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Could Donald Trump leave the 2016 presidential race?

While Donald Trump is highly unlikely to leave the Presidential race, replacing him could be very difficult if he did. (WSYX/WTTE)

Some top Republicans are debating whether they can move on from Donald Trump as their party's nominee.

The likelihood of such a change is slim. Paul Beck, political science professor at Ohio State, said Republicans would have a hard time finding a replacement for Trump.

“It's a mess if you begin to do that," Beck said. "Of course you alienate, or run the risk of alienating, 40 to 59 percent of your party base who are Trump supporters. If Ronald Reagan was still alive and could come back and take the spot, that might work. But there's no one and that's been their problem all along.”

Bob Clegg, the President of Midwest Communication & Media, a GOP-leaning marketing firm, believes talk of a Republican ticket without Trump is far-fetched.

“This is (only) being discussed right now because Donald Trump is a very unconventional candidate himself,” Clegg said.

Some Republicans have said they fear Trump is so erratic, he may suddenly drop out on his own.

“I don't see Trump ever saying that,” Beck says. “That would be admitting defeat."

But Clegg sees how the nominee could spin the idea of walking away.

“If you get cheated out of something, you get viewed differently than if you lost," he said.

In this scenario, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, currently Trump’s running mate, would fill his shoes as a Presidential nominee.

“These things have happened before,” Beck said.

But Clegg warns there could be consequences to a change.

“At a certain point, if a candidate drops off the ballot, you cannot replace that candidate in the ballot because they have to get the ballots ready for early voting, for military overseas and there's a cut-off date,” he said.

If a change is going to be made to the Republican ticket, it would need to happen soon. A Republican legal expert reportedly told party officials Trump would need to drop out by early September to give them enough time to get someone else on the ballot in enough states to win.

Candidate submission deadlines for the Nov. 8 election vary from state to state. In Ohio, any Presidential tickets must be submitted by August 10, 90 days before the general election.

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