U.S. presidential election (32): what happens if Trump implodes?

Since Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump insulted the Muslim parents of a soldier killed in Iraq, his ratings have plummeted. He continues to make statements that confuse and denigrate and outrage. He has changed the leadership of his campaign yet again.

What would happen if Trump pulled out? This is still highly unlikely and, for supporters of the Democrats (like me), probably undesirable. But, if it happens, it is not simply a case of vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence taking over.

As this piece explains:

“Rule 9 of the Republican National Committee rules governs “Filling Vacancies in Nominations,” and stipulates that should the party’s presidential or vice presidential candidate leave the ticket for whatever reason, the hole may be filled either by a reconvening of the national convention or by the party committee itself. The vice presidential nominee is not given any preferential consideration.

Should the committee elect to fill the vacancy — a seemingly more likely scenario given the logistics involved in organizing a second convention — Republican National Committee members representing a given state are entitled to cast the same number of votes as that state was entitled to at the convention. If the RNC members from any state are not in agreement about casting of their votes, the votes of that state are divided equally among members of the RNC voting.

The final stipulation of the rule is that no candidate may be chosen to fill a vacancy except by receiving a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the RNC election.”

If, as seems likely, Trump remains as candidate and resists his advisers’ efforts to persuade him to moderate his language and style, he could so tarnish the Republican brand that Democrats might do so well in the Congressional elections that President Hillary Clinton has more scope for meaningful change.


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