May 10, 2016 11:15 PM GMT
For years, Curly Haugland’s command of the GOP rulebook made him a pariah. This year, he could be the establishment’s last hope to stop its nightmare nominee...
...Yet now, as his party teeters on the edge of civil war, Haugland has become one of the most dangerous men in politics: He’s the mainstream GOP’s last hope to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination in Cleveland. It would take a miracle—and almost certainly lead to a historic split in the party—but there is still a way, buried in the labyrinthine rulebook, that the party could free delegates from their obligation to vote for Trump.
There is one article of faith in the Republican Party: On the convention’s first ballot, bound delegates are required to vote for the candidate to whom they’re bound. What you need to know about Haugland’s radical vision is this: He insists that’s not the case. Haugland has been trumpeting this nuclear option for months. In March, he blasted out a letter to fellow Republican National Committee members with the subject line: “NEWS FLASH: All Republican Delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention are Unbound!” He’s on a mission to let all the delegates at the convention in Cleveland to vote however they’d like on the first ballot, no matter whom their state’s voters chose.