Anti-Trump Efforts to Unbind Delegates Fail In Republican Rules Panel

Leaders will also likely not be able to force a vote on the convention floor.

July 14, 2016, 10:38 PM
PHOTO:Donald Trump celebrates winning the South Carolina primary in Spartanburg, S.C., Feb. 20, 2016.
Donald Trump celebrates winning the South Carolina primary in Spartanburg, S.C., Feb. 20, 2016.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

— -- A last-ditch effort to block Donald Trump's nomination by freeing delegates to vote for whomever they want has been soundly defeated in the convention's rules panel tonight.

“It’s over folks. We need to get behind our candidate," said Steve Scheffler, who also pushed additional language to clarify that delegates are bound.

It's still not technically over for the group: anti-Trump leaders will have until Monday to submit the names of 28 rules panel members who support the effort in order to force a vote on the floor of the full convention.

This appears unlikely, but despite tonight's failure, it's still possible.

The proposal was defeated by voice vote and no exact numbers were given. A vote to end discussion on the proposal received only 21 "no" votes, indicating that a push to force a vote on the convention floor will not reach the 28-delegate threshold.

The panel has also inserted additional language insisting that the delegates are bound.

Kendal Unruh, a rules panel member from Colorado who spearheaded the anti-Trump effort, told delegates it was a "God-given right" for them to be able to vote freely at the convention.

Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort proclaimed victory on Twitter.

“The right of each delegate and alternate delegate to vote their conscience on all matters shall not be infringed," the failed proposal read.

Some anti-Trump delegates still insist that they are free to vote how they choose under the current rules. Organizers of that effort say delegates can object on the floor if they believe their votes were announced incorrectly.

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