CLEVELAND, July 15 (UPI) -- Republicans on the party's rules committee easily defeated a last-gasp effort by party members committed to denying Donald Trump the nomination in a meeting Thursday.
Of the 112-member rules committee, which, in part, sets forth the guidelines for how the Republican National Convention is orchestrated, 12 holdouts against Trump voted in favor of a so-called "conscience clause" that would have allowed individual delegates to break with their home state's primary or caucus results and vote for any candidate they wish.
The conscience clause had little chance of being codified in the convention rules, but if the proposal had received 28 votes on the rules committee, it would have required a vote of all delegates at the convention to defeat, something Trump and the Republican National Committee had hoped to avoid.
Even though the overwhelming majority of delegates headed to Cleveland are bound to support Trump, it's unclear exactly how many would have preferred another candidate win the nomination. Allowing open debate over a proposal to enter other names into consideration for the nomination would have set off a floor fight that reminded voters across the country of the fractious GOP primary at the precise moment Trump is hoping to unite the party behind him.
Colorado rules committee delegate Kendal Unruh, who put forth the conscience clause proposal, said she still has the 28 signatures needed to put the proposal on the convention floor come Monday, though she did not produce the signatures in the wake of a strong a defeat during what The Hill described as an emotional, marathon meeting in Cleveland on Thursday.
Trump's chief campaign strategist Paul Manafort sent a celebratory tweet in the wake of the rules committee result, proclaiming the final possible impediment to Trump's nomination had been quashed.
"Anti-Trump people get crushed," Manafort said, adding Trump's nomination was "never in doubt."