After Trump warning, RNC backs down on rules change.

Original Publication By Ralph Z. Hallow – The Washington Times – Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Donald Trump’s campaign, feeling it can ill afford anything less than a first-ballot win at the presidential nominating convention in July, privately warned the GOP this month not to attempt to change its rules this late in the game.

Mr. Trump’s warning appears to have worked, at least for now. Several influential leaders on the Republican National Committee withdrew plans to lower the nomination threshold and make it easier for other candidates to challenge Mr. Trump at the convention.

“What this demonstrated is the sway Trump has come to have over a reluctant GOP establishment,” said GOP elections analyst Jim Ellis, who was political adviser to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The fight played out at the RNC’s winter meeting, held on the sidelines of the GOP debate in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this month.   Under current rules, for a candidate to claim delegates at the convention, he or she must have won a majority of delegates from at least eight states. But some powerful members of the RNC wanted to lower the bar to accept candidates who won a plurality of delegates in just five states so that more candidates than Mr. Trump could qualify for the nomination.

Mr. Trump’s campaign said he wouldn’t tolerate a rules change midgame, when all the serious candidates had, or at least should have, planned their strategy based on the eight-state rule, which has been in effect since 2012.

Warned of a nuclear blowback from Mr. Trump, and fearful of being seen as attempting to aide establishment-backed candidates such as Sen. Marco Rubio or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the rules change proponents backed down.

The eight-state rule was designed to ensure that only major donor-approved, establishment-anointed candidates would qualify. The rule has backfired.

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