When Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who was personally attacked by Trump during a meeting with senators last week, was asked about his attendance at the RNC, he said he had some very important house chores to tend to: "No, I've got to mow my lawn".
Humphrey said he is not only confident the rule will get the 28 votes of support in the committee to pass in a form of a minority report, but he believes it will pass on the convention floor. He hopes the ruling sparks the GOP to pick a different candidate. The biggest share of their energy has been devoted to lobbying members of the rules committee to support a "conscience clause" that would allow delegates to vote for someone other than the victor they are bound to by their state's primary results. But despite his win, the real moment of truth for the Free the Delegates and Delegates Unbound movements will come this week when the convention's Rules Committee meets in Cleveland.
Outside the federal courthouse Thursday, Correll said Republicans can do better than Trump. In fact, he doubts numerous rule changes being proposed will pass. Campaign manager Paul Manafort, a veteran of previous contested Republican conventions, will be leading a team of hundreds of staffers and loyal volunteers responsible for warding off an insurrection among more conservative party members still bitterly opposed to Trump's candidacy.
Each side sought to spin the ruling as proof they were winning the broader argument over whether delegates will be committed or not to voting for Trump next week.
"I thought they would press it forward more, make it go all the way to the end", he said.
Hack said she informed Graham that she planned to ignore the requirement to vote for Trump on the first ballot.
The most contentious fight at the platform committee could be about trade because Trump has taken positions against free trade agreements that are more in line with liberal Democrats, said Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has written a book about presidential primaries and nominations. In the Nineties, she was a far-right supporter of [Newt] Gingrich. The push against Trump is more about him and his temperament than ideological differences, she said. Formed in the past month, the organization claims to have hundreds of convention delegates on its side - but few actually on the rules committee. "But she did it in 20 years; Trump's done it in ten years". "They want to give money against Trump", Burkman says. "Some of them would be names you know, some of them would be names you might not", he says. "People hate Donald Trump so much - so much - that they don't even care who the candidate is".