Anti-Trump Delegates Start Organizing Putsch

Taking the nomination away from the divisive property tycoon would be difficult, but some are trying.

Businessman Donald Trump gives a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, June 18
Businessman Donald Trump gives a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, June 18 (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.

“Anyone but Trump”

It hasn’t happened in a long time. It would require persuading at least a majority of the 112 delegates who will form the convention’s rules committee (two from every state plus national party officials) and then a majority of the entire convention to ratify the change. But it can be done.

Kendal Unruh, the Colorado delegate leading the effort, told Politico that over 300 delegates have already privately committed to opposing Trump at the convention.

“This literally is an ‘anybody but Trump’ movement,” she told the Post. “Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that.”


They should be, though, because there’s the rub. If not Trump, then who?

Prospective candidates, such as Texas senator Ted Cruz and House speaker Paul Ryan, have previously said they wouldn’t accept the nomination. Anyone who does would be reviled by Trump’s supporters and accused of dividing the party.

Oh, and he or she would almost certainly lose the election against Hillary Clinton in November.

So chances of dethroning Trump are low, but the fact that some Republicans are trying is significant. Together with officeholders distancing themselves from the former television star’s most outrageous comments and policy proposals — saying the judge in a court case against him is unqualified because of his “Mexican heritage”, suggesting that President Barack Obama secretly sympathizes with Islamic terrorists, proposing to ban all Muslims from entering the United States — this really is unprecedented.

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