Cruz and the convention chess game

Cruz and his backers would likely revolt if the committee did not keep in place the rule from 2012, which was proposed by Romney in an effort to prevent Ron Paul from contesting the nomination at the convention.

Blackwell fought against the rule at the time because he believed it to be overreach by the establishment and a disenfranchisement of voters who wanted someone else. After trying again earlier this year to change the rule, Blackwell now believes it’s too late. “At this point it would be wrong to change the rules,” he told RCP.

“I think it would be a horrible reaction, and I think it could split the Republican Party,” Blackwell said of the prospect of another candidate being brought forth. He pointed to the irony that rules designed to promote the once-leading candidates such as Jeb Bush have helped non-establishment figures like Trump and Cruz.

Even if there were a consensus alternative to the current cast of contenders, it would require both Trump and Cruz to give in to someone who won fewer contests than they did, or even none at all.