A delegate to the Republican National Convention filed a class action lawsuit in federal court late last week, “challenging a state law that binds delegates to support the primary winner at the nominating convention.” Around the same time, a group called “Delegates Unbound” launched a new television commercial, intended to rally support for Republican convention delegates to vote their conscience when they meet next month in Cleveland.
The point of this is plainly obvious: there are more than a few Republican delegates who still hope to deny Donald Trump the party’s presidential nomination, and they’re looking for any possible, last-gasp, Hail-Mary solutions in the hopes of preventing the inevitable.
Trump and the Republican National Committee are taking the possibility seriously, “moving quickly and aggressively to head off the fledgling effort to stage a revolt,” but let’s not miss the funny part of all of this: Republican officials aren’t the only ones worried about Trump getting derailed by a convention coup.
Politico published a piece last week with an off-hand observation thrown in: Democratic donors and Hillary Clinton’s allies “are no longer convinced that Donald Trump is sure to be the GOP nominee.” A day later, Politico fleshed this out further.
Hillary Clinton’s top fundraisers are encountering an unexpected obstacle a month out from the party conventions: big money donors suddenly reluctant to give for fear of running Donald Trump out of the race before he locks up the nomination.“They’re worried about giving money to attack Trump before the convention,” said longtime Clinton ally James Carville, who has been raising money for the campaign in New York…. There’s no evidence that Trump is considering dropping his presidential bid, and it’s unlikely Republicans will dump him as the party nominee. But Clinton’s well-heeled supporters are nevertheless worried by the prospect of running against anyone other than him.
An unnamed Clinton donor added, “That’s all anyone’s worried about.”
Let’s not brush past this too quickly. Dems are not only aware of the GOP chatter about a convention coup, they’re actively worried about it. As these Democrats see it, Trump is a weak general-election candidate who’s likely to lose, so the fear is the Republican revolt will succeed and the GOP will nominate someone more competitive.
In fact, apparently some Democratic donors are holding onto their money, fearful that the Clinton campaign will spend it, build an even larger lead in the polls, and make it that much more likely that Trump will get the boot.
For the record, I still think the prospect of a convention coup is unlikely. But that doesn’t change these amazing circumstances: the only folks more worried than Trump and his GOP allies about an intra-party revolt at the Republican convention are the Democrats eager to take on Trump in the fall.