ABC News dropped the bombshell this week that Republican leaders are nervous and “actively exploring” options in case Donald Trump pulls a fast one and drops out of the presidential race.
Jon Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News, announced the news this week to the surprise of many. According to Karl, Republican senior party officials are “frustrated and confused by Donald Trump’s erratic behavior.” They are preparing for any possible scenario.
Although tensions in the Republican party have been at an all time high, Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks insists that there is no truth to the rumors of Trump looking to drop out of the race, nor has Trump publicly voiced any indication that he is looking to drop out.
If Trump was to drop out of the race it would have to be done voluntarily, as there is no system in place that Republicans could use to force him out of the nomination. In the case of a candidate voluntarily dropping out the RNC is permitted to “fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination or otherwise of the Republican candidate for president of the United States.”
According to Think Progress, Trump voluntarily dropping out of the race would create a huge set of complications, especially when looking at the situation state by state. Each state seems to have their own set of rules in regards to a candidate dropping out, including how long before an election they must do so. In some states, like West Virginia, a candidate’s name may remain on the ballot even in the event of a death if it happens too close to election time.
Other state laws on how members of the Electoral College should behave would complicate the process even further and would have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
We still aren’t quite sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing that Trump hasn’t declared any intentions for dropping out.