Explainer: What will happen if Trump drops out?

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - With bipartisan pressure on Donald Trump to swiftly drop from the presidential race after a 2005 video surfaced where the Republican nominee condoned sexual assault, voters stand in a precarious limbo.

Some GOP officials, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, candidly say they can no longer defend Trump and rally for him to be yanked from the stage once and for all. Not to be upstaged, Trump tweeted Monday, "Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee."

Others demand a sincere apology from the outspoken figure calling his language "lewd" and "disgusting." South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, and a list of others, asked for VP candidate Mike Pence to take over the ticket. 

Here's what would happen if the Republican party dumps Trump:

With Trump dumped Pence becomes president 

The Republican National Committee--not the delegate and superdelegate bodies themselves-- could revoke Trump's nomination against his objection, making the party temporarily leaderless. Party leaders like Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could rally for any candidate, including Pence who has already obtained significant GOP backing, to take the wheel. If the RNC elects a nominee with a majority 150 vote, that person becomes the new nominee. 

Americans cast ballots for Electoral College not the president

At this point in the race, what matters most is which party has a bigger representation in the Electoral College. Whichever party has the majority of seats determines the outcome of a Republican or Democratic president--regardless of who that candidate is. So even though early voting has been well underway in several states, those votes will still be counted (regardless of whether Trump remains) to determine the proportion of red vs. blue in the electorate.

Pence or any other candidate would need to gather 270 Electoral College votes before Congress can confirm him as the presidential-elect on January 6.

Hilary Clinton claims majority votes

Ousting Trump could leave the Republican party with little time to rally behind a single nominee. The splintered party may not be able to get the majority votes with Hilary claiming the 270 votes she needs to take office in 2017.




© 2018 WUSA-TV


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