With a growing number of Republicans calling for presidential candidate Donald Trump to leave the race, some reports Saturday said high-ranking members of the Republican National Committee were exploring options for removing him from the ticket, despite procedural roadblocks and the fact that only a month remains until Election Day.
Many political analysts said such efforts were unlikely to succeed, with ballots already printed and early voting already underway in some states.
"No, no, definitely not a realistic option," Pennsylvania State University political science lecturer Mark Major told VOA.
Capitol Hill news outlet Politico reported that Republican leaders were spending the weekend re-evaluating their election strategy in light of the latest Trump-related uproar: an 11-year-old videotape in which Trump makes lewd and sexually aggressive remarks about women.
Politico said the party lawyers had "already concluded" Trump must cooperate in any attempt to remove him — something the candidate ruled out Saturday on Twitter:
The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly - I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN! #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
Even if the Republican National Committee decided it could no longer back Trump, Major said, "I think, according to their own party rules and procedures, Trump is their candidate. There's no way they can get rid of him at this point.
"They could maybe do a write-in ballot, but that process is incredibly difficult. Trying to coordinate that among the entire electorate is nearly impossible."