Rule 40 is a glorious thing. Checking Paragraph b
(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. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these rules or any rule of the House of Representatives, to demonstrate the support required of this paragraph a certificate evidencing the affirmative written support of the required number of permanently seated delegates from each of the eight (8) or more states shall have been submitted to the secretary of the convention not later than one (1) hour prior to the placing of the names of candidates for nomination pursuant to this rule and the established order of business.
Notice, this is not a majority of the pledged delegates, it is a majority of the delegates. This means you have to compare the pledged vs total delegates. So far Trump has won 6 states (South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Mississippi). Cruz has won only 4 (Texas, Kansas, Maine, Idaho). Granted, the convention rules may change, but if Kasich and Rubio have no viable path to the election then I cannot imagine the assembly changing the rules. This means that techincally no delegates will even have the option of voting for Kasich or Rubio even if they win today. In other words, all Kasich, Rubio, and Carson delegates will not be allowed to actually vote for Kasich, Rubio, or Carson since those men will not be candidates for nomination. Not only can Kasich and Rubio not win at a contested convention, they can’t even enter the contest. Their supporters may very well abstain in the first round, but that is it.
So a few points to make
- Trump is unlikely to garner the 1237 delegates necessary to win outright
- Trump and Cruz are the only two candidates who can even contest the convention according to 2012 rules
- The convention will probably not generate rules in a fashion that generates a floor fight between 5 candidates. The simplest thing to do is simply adopt 2012 rules.
Even if Trump walks into the convention with a plurality of pledged delegates there is a good chance Cruz ends up with the majority. Hip Hip Hurray!