Eight votes. That’s how close the “Never Trump” movement claims to be to forcing a vote on releasing pledged delegates at the Republican National Convention.
After a record number of GOP primary voters overwhelmingly picked billionaire Donald Trump as their presidential candidate of choice, his survival could all come down to eight votes.
According to ABC News, RNC rules panel members in the anti-Trump movement need 28 total votes to open the floor at Cleveland to a last-minute rule change that would unbind all of the pledged delegates, which would allow them to vote however they — not the voters — please.
Of that 28, Kendal Unruh — the public face of the “Free the Delegates” movement — claims she is confident she has 20 members of the committee confirmed to vote her way. In the 112-member GOP rules panel, securing 25% of members vote would bring the possible rule change to a majority vote on the convention floor.
That would open the voting to all Republican delegates, where the anti-Trump votes would have to gather 1,237 total votes to carry the motion — and defections from Trump would be expected, because some delegates representing him actually prefer Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or others.
The good news for Trump supporters is that the odds of the anti-Trump movement winning remain unlikely.
The bad news is that even an attempt to unseat him would be a public relations disaster, leading to a firestorm of negative media coverage and fresh questions about his prospects of winning in November.
According to The Associated Press, the numbers are badly stacked against the insurgents. Trump triumphed in the vast majority of this year’s primaries and caucuses, giving him 1,542 delegates — well above the 1,237 needed to clinch the nomination.
While a motion to ‘unpledge’ those delegates would offer them a chance to vote however they wish during convention battles to change the rules, Trump still holds a big numerical advantage.
According to The Associated Press, one party insider said that Trump can rely on a solid 900 delegates, compared to a combined 650 for Trump opponents plus delegates backing Cruz or other candidates.
The anti-Trump forces have said they have more than 400 delegate supporters — well short of the majority needed.
The Never Trump members are a disruptive force and an embarrassment to conservatives. But it looks like even these diehard Republican establishment loyalists can’t stop the Trump train.