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What would happen if Donald Trump dropped out of the race? Expert explains

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, arrives to a campaign rally after being introduced by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, in Wilmington, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

What would happen if Donald Trump decided to drop out of the presidential race? It's a question many are now asking in light of dropping poll numbers and a decrease in support for the Republican presidential nominee, even from many prominent members of his own party.

"That is up to the national Republican Party, and there are two ways that could happen," said Jeremy Mayer, associate professor at George Mason University's School of Policy and Government.

One way is the Republican National Committee could hold another national convention - which Mayer said would be immensely time-consuming and difficult.

The second way would be to gather together party leaders from each state to come together to vote on a new nominee. According to the rules, members "shall be entitled to cast the same number of votes as said state was entitled to cast at the national convention."

But that means the will of the voters would likely be thrown out the window. Party leaders could choose someone like Sen. Ted Cruz (R- Texas), who came in second in the primary, or they could choose someone whose name was never even on the ballot.

There could be additional complications as well, with states with early voting and states where the ballot is deemed fixed long before Election Day, which means Trump's name would remain on the ballot even if he dropped out.

As of now Trump has repeatedly said he has no intention of doing so, but Mayer said if there's anything consistent about Donald Trump, it's his inconsistency.

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