That’s because convention delegates are not typical Republicans, GOP insiders say. Some are everyday, local Republican officials interested in the convention experience more than a political coup. Many are Trump backers brought into the political fold by the mogul. Others have been swept into national politics precisely to snub the GOP establishment. And others still are susceptible to that same establishment’s pressure to avoid a messy convention.
“I don’t believe most delegates have the stomach to turn the national convention into a political war zone by attempting to deny Trump the nomination,” said Dick Wadhams, a Republican strategist and former chairman of the Colorado GOP. “Remember the vast majority of these folks are not political professionals, they have personal and professional lives way beyond politics. And while they clearly have a deep political interest and record of activism, they don’t want to be directly involved in this anti-Trump drama.”
These dynamics have left anti-Trump activists frustrated and stalled. Only a handful of convention delegates have publicly declared their intent to take on Trump in Cleveland. Dozens of others have told POLITICO they’ll forcefully reject efforts to thwart Trump’s nomination. Their main reason: he won more votes than any of his rivals – more than 13 million – and played by the rules to do it.
“I’ll be damned if I’m going to go to Cleveland and vote to shred their votes,” said Jordan Ross, a delegate from Nevada, a member of the powerful Rules Committee where a small band of anti-Trump delegates is struggling to mount a last stand.