FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Yes, a GOP Delegate Revolt is Possible

Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, is heading toward July’s national party convention with a majority of delegates (as “bound” by state primaries and caucuses) in hand. But ever since it became clear that he would garner that majority, both he and the GOP leadership have spent a good deal of time trying to snuff out talk of a floor revolt by those delegates against his nomination and in favor of some other candidate’s.

“The Republican National Committee put out a statement ‘you can’t do it, it’s not legal, you can’t do it, you’re not allowed to do it,'” says Trump.

Is Trump right? Is it “illegal” for the delegates to do what they want instead of what Trump and the RNC claim the rules demand?

In a word, no.

Keep in mind that at a national convention, the delegates run the national committee, not the other way around. They make the rules. They can change the rules. They can suspend the rules. And even the rules as written leave room for a revolt.

In order to receive the nomination, Republican National Convention rule 40(d) requires a candidate to receive a majority of “the votes entitled to be cast.” In other words, the votes of a majority of the total number of registered delegates, not just of a majority of the delegates who happen to actually vote.

Rule 16, section 2, forbids the convention’s secretary to recognize the vote of a delegate bound to a particular candidate by a primary or caucus outcome if that vote is cast for another candidate … but no rule requires a delegate to vote at all.

If enough Trump-bound delegates with “votes entitled to be cast” decline to vote on the first ballot, Trump won’t get a majority on that ballot. And on subsequent ballots, delegates are no longer bound to candidates — they can vote for their nominee of choice.

100% possible, 100% legal … but how likely? Well, that depends on the party’s leadership.

Party officials enjoy quite a bit of power at conventions. At the recent Libertarian National Convention, there were times when a “quorum call” (a head count to ensure enough delegates are present to legally do business) would have resulted in adjournment. There were calls from the floor to make that happen … but the chair apparently just didn’t hear them (I’m sure you get my meaning). Supporters of Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential campaigns still complain about the party establishment’s dirty parliamentary tricks at caucuses and conventions.

The likelihood of a delegate revolt in Cleveland is really mostly a matter of whether or not Reince Priebus and Company WANT a delegate revolt in Cleveland. On that question, your guess is as good as mine.

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
Kim Ives
Haiti’s Popular Uprising Calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s Removal
John Carroll Md
Dispatch From Haiti: Trump and Breastfeeding
Alycee Lane
On Heat Waves and Climate Resistance
Ed Meek
Dershowitz the Sophist
Howard Lisnoff
Liberal Massachusetts and Recreational Marijuana
Ike Nahem
Trump, Trade Wars, and the Class Struggle
Olivia Alperstein
Kavanaugh and the Supremes: It’s About Much More Than Abortion
Manuel E. Yepe
Korea After the Handshake
Robert Kosuth
Militarized Nationalism: Pernicious and Pervasive
Binoy Kampmark
Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism
Kevin Zeese - Nils McCune
Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?
Chris Wright
The American Oligarchy: A Review
Kweli Nzito
Imperial Gangster Nations: Peddling “Democracy” and Other Goodies to the Untutored
Christopher Brauchli
The Defenestration of Scott Pruitt
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail