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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.

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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?

24 COMMENTS

    • That’s the thing with rules. All you have to do is vote to “suspend” the rules. But you can also, you know, just ignore them.

      I don’t remember anyone fighting over vice president since JFK lost to Kefauver in 1956.

      • IMHO: If my memory is correct, the Democrat Stevenson (running vs Ike) was a strange presidential candidate who did not choose his VEEP himself. He left it up for grabs.

        • Not so strange. He was intelligent and witty. But he didn’t have a chance of beating the man who was seen as winning WWII.

    • The rule says nothing about who “won” a state; it is the majority of the delegates of a state. IMHO: If at the convention a majority of the delegates from 8 states agree to put a candidate “on the ballot,” that qualifies the candidate. Said majority can include unpledged delegates. There are no primary elections for VEEP, so delegates have no bind when voting on VEEP.

      • It says “prior to the presentation of that candidate for nomination.” That means before the first ballot, and on the first ballot, most delegates are bound to vote for “their” candidate. But the vice president is nominated after the first ballot for president, so they are no longer bound.

        • Delegates are not elected for VEEP, so there is no binding at all on delegate vote for Veep. In primaries you do not vote on the VEEP.

          • That’s irrelevant. The wording is that the Veep candidate must have a majority in eight states. They first gain delegates in the primaries. If the delegates didn’t change their loyalty at the convention, the primary outcomes would still apply.

  1. For that matter, Cruz only has a majority of delegates in four states: Texas, Maine, Idaho, and Utah. He has a majority in Wyoming but they haven’t chosen all their delegates yet.

  2. Nothing proves the existence of the uni-party better than the amount of effort going into keeping the guy with no IOU’s on file out of the Whitehouse. Paul Ryan’s 2016 Omnibus BILL COMES CLOSE. Mitch McConnell’s demand for an acceptable nominee or “they” will be voting democrat comes even closer. In the end it is the unprecedented bipartisan campaign to prevent a President Trump that proves “our representative form of government that serves the people” has been executed and dictatorial tyranny has been installed as its replacement

    • I agree that they are out to get Trump. The big money were out to stop Cruz and Trump. Their candidates lost big time. Millions wasted on Bush and Rubio. So now they want Cruz to knock out Trump and fast. Then they will get Cruz out and put somebody else in

  3. IMHO, Rule 40 means that to get on the convention ballet a man has to be nominated by the majority of the delegates from 8 states. So far as I know, that wud mean that to get on the presidential nomination ballet, a man wud need to have won the majority of delegates from 8 states (including any unpleged delegates who supported him at the convention). But the VEEP process has no bound delegates at all from the primaries. So if either Cruz or Trump get the nomination for Pretzel, the VEEP cud be anyone at all who is backed by a majority of delegates from 8 states, having nothing to do with how the primary elections went. So there is nothing to require that it is Trump-Cruz, Cruz-Trump, or for that matter Crump!

    • That’s not what the rule says. Delegates are pledged to a candidate. The delegates will have to change their loyalty to vote against the candidate they were elected to support. That will happen, of course, but only because of disloyalty.

      In our first elections, the vice president was the presidential candidate who received the second highest votes.

  4. Since the vast majority of the delegates will be either Trump or Cruz delegates, how can they abolish Rule 40 by majority vote on the floor? No matter what some hotshot committed proposes, rules are determined by majority vote on the floor of the convention. (IMHO)

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  7. It has become quite evident that the GOP only exists to serve the GOP, not the people. Same goes for the DNC. Both of played fast and loose with the republican process of allowing the people vote for representatives that they want to represent their voice in the election. Both have created super delegates which they have admitted exist to ensure that no wild card candidates, like Trump, Cruz or Sanders, that the people want, override the partys’ choice.

    In other words America, we are screwed, nailed and glued to serfdom – and eventually the one world order of socialist/fascism.

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” – Thomas Jefferson

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  8. Since the total of Trump + Cruz delegates will be a very large majority, I see no chance of the floor allowing a change in Rule 40. If some committee votes for it, the convention itself will nullify any such vote.

  9. It seems that the RNC wants to destroy it’s own front runner. Have you ever seen such treachery?

  10. What if you changed the rules at half time during the Super Bowl? Any rule change, (for integrity’s sake), should not apply until the next election cycle.

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