Wednesday, June 01, 2016

A Way to Beat Trump at the Republican National Convention?


I was just reading through the Republican National Committee's convention rules -- I wondered how they compared to the Libertarian Party's -- and something struck me.

Unlike the Libertarian Party, the Republican Party has "bound" delegates for its first ballot. The rules say that if those delegates try to support anyone other candidate than the one they're "bound" to by a state primary or caucus, that support will not be recognized.

What I don't see in the rules is any requirement that any particular delegate actually vote at all.

And what I do see in the rules is this:

When at the close of a roll call any candidate for nomination for President of the United States or Vice President of the United States has received a majority of the votes entitled to be cast [emphasis mine] in the convention, the chairman of the convention shall announce the votes for each candidate whose name was presented in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of this rule. Before the convention adjourns sine die, the chairman of the convention shall declare the candidate nominated by the Republican Party for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States.

It seems to me that delegates who are "bound" to Trump by the rules, but who don't want him to be the nominee, can simply stand mute on the first ballot rather than casting their votes at all. Since Trump has to get a majority of votes that could be cast, not just a majority of votes that are cast, he'll fail on the first ballot, and on subsequent ballots delegates would no longer be "bound."

I suppose I could be wrong on that, but it looks solid to me.

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