It became clear that Donald Trump will almost assuredly be the Republican presidential nominee after he swept the Indiana primary and knocked both of his opponents out of the race. Although Trump has won nearly every contest this election season, that doesn't mean the majority of Republican voters support him. As he makes his way toward the general election, many unhappy voters are left wondering: Is it too late for Paul Ryan to run for president?
Sure, Ryan is currently the Speaker of the House, but that doesn't mean many Republicans wouldn't gladly accept him as the Republican presidential nominee instead of Trump. As the Republican representative for Wisconsin since 1999, Ryan has established himself — especially in this volatile presidential election — as the party's shining star. In March, former Speaker John Boehner announced his support for Ryan as the party's nominee, even though Ryan wasn't running for POTUS. And in early April Ryan released presidential ads that made him seem and sound a lot more like a presidential hopeful than he has claimed he wants to be.
Once Ted Cruz dropped out and reports emerged that John Kasich would drop out, too, Ryan's presidency quickly became the Republican party's only hope. However, it is probably too late for Ryan to run for president.
No matter how desperately the American people would like to stop Trump and help introduce a new candidate to the race, it seems nearly impossible for Ryan to run for president now. There are only six primaries left, which means time has run out for presidential hopefuls considering taking on Trump. Heading into these remaining primaries, Trump only needs to secure 190 delegates (at the time of writing) to become the Republican nominee. That means any new candidate, like Ryan, joining the race this late in the game would face a mathematical impossibility to win the necessary 1,237 delegates in just a few months.
Getting on the presidential ballot is another process Ryan would have to face. According to MSNBC, some states like New York require a certain number of signatures from each of the state's 27 congressional districts. This might seem easy, but in order to secure these signatures the candidate would have to have a thorough organization already in place. This organization would have to include volunteers to circulate the petitions, campaign officials, lawyers, and administrative staff to manage the paperwork, which isn't easy to organize on short notice. And the new presidential hopeful would also have to raise millions of dollars in, like, no time.
But there is one small hope for Ryan and the Republican Party in stopping Trump. The Republican National Convention, which will be held in July in Ohio, could help elect a nominee other than Trump, who has become the presumptive nominee. If he fails to secure the 1,237 delegates needed to be the nominee before July, Trump could be blocked and a contested convention could ensue. The delegates would vote on the convention floor and even though most states bind their delegates to a candidate (meaning they are stuck with one person), that could all change based on this vote.
This initial vote will take place at the convention and it will determine the Republican nominee's fate. If Trump doesn't win majority support in this initial vote among the 1,237 delegates, then delegates previously bound to Trump would be released. This means the delegates could completely shift their support to a different candidate, like Ryan, and change the course of modern history.
Although it seems too late for Ryan to run for president, that could completely change at the Republican convention in July. Until then, Ryan will remain living the life of a presidential could-have-been and continue being the Republican party's darling in light of a frightening Trump presidency.