It's been obvious for quite a while that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party's presidential nomination, and he's been the party's presumptive nominee since early May. And yet, the GOP's "Never Trump" contingent has been surprisingly persistent, looking for every possible avenue to derail the controversial television personality.
Indeed, this has been a leading concern among Democratic donors, who've made no secret
of their fear about Republicans dumping Trump for a less ridiculous -- and more electable -- presidential candidate.
As of last night, however, it appears that the "Never Trump" campaign has run its course
: Trump will be the nominee.
Donald Trump received a major victory Thursday as delegates overwhelmingly opposed last-ditch efforts to derail his nomination. In the wonky Rules Committee meeting ahead of the Republican National Convention next week, a whip team assembled by the Trump campaign worked closely with officials at the Republican National Convention to defeat anti-Trump delegates' efforts.
Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, doesn't say much via social media, but he felt compelled to boast
last night, "Anti-Trump people get crushed at Rules Committee. It was never in doubt."
Well, it was sort of
in doubt. While "Never Trump" activists have long faced seemingly insurmountable hurdles, the Republican National Committee was worried enough about these efforts to launch a whip team
to lobby members of the Rules Committee, helping ensure this outcome.
If the outcome was a foregone conclusion, party insiders wouldn't have bothered.
So, it's finally time to move on? That's a safe assumption, though NBC News' report
added that Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh, whose "Never Trump" activism enjoyed support from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), will continue to push for changes.
They are still planning to force a floor fight over multiple rule changes, all of which were soundly defeated Thursday. They say they are working to muster 28 signatures from the Rules Committee -- one-fourth of the members -- by the opening of the convention Monday. If they succeed, then there is one last opening. The "minority report." as it's known, will allow them to be recognized on the floor of the convention. But the odds are great: A minority report has not been submitted since the 1976 contested convention between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. "A floor fight is inevitable," Unruh told NBC News.
After last night's Rules Committee vote, it's fair to say she's unlikely to succeed.