Let’s start with Rule 40(b) which requires each candidate to have the affirmative written support of the majority of delegates in 8 separate states. Let’s grant to Trump the remaining states, he will have a total of 30 states where he has won the majority of delegates, so he can miss 22 of those. Although Trump has the majority of bound delegates it may actually prove difficult for him to string together a majority of delegates in 8 states who will say in writing that they want Trump’s name entered into the contest. This may be especially difficult in states like Florida where Trump’s delegates are Rubio supporters, and in states like North Carolina where he has the most delegates, but not a majority, and in states like Mississippi where he has a bare majority. Add in that it will likely be difficult to cobble together 86 of the delegates from California after the whole Curiel fiasco. So let’s take out Arizona, New Mexico and California. Let’s also remove any state where he has less than 2/3 of total delegates. Next we need to remove Florida, Washington, Nebraska, and South Dakota where Trump supporters resoundingly lost the delegate selection round. We also ought to remove Pennsylvania since those delegates are technically unbound and can easily refuse to sign such a form before any voting begins. That leaves Trump with 15 states to start from. Now we have to consider whether Curiel, “my African American,” Cruz’ efforts to delegate stack and the unparalleled competence of the Trump team puts at risk any of those 15. The 8 state threshold is going to be difficult for Paul “Trump is not gay” Manafort, Russion mob connections or not.
Never fear! The rules for each convention are set by the rules committee before each convention and voted on by the delegates before the convention begins.
Now we go ahead to rule 16 and note that the delegates are bound according to the state preference polls. By this rule Trump has already clinched the nomination.
Lets make the contradiction clearer:
- Rule 40(b) states that each candidate must demonstrate support from a majority of state delegates prior to his name being submitted
- Trump may have a difficult time meeting the requirement of Rule 40(b)
- Rule 40(b) can be changed
- Rule 16 states that delegates are bound by state preference polls
- Rule 16 clinches the title of Nominee for Trump
- Rule 16 can be changed
If the rules committee can change Rule 40(b) then they can change Rule 16. Without Rule 16 Trump is not the nominee. With rule 40(b) he may still not be the nominee. The delegates are only bound insomuch as they agree to Rule 16.