In the event that the Rules of the Republican Party are amended to allow national convention delegates to vote their consciences, presumptive nominee Donald Trump could be in serious trouble.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday evening that an RNC member whipping delegates on behalf of Donald Trump has found only 890 delegates personally backing Trump, while identifying 680 as opposing him and another 900 who haven’t yet decided. A majority of at least 1237 delegate votes is required to win the nomination.
Under current rules, based on the primary results from this spring Trump has well more than enough delegates bound to him on the first ballot to win. However, a loose organization of RNC members and other delegates called Delegates Unbound has been pushing over the last several weeks to persuade delegates that party rules should allow them to make their decisions irrespective of how they may purport to be bound under existing RNC rules, state party rules, or state law.
In a statement released by Delegates Unbound, the group’s cofounder, Dane Waters, stated that, “[t]hese numbers make clear why the Trump campaign is resorting to working with a Democratic Attorney General to strip RNC delegates of their right to vote for someone other than Donald J. Trump.”
The Democratic Attorney General to whom Waters refers is, of course, Virginia’s Mark Herring. In an uncharacteristic move, Herring decided to actually defend a Virginia law, Va. Code 24.2-545, which governs presidential primaries in Virginia. The law is being challenged by Winchester attorney and national delegate from the 10th District, Beau Correll, because it unconstitutionally conflicts with RNC rules by requiring winner-take-all binding of delegates when RNC rules mandate that a primary held on the date chosen by Virginia (March 1) must have proportional allocation.
Making things more interesting, the Trump campaign appears to be doing all it can to help Herring defend the law, including by the intervention into Correll’s suit by Trump’s Virginia Vice Chairman John Fredericks and a number of other Trump-loyal Virginia delegates. Delegates Unbound claims that the Trump campaign has also dispatched the designated parliamentarian for the National Convention to testify before the court, apparently in defense of the law:
Carroll[sic] sued to ensure all Virginia delegates to the Republican National Convention maintain their right under Republican National Committee rules and bylaws to cast ballots for candidates according to their consciences. Trump has claimed such efforts are “illegal,” and the Fredericks filing claims Republican delegates should face possible civil and criminal penalties if they choose to vote for a candidate other than Trump…
“These [delegate] numbers must be the reason that the Trump campaign has dispatched their convention parliamentarian to Richmond to testify against the independence of political parties. Clearly this litigation, and these numbers, have them rattled”, stated Eric O’Keefe, cofounder of Delegates Unbound.
Oral arguments on Correll’s suit will take place Thursday at 10:00 AM in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Most experts expect, based on ample Supreme Court precedent on similar questions about whether party rules or state law take precedence in how delegates are selected or bound, that the relevant portion of Virginia’s law will be invalidated.
Clearly, though, a different outcome could be very important to Trump’s ability to keep bound to him the delegates he currently has. Delegates Unbound reports that they have enough support on the RNC Rules Committee to at least make a minority report to the floor of the convention with rules amendments unambiguously allowing delegates to vote their consciences on the first ballot. The Rules Committee meets next week to consider these and several other proposed rules amendments.
Hold on…this is gonna be a bumpy ride.
Go ahead and undo Trump, the GOP will lose everything.
Hope you picker woods don’t want a Virginia GOP House of Delegates.
Same with Virginia Senate, The RAT RINO have been exposed by Trump.
Go ahead and screw with the “committed delegates”
You might win the war, but sure will lose the battle
Thanks for writing this — like many, in the past, I’ve voted for GOP candidates even if I didn’t think highly of them, because I oppose progressivism that advocates change for its own sake. However, this is a unique election in that we may well be faced with two historically disliked candidates, neither of whom is at all conservative.
Our delegates face a great dilemma. On one hand, they are the last step in a process that so far has pointed to Donald Trump as the candidate. On the other hand, they are faced with the realization that the presumptive candidate is a ticking time bomb who meets with strong disapproval from most voters, including conservatives.
Many on this thread call for the delegates to show loyalty to the process, and default to the presumptive candidate. I submit they must act out of a sense of integrity, regardless of whether that leads them to support the default path to a Trump candidacy, or the support of a process that prevents such a poor candidate from becoming the Republican nominee.
If they act out of integrity, they will have my thanks.
There is no organized effort, no real strategy and no significant leader of this so-called movement so what we have here is yet another article passed off as news at the Bull Elephant blog (this time by Steve Albertson) rather then what it really is, opinion and hope from the Republican’s for Clinton crowd, reminding the poor misinformed Trump idiots that support our actually primary winner, what hopeless, morally deficient cretins we all are who don’t wish to throw the Republican convention into any confusion but rather focus on the defeat of Hillary, with the primary winning tool at hand, rather then some unspecified candidate debating point. If this is conservatism it’s most certainly the stupidest variety I have seen in my fifty years of association.
Many of the “vote your conscience” delegates involved are nothing more then disgruntled Sen. Ted Cruz supporters from a primary race he convincining and massively lost. Media agitators like Unruh, Minor, Lonegan and a number of others, including Albertson’s Virginia brother in arms Cuccinelli, are all beating this drum while disingenuously and self righteously claiming, as former Cruz supporters, that they are not working on his behalf, while conveniently being unable to publicly state whose behalf they are working toward, if such a wish fantasy were every granted.
This bs is so far in left field that even the great former Willie Mays couldn’t run it down yet The Bull Elephant blog keeps running article after article reporting the angst of this small and minor schism of party functionaries and associates as holding some type of significant insight in keeping Hillary Clinton out of the WH and out of the guts of our Supreme Court and the tattered shreds of the US Constitution after eight years of an Obama administration that she has “pledged” to continue. What they are really accomplishing is accelerating the destruction of the Republican Party in the eyes of the state base voters and further convincing them that 21st century conservatism has become little more then talk and insider control while delivering NO solutions or benefits to the struggling middle class.
If our state parties’ future requires looking for new answers, I am highly doubtful, it will be found in Republican partisan wing solutions or the power struggle contests of the past either by the failing Virginia Conservative Network or it’s twin sibling in pseudo opposition the Conservative Fellowship agenda. With the rise of Donald Trump and his inevitable nomination the light still hasn’t quite broken yet that the base in the future will find the likes of Ken Cuccinelli and his shrinking band of merry Virginia “vote your conscience” delegate loyalists anymore appealing to this voter base’s political shift and reality then a Ed Gillespie. And it’s nothing more then an escape out of their individual bedlam to believe working to undermine the Republican Primary winner is going to gain any massive swell of voter base support from the guy they voted for in the first place or be forgotten or forgiven in the event of Hillary taking the WH as they continue to spout useless rhetoric from their soapbox. This is politics so insular that individuals ranting for this chaos can’t see past their own personal agendas and/or career maintenance regardless of whether they are honest about it up front or hide behind someone else’s words.
The answers aren’t “behind” us is the only thing I believe that has been confidently substantiated by the past half decade of backbiting chaos within the Virginia political scene reflected by Trump’s recent Primary win in the state. Future state candidates may well need to look for new election solutions rather then what frankly has not worked in the past for either side of the state Republican Party political schism. And for those that have been pushed to the side due to a long term and consistent trend in failing to deliver any meaningful solutions in the political arena for the base voter there is always the “clinging issues” to waste your efforts on and as a byproduct to assist the Democrats in securing eight more years on Pennsylvania Avenue issuing new regulatory executive order after executive order.
For those who find their political role in life (elected or otherwise) to serve as the self appointed moral righteousness compass protecting those who haven’t asked for their protection in the first place from the vagaries of “villainous agents” like Donald Trump rest assured you will likely always find a forum to waste your time on at the current TBE. For the rest of us that would like to discuss how to win the WH for the Republican Party as well as have meaningful discussions on the pros and cons of delivering real conservative political policy solutions to the American voter the gruel will be pretty thin on these pages.
You keep complaining about the reporting here at TBE, yet you keep reading.
Don’t worry, none of us “self appointed moral righteousness compasses” will try to dissuade you from supporting Trump, but we are tired of listening to people like you telling us that we have to put aside every principle and value we hold dear in order to vote for Trump, all in the name of stopping Hillary.
Tell me something, Larry. If the delegates did in fact dump Trump at the convention and replace him with someone like Cruz or Walker, would you swallow all your beliefs, suck it up, and vote for the Republican in order to stop Hillary? Or would you be the one spouting your useless rhetoric from your soapbox as you guarantee Hillary the White House?
A word of advice. If you want people to start supporting your candidate, you need to stop insulting them first.
I seek nor require any advice from you as you are a prime example of what I lay out above as exactly what the voting base is fed up with from the Republican party. If the nominee, which the people has deemed to be Trump, wins or loses, it will have nothing to do with your vote one way or the other. While you are living in your Cruz/Walker fantasy ticket Hillary is daily thanking you for your useless, nonproductive activities. No insult is significant enough to a convention delegate that would willingly engage in actions assisting the future election of Hillary Clinton. True Republicans will remember these betrayals regardless of who ends up sitting in the WH Mr. Staton. You can count on it.
I have not made any comment one way or another on whether I think we should unbind the delegates or not. I have, however, made it clear what I think about Trump. Nevertheless the question still stands. If the delegates replace Trump at the convention with another candidate, will you still vote for the Republican in order to defeat Hillary?
If you answer is yes, then feel free to criticize anti-Trump people all you want. If you answer is no, then you are nothing more than a hypocrite.
I can answer that I will definitely vote for the Republican. Which is why I intend to vote for Trump, even though I preferred Cruz. Just because I preferred Cruz doesn’t mean I would support a cabal to rig a Cruz nomination at the convention. But no matter what happens, I will vote for the Republican nominee.
Even Paul Ryan admits he will support Trump. He doesn’t want any convention shenanigans. Whether you want to hear it or not, you are not helping Republicans win, and you definitely should be trying to stop Hillary. What use is any Republican who would rather let Hillary win than vote for Trump. One of those two people will become president. If you are in the foxhole with us, you better decide quick who’s side you are on.
Thanks for playing, but I was asking Larry. As for what happens at the convention, I intend to write a full blog post on what I think we should do.
I know who you replied to, and I answered you anyway. Is this your private forum? In any case, I do look forward to seeing your blog post.
No, it is not my private forum. I am still waiting for Larry to answer my question because he was the one providing his holier than thou, “vote for Trump or elect Hillary” argument. It sure is nice of you to step up in his place, but I have never known him to need someone else to fight his battles for him.
Based on your answer above, does that mean I can mark you down as voting for a Walker/Cruz ticket coming out of the convention? After all, Trump wasn’t your candidate, but you are backing him now, and Walker/Cruz may not be your preferred ticket, but since they are the ones who might be nominated, you will be 100% behind them, right?
After all, not supporting Walker/Cruz means electing Hillary, and we can’t have that, right? Are you in the foxhole with us?
Do you see how quickly that argument gets turned against you? Winning at any cost seems to be the name of the game, right? Well, since every poll and every indicator seems to point to Trump getting shellacked in November, wouldn’t the “win at any cost” argument demand that Trump be replaced in Cleveland?
Mr. Staton frankly you are a blogging waste of time for me but feel free to go shout in your echo chamber I find your opinions and predictions of little value and almost always wrong.
Then why do you keep responding? Why not just answer the question?
Of course I would support Walker/Cruz. I already said I’ll support the Republican nominee, whomever that may be. The purpose of politics is to influence public policy BY WINNING ELECTIONS. I would gladly support Walker/Cruz. But they aren’t going to be nominated, because Trump already beat them both in the primary. If Trump is denied the nomination, I have little doubt that Republicans will lose, but I’ll still be voting Republican.
For the record, Lawrence, I’m not backing this effort, and neither is Ken Cuccinelli. But you cannot deny it is newsworthy that the unbinding movement is stronger than most people expected, and that Trump’s base of support among the delegates is precariously low. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Sorry, but don’t buy that one (notice you state “this effort” and not necessarily others). Very simple to convince me though just point me to an unequivocally, public written or verbal statement where Cuccinelli as head of the Virginia delegation endorses and pledges his support to the Trump nomination, first ballet or otherwise. Feel free to post the script link below. I won’t hold my breath on that one as I don’t believe it exists or will prior to convention. Good try though you seem to be getting better at the “politics” meaningless statement thing. As my Grandfather often mein my youth you are known for who you hang with and on this one it’s not good.
I agree with most of what you say, but I am not so sure that these neverTrump folks are mostly former Cruz supporters. I was a big time former Cruz supporter. I made multiple donations to Cruz. I also despised the way Trump treated Cruz in the primary. With all that said, I am totally opposed to having Cruz placed into nomination at this point. That would be suicidal for the party, and it would almost guarantee a Democrat victory. Thankfully the vast majority of the Republican party is not that crazy. It isn’t going to happen.
After listening to Trump’s “speech” yesterday for 25 minutes while riding in the car, I am more concerned than ever about Trump’s qualifications … and his sanity.
As usual, the “speech” was about his favorite subject. It consisted of NOTHING but a stream of self-adoring consciousness … an embarrassing mind dump. He whined about not being accurately covered by the nasty old press. They don’t appreciate his great speeches. Yes folks, he actually believes his vacuous and incoherent mind dumps are laudable. And Trump continued with his standard self-congratulatory drivel about his great adoring crowds, his great accomplished kids, his great grandkids, his great new golf course in Scotland, and oh yes … he is greatly admired by Newt Gingrich. But wait, there’s more. Hispanics, blacks, and Bernie supporters are getting on the Trump train.
Make no mistake, for Donald Trump, this election is about only one thing … Donald Trump. This man has a chance to be president, and with all that at stake, he is incapable of overcoming his megalomania. The prospect of working for his election makes me nauseous.
Yesterday I was giving away Donald Trump 2016 Presidential Dollar Bills. Turns out that people will give you lots of feedback when you do that. May take a baseball bat with me for protection. next time. A number of people do NOT like Trump to put it mildly. However they will NOT vote for Clinton, hate her just as much..
Have yet to meet a single person who will tell me to my face that they will vote for Clinton.
So like Diogenes of Sinope will take my Trump dollars and continue to search for that most elusive of creatures, a person who will admit that they will vote for crooked Hillary..
Good, maybe we can throw the orange dingy back into the harbor and roll out a candidate that will win.
Aaah, the righteous man that whines about name calling is calling names.
Better to try and be righteous than to support unrighteousness and proclaim that to do otherwise is wrong.
Just do it.
Can not see Walker beating the Hildebeest, which is the only negative thing I can say about him. Cruz’s wife works for what company ??
You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
Starting to hear some rather interesting rumours
That would be a dream ticket!
Does this wonderful candidate have a name ??
Keep hearing about this magical golden rino who come thundering over the plain, unite all republicans and defeat the Hildebeest and all the democrats..
However no one seems to toss out a name.
At this point, ANY Republican would be preferable to Trump. At least we would have a candidate to promote rather than apologize for.
Come on Steve, Trump has the delegates, he has the nomination. And you know it.
If I were you? I’d be more concerned about Ed Gillespie’s chances of getting the nomination for governor next year.
You see, Trump has the delegates.
Ed? Well, he doesn’t have the delegates or the voters to win the nomination in ’17. If your establishment wants to write the rules as they go in Cleveland, then the populist movement will make sure establishment Ed goes 0-2.
“Your establishment”? Where have I ever said I supported such a rules change? The answer is that I haven’t. This is just reporting that the unbinding movement is stronger than most people expected, and Trump’s base of support among the delegates is precariously low.
Ok, so you agree? If there is any rules funny stuff at the convention, then you think establishment Ed should get a job as a cook at McDonald’s?
It’s amazing how thin-skinned people feel threatened. You would think it’s a tone set by the candidate!
Well this should be fun.