Convention Looks Unlikely to Deny Trump Nomination

The Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 30, 2012
The Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 30, 2012 (Think Out Loud)

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 victory. It predicts he will lose crucial swing states like Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia. Read more “Convention Looks Unlikely to Deny Trump Nomination”

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 Don’t Have the Numbers”

Anti-Trump Delegates Start Organizing Putsch

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz take part in a debate televised by ABC News from Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 6
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz take part in a debate televised by ABC News from Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 6 (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)

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 “Anti-Trump Delegates Start Organizing Putsch”

Conservatives Plot Last-Ditch Effort to Stop Trump

Members of the Texas delegation listen to a speech at the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota, September 2, 2008
Members of the Texas delegation listen to a speech at the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota, September 2, 2008 (PBS/Tom LeGro)

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 “Conservatives Plot Last-Ditch Effort to Stop Trump”

Republican Party Insiders Reject Rules Change

Donald Trump
Businessman Donald Trump appears 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 “Republican Party Insiders Reject Rules Change”

Prospect of Trump Sparks Republican Rules Fight

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

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 “Prospect of Trump Sparks Republican Rules Fight”

Why the Rules Matter and Why They Don’t

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Marco Rubio talk during a commercial break in a debate televised by CBS News from Greenville, South Carolina, February 13
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Marco Rubio talk during a commercial break in a debate televised by CBS News from Greenville, South Carolina, February 13 (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

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 “Why the Rules Matter and Why They Don’t”

Some Rubio Delegates Would Be Free Agents

Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida greets supporters in Columbus, Ohio, August 22, 2015
Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida greets supporters in Columbus, Ohio, August 22, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

At least some of the delegates who were pledged to support Marco Rubio for president will be allowed to vote for whomever they want at the Republican Party’s convention this summer.

NBC News reached out to different state parties and found that 34 of Rubio’s 172 delegates, from Louisiana, Minnesota and Oklahoma, will no longer support him even at the convention’s first ballot, because the senator dropped out of the nominating contest last month.

Rubio ended his presidential campaign after losing his home state of Florida to businessman Donald Trump. But he has asked party leaders in 21 states and territories to nevertheless instruct the 172 delegates he had accumulated to continue to support him.

With Trump expected to fall just short of the 1,237-delegate majority needed to win the nomination outright, Rubio’s 172 could prove crucial in blocking the property tycoon who many in the party fear would lead Republicans to a crushing defeat in November. Read more “Some Rubio Delegates Would Be Free Agents”

To Stop Trump, Rubio Asks Delegates for Support

Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

Marco Rubio is appealing to the delegates who were pledged to support him before he suspended his presidential campaign earlier this month as part of an effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination.

NBC News reports that Rubio has asked party leaders in 21 American states and territories not to release their 172 delegates who were due to support him at the nominating convention in Ohio this summer.

“It is my desire at this time that the delegates allocated to me by your rules remain bound to vote for me on at least the first nominating ballot at the national convention,” Rubio wrote.

With Trump expected to fall just short of the 1,237-delegate majority needed to win the nomination outright, Rubio’s 172 could be decisive in blocking the property tycoon who many in the party fear would lead them to a crushing defeat in November.

But Rubio may not persuade all of them. Read more “To Stop Trump, Rubio Asks Delegates for Support”

Republican Insiders Not Looking for White Knight

Republican House speaker Paul Ryan speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference National Harbor, Maryland, March 3
Republican House speaker Paul Ryan speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference National Harbor, Maryland, March 3 (Gage Skidmore)

Republican Party insiders are not at all persuaded that a candidate who is not currently campaigning for the presidency should be nominated at their convention in Cleveland, Ohio this summer.

Some have suggested that a “white knight,” like House speaker Paul Ryan or the party’s 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, could be asked to challenge the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton in November if the convention is gridlocked.

But the gatekeepers of the convention, members of the powerful rules committee, are not enthused. Read more “Republican Insiders Not Looking for White Knight”