The #NeverTrump movement still lives strong among many conservative pundits and individual voters unwilling to line up behind the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
— Juliet Amy (@JAmy208) May 19, 2016
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) May 19, 2016
For GOP insiders hoping to legitimately launch an alternative to Donald Trump, however, many are starting to see the effort as futile. And one prominent Republican is apparently walking away from the effort altogether.
As evidenced by recent national polling results, Trump is on pace to be competitive against likely — and widely unlikable — Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. In light of the party’s increasing coalescence behind the brash billionaire, the central figures in the movement to stop his growing momentum are now abandoning the pursuit.
The GOP presidential nominee in 2012, Mitt Romney, has found a voice in the current election cycle as an anti-Trump force interested in finding a third-party alternative to represent disaffected Republican voters. According to reports this week, however, Romney called off the push after his top picks turned down the opportunity to run.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. — perhaps the most vocal anti-Trump lawmaker — reportedly declined to launch an opposition candidacy along with a number of other prospects. Furthermore, efforts like Romney’s faced intensifying condemnation from the GOP elite as well as derision from the party rank and file.
“They can try to hijack another party and get on the ballot,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a recent Fox News interview, “but, look, it’s a suicide mission for our country because what it means is that you’re throwing down not just eight years of the White House but potentially 100 years on the Supreme Court and wrecking this country for many generations.”
One member of the #NeverTrump movement anonymously revealed what some believe to be its Achilles’ heel.
Among those pushing to find an alternative to Trump, the source explained to CNN, there is a dearth of experienced campaign managers.
“They’re writers, activists and politicians,” the individual said. “You need someone to say, ‘This is how I’d make it real.’ The odds remain low.”