20:03 GMT24 June 2021
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    As billionaire Donald Trump becomes the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, following the withdrawal of Ted Cruz and John Kasich, a number of conservatives are abandoning ship.

    Trump’s candidacy was viewed as a long shot from the beginning, and many in the Republican establishment never imagined they would have to ask themselves: “What if Trump wins?” Now that this outcome is all but guaranteed – barring a last minute rule change by the RNC – most are accepting the reality of the situation.

    Others, however, are standing by their #NeverTrump pledge, vowing to support Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the general election.

    Even Republican leaders who haven’t gone so far as to switch allegiance to the Democratic Party have still made their frustrations with Trump’s candidacy well known.

    "[Trump] is going to be the Republican nominee, and all the people who were ‘Never Trumpers’ are going to have a tough decision to make, moving forward," journalist Sam Sacks told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear.

    "Are they going to stick by their pledges and not support the Republican nominee and consider supporting a Democrat…Or are they going to bite their words and have this kumbaya moment and all flock to Donald Trump?"

    Many of the Republican holdouts appear to be neoconservatives, including Mark Salter, former top advisor to Arizona Senator John McCain. Their opposition to Trump may have less to do with the candidate’s racist rhetoric and more to do with Clinton’s interventionist foreign policies.

    "You will see a lot of the neoconservatives, people who were, ironically, very close in the George W. Bush administration…coming home and supporting Clinton, who has a foreign policy record that hews pretty neoconservative," Sacks says.

    After losing Tuesday’s Indiana primary, Trump’s closest competitor, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, dropped out of the race. Ohio Governor John Kasich, the billionaire’s only remaining challenger, is expected to formally drop out Wednesday afternoon.

    Whether the #NeverTrump movement fizzles by November remains to be seen, but for the moment, the Republican Party continues to experience major fissures among its rank and file.

    The Democratic Party, however, is experiencing its own – albeit significantly smaller- internal conflict. With a subset of Bernie Sanders supporters launching a similar #NeverHillary campaign, the election drama is only just beginning.


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    NeverTrump, neoconservative, GOP, RNC, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, US
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