The fallout over leaked audio of Donald Trump using lewd language about women has some Republicans calling on him to withdraw from the presidential race. Trump told the Wall Street Journal Saturday there is "zero chance" he will withdraw. And any such move would be legally difficult because voting has already begun across the nation.
Under the Republican Party's rules, party leaders can pick a replacement if a nominee withdraws.
The Republican National Committee, a group of 168 party leaders and activists from across the country, is empowered to name a replacement in the event of a vacancy for "death, declination, or otherwise," under Rule 9.
If Trump withdrew, the RNC could tap vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, or any other eligible citizen, to be the party's nominee.
That step, however, would only cover the party's role. Whether voters could actually pick the new nominee would depend on 50 different sets of state laws.
At least 34 states offer early voting, and several only allow voting by mail, which means Trump ballots have been printed and sent out. In fact, about 20 percent of the electorate already has the option of early voting this week, according to data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission analyzed by Roll Call magazine.
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