Donald Trump’s problems seem to get worse by the day. In addition to his poll numbers collapsing, a growing number of Republican national security experts, generals, and even some elected officials are coming forward to say they will not be supporting the Republican nominee in November. Some have even endorsed Hillary Clinton.
The most recognizable example is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, one of the few moderate to liberal Republicans left in Congress. She penned an op-ed in the Washington Post explaining why she cannot support the new standard bearer of her party.
Just today, five more Republicans came out and endorsed Clinton: Carlos Gutierrez, former Commerce Secretary under President George W. Bush; Carla Hills, former HUD secretary under President Ford; Connie Morella, a former Maryland Congresswomen; Chris Shays, a former Connecticut Congressman, and John Negroponte, former UN Ambassador and Director of National Intelligence under Bush 43.
While these defections are a sign that Trump has not come close to unifying the party, despite his insistence to the contrary, it does not spell doom for him quite yet. With all due respect to these Republicans putting their country ahead of their party, these are not exactly big names, and few are on the ballot this year.
Sen. Collins not up for re-election until 2020, and many of the other #NeverTrump elected officials are lower level House Republicans. Important, but still insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
So far, Mark Kirk is the most prominent name up for re-election this year to unendorse Trump. But he is running in a deep blue state and is likely to lose anyway.
Even with Trump’s slide in the polls, many Republican Senators and Representatives need his voters to win their own races in the Fall. They are in the ultimate catch-22.
Not to mention, there are still three months to go until Election Day. And with Clinton having some significant flaws of her own, many Republicans are holding out on the hope that Trump could, emphasis on could, turn it around. Though he is in such a hole now it looks increasingly unlikely it will happen. But the chance still exists.
Republican defections will become a big deal if a Kelly Ayotte, or a John McCain, or even a Paul Ryan start to join the mass exodus. If these, and other, incumbents up for re-election start to untie themselves from Trump, or at least try to, it will be the first real signal that the GOP knows the presidential race is a lost cause, and have a real fear that a potential wave might come crashing down on them.
They’re not there yet.