A majority of Republican insiders say Donald Trump should not get the
GOP presidential nomination if he falls short of winning a majority of
delegates – even if Trump amasses more than any of his opponents.
That’s according to The POLITICO Caucus – a panel of strategists,
activists and operatives in seven key swing states. Roughly six-in-10
Republicans said the party should nominate another candidate if Trump
finishes with a plurality, rather than the required 1,237-delegate
majority necessary to claim the party nomination.
“Rules is rules. You have to get a majority,” said a Virginia
Republican who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously.
“That’s the problem with our country: No one ever wins anymore.”
The question is central to the GOP calculus before the Cleveland convention:Should
the party award the nomination to the candidate who won the most
delegates in total – as Trump himself has advocated – or stick to the
rule that a candidate must win at least 1,237 delegates in order to be
The majority of insiders who want the party to choose someone else if
Trump only wins a plurality of delegates said they are motivated by
questions of electability, Trump’s capricious campaign style and
“I’m firmly in the ‘Never Trump’ camp,” said a New Hampshire
Republican. “The GOP gets killed if he’s the nominee. We probably get
killed if he doesn’t support a different nominee anyway. So if it makes
no difference to the eventual outcome, my conscience will be clear going
down with a responsible nominee instead.”