Threat of brokered convention fuels GOP rules panel

One of the items likely to be tackled at that time is the aforementioned Rule 40. The brainchild of GOP uber lawyer Ben Ginsberg in the 2012 Convention Rules meeting, it was designed to keep supporters of Ron Paul from putting on a display on the convention floor that might distract from the Mitt Romney narrative. Although it achieved this goal, the rule upset many of the party faithful—and the Republicans are apparently still stuck with it.

And in 2016, with 11 presidential candidates still in the race, several influential party officials worry that the eight-state majority requirement is too restrictive. Most presidential candidates win primaries with pluralities instead of majorities. And, if the GOP primary drags on, it could prove harder and harder for one contender to hit the eight-state threshold.

Even Rule 40 itself is open to interpretation. During Thursday’s meeting, RNC General Counsel John Ryder, the interpreter of the rules, argued that a “majority of support” could actually mean the presumptive nominee has demonstrated “enough support” in eight states. His argument: If delegates elected to support a presidential candidate who bowed out of the race moved their support to the presumptive nominee, that could count toward the majority.