On a panel next to emissaries from the Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns on Thursday sat Rob Stutzman, the Republican political consultant who had been organizing a “Stop Trump” movement in California.
The Sacramento Press Club, Stutzman said, had likely scheduled his appearance before Trump became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.
In an epilogue for efforts to deny Trump the nomination, Stutzman acknowledged disappointment for the obvious reason, “because we wanted to oppose Mr. Trump here in California.”
But for the political consultants in the room, he shared an academic lament, as well. Because of the way California Republicans award nearly all of their 172 delegates – three delegates each to the winner of each congressional district – small numbers of Republican voters living in heavily Democratic districts will hold a disproportionate influence on the result. Stutzman and his adversaries were preparing to campaign in districts up and down the state.
“In a political consulting way, I just have to say for the nerds in the room, like me, it was a real bummer,” Stutzman said. “We would have learned more about Republicans living in places like Inglewood and the Marina District of San Francisco than we ever had before.”
Now that Trump has secured the nomination, there will be no such campaign.
Of the “Stop Trump” movement, Stutzman said, “It’s not really ‘stop’ anymore. It’s just ‘never.’”