BILLINGS, Mont. - Originally, there were 17 Republican presidential candidates. Only Donald Trump remains, making him the presumptive nominee. But on June 7, when Montanans head to the polls, voters will see the names of several other Republican candidates who have suspended their campaigns on the ballot.
What happens if voters choose to vote for a candidate who's dropped out of the race?
Political Analyst Lee Banville said if a candidate gets enough votes, a few of the delegates going to the Republican National Convention will be pledged, or committed, to voting for those candidates in the first ballot -- even if that candidate is no longer running for office.
"What becomes interesting is those pledged candidates are really committed to the candidate to whom they said they would vote, unless that candidate says I'm releasing my delegates and saying you should support whomever you want or you should support the party candidate," Banville said. "This really hasn't happened that much on the Republican side, in part because of the heat and the nastiness of the fight this year, but also because of the sort of 'Never Trump' movement that really emerged."
But Banville said, if Montana republicans decide to vote against Trump in the primary, and those delegates are committed to a candidate who has pledged to go to the convention saying they're not backing Trump, then those delegates would be voting against the presumptive nominee of their own party.