Republicans are dreaming if they think they can rewrite delegate rules and hold on to Trump voters.
Republican voters are running out of time if they want to stop Donald Trump from becoming their party’s presidential nominee. Simple math and party rules suggest they should support Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), even if he’s not their favorite in the remaining four-man field.
Here’s the deal: Convention rules pushed through by the Mitt Romney campaign in 2012 severely limit the power of all but the leading candidates. As the GOP’s rules stand now, a candidate must secure a majority of delegates in each of at least eight states to have his name placed in nomination at the Cleveland convention.
To emphasize, it’s not enough to have won eight primaries or caucuses. The candidate must have secured a majority—not a plurality—of the delegates from each of those states. So far, only Mr. Trump is close to meeting the threshold, with seven states to Mr. Cruz’s four. Sen. Marco Rubio has won the majority of delegates in only one place: Puerto Rico. John Kasich is zero for 24. So the theory that all of Mr. Trump’s rivals can stay in the race and deny him the nomination by focusing each of their efforts in particular states has a giant hole in it. He might be the only one who qualifies for nomination.
There’s much talk in Republican circles that the rules can be rewritten at the July convention, as they often are. But this is not going to be just another convention. If Republicans think they can change the rules at the very end of a long and bitter campaign to favor Mr. Trump’s rivals, they should first consider how his voters are likely to react—and how many of them will stay home in November.Read the rest of this WSJ op-ed HERE.
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