Will Convention Rules Determine the Republican Nominee?

Will Convention Rules Determine the Republican Presidential Nominee?

Convention Rules are vitally important.  While many people are focused on who’s ahead in the delegate count today, it’s possible the Republican Party Convention Rules will dramatically influence or even determine the 2016 Republican presidential nominee.  Let’s get an update on the delegate counts and then look at some of the current and potential new rules that can make a big difference in this race.

Where Does the Race Stand?

Here’s an update on where the Republican presidential race stands on Monday, March 21st, prior to the Tuesday, March 22nd, Arizona Primary (58 Delegates, Winner-Take-All), Utah Primary (40 Delegates, Proportional), and the American Samoa Convention (9 Delegates, Unbound):

  • Trump – 680 Delegates (28%)
  • Cruz – 424 Delegates (17%)
  • Kasich – 143 Delegates (6%)
  • Other Suspended Campaigns – 181 Delegates (7%)
    • Rubio – 166, Carson – 8, Bush – 4, Fiorina – 1, Huckabee – 1, Paul – 1
  • Uncommitted – 22 (1%)



TOTAL DELEGATES = 2,472 (100%)


What Current Rules Might Impact the Choice of a Republican Presidential Nominee?

  • Rule 16 that deals with the election, selection, allocation and binding of delegates –
    • Could be the means to challenge some delegations
    • Could declare wayward delegates as “resigned” if they attempt to not vote as required on first ballot
  • Rule 40 that deals with nominations –
    • Currently requires a candidate to have the majority of delegates from at least 8 States to have their name placed in nomination
    • Some suggest that this Rule is too limiting
    • Some suggest that any candidate with at least 1 delegate can have their name placed in nomination
    • Some suggest that “new” candidates (with no delegates) be allowed to have their names placed in nomination (if delegates want that)
    • Rule can be modified to allow only Trump and Cruz names be placed in nomination
  • Rule 41 that deals with membership on the 4 Convention Committees (Platform, Credentials, Rules and Order of Business, and Permanent Organization of the Convention) –
    • Committee membership can influence outcome of convention
  • Rule 32 that deals with suspending the Rules –
    • Obviously, this can have a major impact on the proceedings

What about the Problem with Permanently-Seated Delegates?

It’s important to realize that if Rule 40 (dealing with nominations) is to change, it can only be voted on by permanently-seated delegates.  But, that requires the Credentials Committee to do their work first.

For More Information on This Year’s Presidential Election + Ten Surprising Predictions

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