For those of you who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of “Rule 40” and the GOP rules for the convention (rules that were put in place last time around), here is the rule in it’s entirety [emphasis mine]:
RULE NO. 40
(a) In making the nominations for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States and voting thereon, the roll of the states shall be called separately in each case; provided, however, that if there is only one candidate for nomination for Vice President of the United States who has demonstrated the support required by paragraph (b) of this rule, a motion to nominate for such office by acclamation shall be in order and no calling of the roll with respect to such office shall be required.
(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.
(c) The total time of the nominating speech and seconding speeches for any candidate for nomination for President of the United States or Vice President of the United States shall not exceed fifteen (15) minutes.
(d) When at the close of a roll call any candidate for nomination for President of the United States or Vice President of the United States has received a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the convention, the chairman of the convention shall announce the votes for each candidate whose name was presented in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of this rule. Before the convention adjourns sine die, the chairman of the convention shall declare the candidate nominated by the Republican Party for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States.
(e) If no candidate shall have received such majority, the chairman of the convention shall direct the roll of the states be called again and shall repeat the calling of the roll until a candidate shall have received a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the convention.
Notice something very important. There is NO mention at all of suspending Part (b) of Rule 40 in second and subsequent ballots.
RULE NO. 42
Upon the adoption of the report of the Convention Committee on Rules and Order of Business, Rule Nos. 26-42 shall constitute the Standing Rules for this convention and the temporary rules for the next convention.
In other words, RULE 42 states that RULE 40 cannot be changed for this year’s convention. That can only be done for the next convention (2020). So, if the GOPe (Rove and his ilk) try to change the rules they are in violation of the rules that they themselves put in place four years ago. So, unless Kasich wins seven more states between now and June 7, the ONLY candidates who can have their names put up for nomination before the delegates at the July convention is Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Period.
RULE NO. 32
Suspension of Rules
A motion to suspend the rules shall always be in order, but only when made by authority of a majority of the delegates from any state and seconded by a majority of the delegates from each of seven (7) or more other states, severally.
What this means is that they would need a majority of delegates from eight states to suspend the rules. Other than the Ohio delegation (and maybe Minnesota which went to Rubio), which other seven states will go that route? I guarantee you that states with majority delegates bound for Trump and Cruz will NOT.
So, it’s plain and simple.
It’s either Trump or Cruz.
No one else.
UPDATE: Since these were the rules put in place just before the 2012 convention, Rules 40 and 42 (and 32) would be considered “temporary” and not “standing” rules. Even with that being the case, how many of Trump’s and Cruz’s delegates would vote to suspend these rules to allow a GOPe candidate to swoop in to steal the nomination away from either one of them? I seriously doubt that would occur. Cruz has been meticulous in his chess-like, long-game strategy to allow this to occur (and most likely has been working with his team to prevent it). And the firm Trump delegates would certainly not want this to occur, either. Unless the GOPe wants to see the convention go crazy and the electorate revolt, this won’t happen.
So, back to my original point.
It’s either Trump or Cruz.