Prior to this debacle, most state delegations were in no way bound to vote for the candidate who won the most votes in the first round. Following this, 48 out of 50 states had such a requirement.
Sen. Santorum had won several states, only to have his win stripped away from him by Ron Paul’s maneuvers to crash the state parties and have his loyalists elected in spite of having no intention to vote for the winner.
This is not to say that the states ever intended to have “faithless delegates” as they were called. Delegates were expected to vote for who they were assigned to vote for, based on elections, barring unusual circumstances, such a zombie candidacy being used to block a majority from forming.
And no, I don’t mean a “zombie candidate” as someone who persists after his election becomes unlikely, like people were worried Ted Cruz would be, but someone who was no longer a candidate, but didn’t want to free his delegates to help another candidate reach a majority.
So, really, the 2012 convention made huge strides towards democracy on one hand. On the other hand, it’s shameful that, yet again, unwritten codes of conduct had to be carved into stone, incapable of allowing responses to reasonable circumstances.