The “Never Trump” movement announced Monday it has no plans to back down after a rules committee voted to enforce state instructions for delegates at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
The two leading groups in the Never Trump movement are Free The Delegates and Delegates Unbound. Both groups announced a joint plan to try and whip delegates to vote against the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to The Hill.
The organizations are prepared to spend up to $3 million this week at the convention. Each state at the convention has at least one assigned “whip” who will meet privately with each delegate in his or her state. Additionally, the group is planning a massive communications operation so they can communicate quickly with all delegates during the floor vote.
Group officials deny that the rule committee vote to strike down the “vote your conscience” initiative would have any effect on their plans. The vote doesn’t change the fact that delegates are free to vote however they please, according to officials.
“If and when [a floor fight] goes on, it will be about finagling the delegates, appealing to their duty, to their country, to the conservative movement to nominate someone other than Trump,” said Virginia delegate and member of Delegates Unbound Beau Correll.
GOP officials were more skeptical. “I hope people will accept the outcome of the rules, but I just don’t see a majority of Republican delegates willing to overturn what the voters did in their states,” said RNC member Steve Duprey. “That’s not how we roll.”
The Colorado delegate who first proposed the motion to allow delegates to “vote their conscience” told The Hill that if there was chaos on the floor during the vote, it would be solely the fault of the party for not listening to the delegates.
A separate group, Save Our Party, is working on a separate plan to encourage delegates to not attend the vote, ensuring that Trump fails to earn the full amount required for a nomination on the first ballot. Additionally, the group plans to petition for what is called by the party a “roll call” vote for the first ballot. This would force each delegate to name his or her vote when individually called.
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