A new survey found that nearly four-in-10 Republican members of The POLITICO Caucus are in favor of amending party rules to replace Republican nominee Donald Trump during the Republican National Convention in July.
The panel of GOP activists, operatives and strategists came from 10 swing states. Internal polling of the caucus found that 37 percent consider Trump too large of a liability to keep as the party standard-bearer, Politico reports.
Currently, Trump has 1,447 delegates bound to him, meaning that they are obligated to vote for him on the first ballot during the GOP convention. Those who oppose the business mogul want to change the convention rules to allow for these delegates to vote for a different candidate.
The survey results arrive after a sustained period of controversy for Trump, from party complaints about the dysfunction of his campaign team to incendiary comments that the business mogul has made, drawing accusations of racism.
"He is what he is: a bully through and through, one that takes the low road at every opportunity," an anonymous Iowa Republican told Politico in the survey. "Someone who doesn’t understand or care about policy. And lest we forget, a racist."
Several insider Republicans voiced deep concerns that not only would Trump lose in the general election but that the controversies attached to his nomination could negatively impact the GOP's control of the House and Senate as well as State Legislatures.
"Trump will not only lose but will cost us the Senate, maybe the House, and who knows how much in the states," said an anonymous New Hampshire Republican. "We shouldn’t enter a suicide pact with him."
But a coup at the convention could be met with devastating blowback from Republican voters. Trump clinched the party's nomination by surpassing the 1,237 delegate threshold, all from winning the primary fair and square.
"We are screwed either way but more screwed if we ignore the millions of people that voted for him," said an anonymous New Hampshire Republican who was against such a manuever.
There has been a growing chorus of Republicans calling for the party to oust Trump. Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt urged the Republican National Committee (RNC) to dump the business mogul.
“When the dust clears we will have lost the House, we will have lost the Senate, we will have lost governorships,” Hewitt said on June 8, according to HuffPost Politics.
Bob Vander Plaats, the former campaign co-chair of the failed presidential bid made by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, has also called for Trump’s removal.
“Everything’s got to be on the table,” Vander Plaats told NBC News.
RNC committeeman Steve Scheffler dismissed any calls to change the RNC rules to deny Trump the nomination, pointing out that Trump had been nominated by a strong plurality of GOP voters.
“The people of this country have spoken,” Scheffler said. “Now is time to get on board and unify, and all these theatrics and doing something silly is not a smart thing to do.”