Will Republicans Vote For Hillary Clinton? For Some, It's A Rock And A Hard Place

On Tuesday night, the anti-Trump movement within the Republican effectively imploded. Their last faint hope, Ted Cruz, dropped out of the race after a blistering defeat in the Indiana primary. Shortly thereafter, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that Donald Trump "will be presumptive nominee" for the party, and that Republicans should "unite and focus on defeating" Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. With the polarizing Trump as the all-but-certain GOP nominee, is it possible that some Republicans will vote for Clinton?

Obviously, there's not a simple yes-or-no answer to that query, but there's evidence that a certain segment of Republicans would back Clinton over Trump — namely, the female segment. In late March, a NBC/WSJ poll found that 47 percent of female Republican voters could not see themselves voting for Trump. That's not exactly shocking, considering that the same poll found that Trump had a whopping 70-percent negative rating with women overall. While it's highly unlikely that all of the 47 percent would swing over to Clinton come November, a good portion of them very well may. That same poll also found that in a hypothetical runoff election between Clinton and Trump, 58 percent said they'd vote for the former secretary of state, while just 31 percent said they'd support the business mogul.

Of course, it's not just female Republicans who may ultimately choose Clinton if voting Republican means voting for Trump. A New York Times / CBS News poll from March found that half of voters are "scared" of a Trump presidency, and an additional 19 percent said they would be "concerned." That means less than a third of U.S. voters are okay with a future in which Trump is the president. While that poll measured how U.S. voters, not just Republicans, were feeling about the candidates, it's hard to imagine that within that wide swath of Americans who have reservations about a Trump presidency, some portion aren't Republicans — and Republicans willing to vote for Clinton.

Certainly, Clinton comes with her own unfavorable ratings. That same poll found that 35 percent of voters said they'd be scared if Clinton were elected president in November. However, if she's up against Trump, Clinton may not only have a better shot of shoring up Democrats who had been feeling the Bern, but also some GOP voters who really don't want to make America great again — at least, not The Donald's way.