Utah GOP votes go to Trump; Dump-Trumpers thumped by GOP

Members of the New York delegation cheer for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the roll call at the Republican National Convention, Tuesday, July 19, 2016, in Cleveland | AP Photo/Evan Vucci, St. George News

CLEVELAND (AP) — After weeks of planning and one ferocious outburst that upstaged nearly everything on the Republican National Convention’s first day, conservatives’ feisty but always improbable effort to deny Donald Trump the GOP presidential nomination succumbed to multiple causes of death.

The lack of vital signs grew daily, culminating during Tuesday’s roll call of the states that formally put Trump over the top. That vote saw a fizzling of what conservatives hoped would be an effort by some delegates to brazenly ignore state party rules and back the candidate of their choice, not Trump.

“Whatever may or may not have been planned, apparently it didn’t happen,” said Colorado delegate Kevin Grantham. He said party leaders wanted to “make sure that Donald Trump is the nominee, regardless of what the states said, regardless of what the delegates say.”

The anti-Trump conservatives unified with another faction trying to alter party rules to shift power from the establishment Republican National Committee to grassroots activists, including many supporters of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a defeated presidential hopeful. But they were badly outnumbered by Trump delegates and party regulars who believed, like him or not, he’d won this year’s GOP primaries.

Also weighing against them — the rebels’ lack of an alternative candidate, vigorous lobbying by an alliance between the Trump campaign and the RNC and a growing sense it was time to unite against presumptive Democratic pick Hillary Clinton.

“You can stand your ground until the point comes when you would be compromising the country or the state,” said Steve House, chairman of the Colorado GOP, whose delegation was loaded with dissidents and Cruz supporters. “The team said, ‘Let’s stand up and support the nominee.'”

On the other side of the arena, the Utah delegation gamely announced that it was casting its 40 votes for Cruz. But the presiding officer awarded all those Utah delegates to Trump because of a quirk in Utah GOP rules that allow votes only for active candidates at the convention — and Trump was the only one.

“There’s been a lot of effort to make sure we have a smooth convention, that Donald Trump is the nominee and that we unite,” said Phil Wright, chairman of the Utah delegation. He said awarding all the votes to Trump was the GOP’s way “of trying to squash any dissent.”

Since it became clear last spring that Trump was the likely nominee, conservative delegates around the country plotted ways to use the party’s rules to derail him at the convention. They organized using social media, conference calls and seemingly endless emails.

But they were soundly thrashed last week when the convention’s rules committee approved guidelines for this week’s gathering. That carried over to the convention itself, which is run by party leaders who wield the gavel and deployed operatives to round up votes and thwart the dissidents.

They shut them down,” said Dane Waters, a GOP operative helping the rebels.

On Monday, conservatives demanded a final shot at rewriting party rules but were blocked. Their roars of outrage drew widespread coverage and distracted from party leaders’ efforts to show unity, but still they lost.

During Tuesday’s roll call, the Alaska delegation split its 28 votes among Trump, Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Convention officials counted all 28 Alaskan delegates for Trump, citing a discrepancy in state party rules, and overruled the delegation when it demanded a fresh count.

Underscoring the futility in challenging party leaders, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus explained the ruling against Alaska to the entire convention and said, “In any event, have a great night.” He then quickly left the stage as music began to play, leaving the Alaska delegates unhappy and vanquished.

Written by: ALAN FRAM, Associated Press. AP congressional correspondent Erica Werner contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews


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  • sagemoon July 20, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Dear Republican voters,
    Have you checked out the Libertarian party? You may be surprised at how closely it aligns with your values.
    You’re welcome,
    a registered Libertarian voter

    • ladybugavenger July 20, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      I vote for a Coke and Cheetos party ?

      • Ron July 21, 2016 at 8:30 am

        ladybugavenger….I vote for a Coronas and chips and salsa party.

        • sagemoon July 21, 2016 at 12:53 pm

          Mmm, it all sounds great to me. I’ll bring the cake.

  • CDub July 20, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    The perfect end of the farce that is Utah’s Republican primary/caucus process…a process that locks out droves of voters by virtue of the fact they were registered as independents. So now, Utah has nominated the person they hate more than anyone. NO ONE SHOULD BE DENIED THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE DUE TO THEIR PARTY AFFILIATION. It’s time for Utah Republicans to do what’s right….OPEN YOUR PRIMARIES!!!!

  • .... July 20, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    You know Hillary will be the president. right ?

    • tcrider July 21, 2016 at 7:28 am

      you couldn’t be further from the truth dot man,
      sad part is, after another four years of the same administration running things, our country
      is going to really be out of balance, you think things are bad now, wait till hilarious’ first term is done.
      republicans really need to come up with a real candidate, and I’m not talking cruz or some of the
      other slime bags.

    • ladybugavenger July 21, 2016 at 7:37 am

      Shame on you!

    • RealMcCoy July 21, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      I actually agree with you.
      It doesn’t matter what this circus act of an election ends up being, in the end all that matters is who counts the votes, and Hillary was promised the next election a long time ago, back when she ran against Obama then suddenly, ‘graciously’, bowed out of the running.
      She is an untouchable criminal. Her crimes that she has gotten away with show she is a protected person.

      Jaywalking, failure to use a turn signal, and letting your dog off a leash in public now have stiffer penalties than the act of exposing top secret information to enemies of the United States, as per the outcome of Hillary’s FBI probe.

      If any other person had done a fraction of what she did, they would be in Federal prison right now.
      Hillary, however, not only gets to walk away with no penalties…she also gets to be the next president.

  • ladyruger July 21, 2016 at 12:03 am

    The UT Caucus was a joke! Did the Delegates REALLY think Teddy would get the Nomination??? Lyin’Ted acted like an absolute petulant child who just wanted to hear himself speak! I pray that Texas wises up and votes poor pathetic Ted out of office for good!
    Caucus’s in this state are a total joke! Votes not counted, mishandling of Ballots. The UT Delegates should not be proud of how they TRIED to hyjack the Nomination!
    Maybe next time they won’t listen to old SnitMitt!

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