Unfortunately for presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, Republicans can help to vote a Democratic candidate into office during November's general election. In the months leading up to the National Conventions, some states hold closed primary elections, which require voters to register with a certain party before voting for that party's candidate. In the general election, however, citizens can vote for whomever they please, as long as they've registered to vote beforehand. In November, this lifting of barriers could hurt Trump's chances of moving into the White House.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who had never supported Trump in the past, asked Republicans to unite around the billionaire after Indiana's primary results were announced. But as an anti-establishment candidate known for his bellicose barks, Trump isn't a fan favorite among moderate Republicans. In fact, some voters who registered as Republican in the primary elections might just cross the aisle and choose Hillary Clinton, the candidate whom they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.
According to a Monmouth University Poll of Ohio, only 64 percent of the state's Republicans said they would vote for Trump. In fact, 10 percent said they would go as far as to vote for Clinton instead. That percentage was nearly matched by Republican primary voters in Michigan. And average citizens aren't the only ones sharing this sentiment. Certain party figures have expressed their undying dislike for the new GOP nominee. Ben Howe, an editor at the conservative publication Red State, tweeted what Republicans on the #StopTrump train have been thinking all along.
Former Republican presidents are also hesitant to vote for him. Most recently, George W. Bush spoke out against Trump without directly addressing or naming him during a Jeb Bush rally in South Carolina.
I understand that Americans are angry and frustrated. But we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustration.
In an interview with Time magazine, an unnamed former senior official in the George W. Bush administration said he would choose Clinton over Trump any day, even though he doesn't outrightly support her:
At least it’s not going to disgrace the nation on the first day. I don’t support her at all, but Trump is beyond the pale ... I mean what the hell even is the party?
That question has become pretty popular in the last few months. At first, Trump's bid for the presidency seemed like a shot in the dark. The nation expected the reality star to drop out of the race and dismiss it as a joke at any moment. The Republican Party establishment didn't acknowledge the legitimacy of his candidacy and widespread support until it was too late.