Earlier, Donald Trump said that if he goes to the convention ahead by millions of popular votes, and is denied the nomination, there could be riots. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz has been pushing John Kasich to get out of the race, saying Kasich can’t get on the ballot due to “Rule 40.” And if that rule changes, now it’s Cruz warning of revolt.
First, let’s look at Rule 40, or more precisely, Rule 40 (b). The media have been saying that only candidates who won a majority in at least eight states could be on the convention ballot. What? Nobody’s winning more than 50% of the vote. But the thing is, they mean the majority of delegates, not popular vote.
Rule 40 (b) states that:
(b) Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight (8) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination. . .
You can read the complete collection of rules adopted during the 2012 GOP Convention available here (PDF). Rule 40 starts on page 43 of the document.
There has been talk of changing that rule, which might allow Kasich to be put into nomination. Cruz warns of voter revolt if that happens.
Well, I think that would be a terrible idea for the Washington power brokers to change the rules, because they’re unhappy with the candidates who the voters are voting for. . .So now when the Washington establishment candidates are losing, they want to change the rules to try to parachute in some candidate who hasn’t earned the votes of the people. . .
Only two of us will meet that threshold – me and Donald Trump. Those will be the two names on the ballot. And I think if the Washington deal makers try to change the rules to cook the books and insert their favorite deal maker, I think there would rightly be a revolt of the voters.
Meanwhile, Kasich, of course, disagrees.
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has said that a Republican convention delegate rule keeps John Kasich out of the running for a ballot if the convention is contested, reports USA Today.
The rule known as Rule 40 (b) will not be a problem, Kasich said in an interview with National Review. Kasich’s team said he knew that a committee will meet and set new rules for the convention.
Political science professor Morris Fiorina told USA Today that the rules “can be changed by the convention at will.”
Yes, the rule could be changed, but will it?
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus cast doubt on Kasich’s chances. In a USA Today interview, he said it’s likely the convention will change some rules, but it’s unlikely that Rule 40 (b) will be one of them. “I haven’t heard a whole lot of horsepower out there looking for a change on the rule.”
However, Politico reports that four early nominees to the committee are eager to get rid of the rule, which they see as helping Donald Trump.
OK. So according to the rules, Trump is the only candidate—at this time—who qualifies to be nominated. The rules could be changed to benefit Kasich—over Cruz’ dead body. And it probably won’t happen, anyway.
But, wait a minute. Look at the wording of Rule 40 (b) again.
(b) Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight (8) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination. . . [Emphasis added]
It says a candidate has to have a majority of delegates in eight states, so Cruz may eventually qualify. But for what?
Rule 40 (b) says it applies to Vice President, as well. Does that mean that we can only have a Trump-Cruz or Cruz-Trump ticket?