walker might be wiling to entertain being a dark horse candidate if we get to the convention and Trump has spiraled out of control.

Walker dropped out of the race before the primaries even got underway. When he did, in September of last year, I argued that he was a weak candidate: unversed in foreign policy and inexperienced at the national stage, he tried to please everybody and predictably ended up pleasing no one.

I have little doubt Walker would lose against Hillary Clinton in November. But at least he would lose as a Republican and spare the country the destructive and divisive campaign Trump is bound to conduct. Read more

Republican Party Insiders Reject Rules Change

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus makes a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus makes a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

Republican Party insiders rejected a proposed rules change on Thursday that could have made it easier to nominate someone other than Donald Trump for the presidency.

The party’s 56-member rules committee, with representatives from every states, overwhelmingly voted down a proposal introduced by Oregon’s Solomon Yue that would have switched the rule book of the nominating convention this summer from those of the United States House of Representatives, which have been used at Republican national conventions for decades, to Robert’s Rules of Order, which is common in civic and organizational meetings.

“We’re basically in the seventh inning of a ballgame and I don’t think it’s right to change the rules of the game in the middle of the game,” argued Randy Evans, a committeeman from Georgia. “Any change we make would be viewed with a very large degree of cynicism.”

John Ryder, a member from Tennessee who also serves as the Republican National Committee’s counsel, warned that it could “subject this committee to enormous political criticism.”

Donald Trump, the New York businessman currently in the lead, has already denounced the nominating process as “rigged”. Read more

Prospect of Trump Sparks Republican Rules Fight

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is interviewed by Sean Hannity during the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, March 4
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is interviewed by Sean Hannity during the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, March 4 (Gage Skidmore)

A struggle is taking place inside the Republican Party about a proposed rule change that would make it easier to nominate someone other than Donald Trump for president.

Politico reports that the Republican National Committee, which leads the party day-to-day, is pushing back against a proposal from some of the people who will be delegates at the convention in July to change the rules under which the gathering would operate.

Bruce Ash, a Republican from Arizona who is due to chair the convention’s powerful rules committee, has accused his own party leadership of a “major breach of trust” for apparently trying to prevent a rules change from even being considered.

At issue is a proposal to switch the rule book governing the convention from the rules of the United States House of Representatives, which have been used at Republican national conventions for decades, to Robert’s Rules of Order, which is common in civic and organizational meetings.

What that would mean in practice is that power shifts away from the chairman of the convention, Paul Ryan, who is also the speaker of the House, and to the delegates themselves — potentially giving them the chance to nominate someone for president who has not been contesting the primaries. Read more

Why the Rules Matter and Why They Don’t

Businessman Donald Trump is interviewed by ABC News in Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 7
Businessman Donald Trump is interviewed by ABC News in Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 7 (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)

We argued a few days ago that Donald Trump’s complaints about the Republican Party’s nominating rules being unfair to him are a bit rich. If only because he has benefited more than anyone running for president this year from lopsided delegate-allocation rules.

The New Yorker won 46 percent of the votes in Florida, for example, but got all the state’s 99 delegates.

In all, Trump has won only 37 percent of Republican primary votes yet 46 percent of the delegates allocated so far are pledged to support him on the convention’s first ballot. (Take a look at Harry Enten’s latest at FiveThirtyEight for a detailed overview.)

He is only crying foul now that the rules are no longer working in his favor, for example in Colorado, where his closest rival, Ted Cruz, won all available 34 delegates at local party conventions this weekend. Read more