Bound vs. Unbound
Related to the "conscience" clause is the binding of delegates. A faction exists within the committee that argues Republican Party rules do not require delegates to be bound to the candidate based on results from the primary. This is important because if delegates are not bound to primary results, then delegates, many of them not enthusiastic about Trump, could easily vote against him and possibly deny him the support of a majority of delegates. Republican Party officials insist that the rules say delegates are bound.
This group is not new, but its plight has gained more exposure because of opposition to Trump, and a supporter of unbound is planning to offer a proposal that would tackle the issue once and for all.
A handful of other avenues exist for the Rules Committee to affect the convention and potentially open it up to a Trump alternative. One option is to lower the delegates threshold required to put a candidate's name into the process, which currently requires that candidates win a majority of delegates in eight states to have their name put up for nomination.
Ken Cuccinelli, who ran Sen. Ted Cruz's delegate operation during the primary, is leading a coalition of conservatives looking at a wide array of changes, including one to lower that threshold to a "majority of three states or a plurality of five states." Cuccinelli is looking to make a change during the next election cycle, not the current convention, but anything proposed by one of his allies could be a jumping-off point for a broader debate over next week's event.
Some have also suggested lowering the magic 1,237 number a candidate needs to get the nomination, which could easily open up the convention on the first ballot.