I will not, ”hold my nose” and vote Trump and neither will many others. The #neverTrump movement is not a bunch of elitist, establishment types. Rush Limbaugh used to talk about the old salt that Republican consultants would tell candidates; that 40% of the people are democrats and 40% Republicans and the key to winning is getting the 20% that are independent, moderates. I say Rush used to say that because I have stopped listening to him and because now he mostly just talks about Donald Trump, which is why I stopped listening to him. That old salt didn’t work out for McCain or Romney by the way. The moderates and independents tend to like Democrats. More importantly when Republican nominees go to the middle and the left, they lose the base. Donald Trump will lose much of the base but in a slightly different way and to a much bigger degree.
If Trump were to win the nomination, he would probably keep most of the people who can’t be turned off by him no matter how far left he goes. But he will lose many actual conservative base voters who will not hold their nose. If they wouldn’t hold their nose for Romney, how much more so will they be turned off by Trump? Some of them may even vote for Hillary. I have pondered this myself and though I would likely never do it, I am not the only one who would consider doing this.
Not based on polls but based on common sense and some basic political knowledge, Ted Cruz doesn’t just say a vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary because it’s a good political statement but because it’s true. Trump will lose the conservatives and the moderates. He may get a bunch of people who want an outsider, despite his 40 years of backing insider Democrats but we’ve already seen that has a hard ceiling of about 40 percent of Republicans. He is going to lose Democrats to Hillary and even though she has high negatives, she will seem presidential in comparison. When Bernie campaigns for Hillary she will most certainly win in a low voter turnout mudslide.
One last thought to consider, in the primary Trump had $2 billion of free media in his favor. In the general he will have that much and more turned against him. And if the “establishment” thinks that putting in Kasich or Ryan or even Rubio will solve this problem, they are mistaken. They will also lose the base and this will inspire real conservatives to start a serious third party movement, something much more serious than the Republican autopsy of 2012. If Rush Limbaugh thinks that a Trump loss will blow up the Cleveland convention, anything but a Cruz win will destroy the Republican party in a slow death that will start this summer and gain momentum when Hillary wins in November. In 4 years the Republican party will be nothing but a small minority of elitists.
A promise of a Supreme Court position for Ted Cruz is not only an empty promise but will be just as helpful as Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan VP slots were for the last two Republican nominees. There will be no flood of unity behind Trump. Kasich or someone else may unite the establishment, but only Cruz has the potential to unite Republicans, conservatives and be a force to beat Hillary Clinton in debates, on positions and in excitement.