A major and perhaps final blow to the "Never Trump" movement: The Republican National Convention's 112-member Rules Committee rejected an "unbinding" proposal Thursday that would've allowed delegates bound to Donald Trump to use a "conscience clause" to dump Trump and choose another as the nominee. The voice vote was so one-sided that a tally wasn't even recorded, reports the Washington Post. The Hill reports there were only about a dozen supporters, and the chairman of Trump's campaign says they were "crushed." The vote followed one in favor of an amendment ensuring delegates are bound to primary and caucus results. "Never before have things looked so bleak for those looking to unseat the presumptive GOP nominee," observes Politico. "It's over, folks," says an Iowa delegate. "Let's get behind our nominee right now."
Never Trump supporters have claimed they have the 28 member signatures needed to move the proposal to the convention floor, where 2,472 delegates would have their say, but that wasn't evident with Thursday's vote. To vote their conscience is a delegate's "God-given right," Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh argued in favor of the proposal, supported by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, the highest-ranking elected official on the committee. He urged Trump to "make the case to those delegates to support you. Don't make the case that their voices should be silenced," per the Hill. "My understanding is that you represent the grassroots," a Texas delegate countered. "If we're really representing the grassroots, we need to listen to those voters [who voted for Trump]."