Donald Trump's march to the Republican nomination has forced a crisis in the party. Opposition to the billionaire front-runner began boiling over in February when Trump's initial refusal to denounce former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke in an interview led a growing list of GOP elected officials and top strategists to step forward and declare their opposition to Trump's candidacy. On Twitter, #NeverTrump became a way for party stalwarts to voice their dissatisfaction.
Some GOP lawmakers, like South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and vulnerable New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, have tried to walk a fine line by saying they would support the party nominee without offering an official endorsement, and in some cases, without mentioning Trump by name. House Speaker Paul Ryan, after initially withholding an endorsement, gave his support via an an op-ed.
Politicians supporting the Republican nominee have had to grapple with how to address both Trump's more vexing policy positions, such as his murky proposal to ban Muslims from traveling to the United States, and personal attacks, like Trump's charge that Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit alleging fraud against Trump University, has an "absolute conflict" of interest in the case due to Curiel's Mexican heritage. The Republican Party devolved into all-out civil war in June as Trump defended his racially tinged criticism. One Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk, rescinded his endorsement. Ryan called Trump's comments "textbook" racism, yet reiterated his support.
A similar furor erupted in late July after Trump attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan, parents of Humayun Khan, a Muslim-American soldier who died in Iraq, for speaking out against him. In response to Trump lashing out at the Gold Star family, GOP officials praised the Khans for their sacrifice, but most declined to repudiate Trump by name. Only one GOP lawmaker, Rep. Richard Hanna, retiring at the end of his term this year, said he could not longer vote for the Republican nominee.
Cruz and Kasich, meanwhile, have not endorsed their former rival. Kasich did not speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, despite the fact that he is the Republican governor of Ohio, and has continued to criticize Trump. Cruz made a high-profile appearance at the RNC, but surprised the crowd by refusing to endorse — telling the audience instead to "vote your conscience." Others Republican lawmakers, such as Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, have continued to publicly withhold an endorsement.
More than 30 Republican lawmakers, strategists and commentators had joined the resistance before Trump became the nominee. Now that the general election has begun, will they reverse course and support him, or stay true to #NeverTrump? Will Never Trumpers vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, back a third party, or not vote at all? Will more Republicans who endorsed Trump withdraw their support? Some have already decided. NBC will continue to update the list. — Liz Johnstone
ELECTED GOP OFFICIALS AGAINST TRUMP
1. Sen. Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.)
Supporting: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell
The Illinois senator called Trump "kind of a riverboat gamble" in May, but said he would endorse him if he became the party's nominee, which Trump did. Kirk faces a tough re-election challenge and originally said Trump would ultimately help him in that race.
Fast forward — past Trump's divisive remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel's Mexican heritage and numerous other controversial comments — to June, when Kirk became the first senator to rescind his endorsement. He declared in a statement released June 7 that Trump's remarks about the federal judge were "dead wrong" and "un-American." Kirk then added, "After much consideration, I have concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world."
2. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Supporting: Write-in candidate or Libertarian ticket
After saying she expected to support her party's nominee in April, Sen. Susan Collins penned an editorial on in early August declaring that she would not vote for her party's nominee.
Collins is not up for reelection this year — and won't be for another four years — and has been a consistent critic of Trump throughout the primary and into the general election, particularly slamming him for his criticism of the American-born judge Hon. Gonzalo Curiel's Mexican heritage.
3. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)
Hanna told Syracuse.com on March 9 that he won't support Trump, even if he wins the GOP nomination, but didn't say if he would vote for the Democratic nominee, vote for a write-in candidate, or stay home.
Four months later, Hanna was compelled to go further, penning an op-ed for Syracuse.com condemning Trump for his attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in Iraq protecting his unit from a suicide bomber.
"In his latest foray of insults, Mr. Trump has attacked the parents of a slain U.S. soldier. Where do we draw the line? I thought it would have been when he alleged that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero because he was caught. Or the countless other insults he's proudly lobbed from behind the Republican presidential podium. For me, it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country," Hanna wrote.
4. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Sasse was the first Republican in Congress to announce he will never vote for Trump. On Facebook in February, he wrote, "My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option."
After Trump's decisive victory in Indiana, making him the presumptive nominee, Sasse tweeted that his February Facebook post still stands: "Reporters keep asking if Indiana changes anything for me. The answer is simple: No."
5. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), former presidential candidate
Graham declared in early May that he would not support Trump for president. And though just weeks later CNN reported that Graham privately urged GOP donors to unite behind Trump's campaign at a fundraiser, Graham disputed it, saying, "Nothing has changed."
In June, as top GOP leaders face further heat for Trump's racial attacks against the Hispanic judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuit, Graham told NBC News that he won't support Trump, but won't support Clinton either.
6. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA)
Supporting: Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee
Rigell, who plans retire at the end of his current term representing Virginia, sent a letter to his supporters in March urging them to vote for any candidate besides Trump.
"My love for our country eclipses my loyalty to our party, and to live with a clear conscience I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgement, temperament and character needed to be our nation's commander in chief. Accordingly, if left with no alternative, I will not support Trump in the general election should he become our Republican nominee."
Rigell announced in August that he would vote for the Libertarian party ticket.
7. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.)
"This man does things and says things that I teach my six- and three-year-olds not to say," Curbelo said of Trump in an interview in February. "I could never look them in the eye and tell them that I support someone so crass and insulting and offensive to lead the greatest nation in the world."
Curbelo told the Miami Herald in May that he would not vote for Trump, or for Clinton, the Democratic front-runner.
"I have no plans of supporting either of the presumptive nominees," Curbelo said.
8. Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.)
The GOP governor of Massachusetts told Boston Globe reporters in March that he did not vote for Trump on Super Tuesday and "I'm not going to vote for him in November."
After Indiana's primary in May, Baker's views had not changed. He told New England Cable News, an NBC affiliate, that he will not be voting for Trump, as he has concerns with his temperament, and has problems with what Trump has said about women, Muslims, and religious freedom. He also says it's not likely he'll vote for Clinton.
9. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)
Supporting: Jeb Bush, former 2016 presidential candidate
Ros-Lehtinen, who faces two challengers in Florida's August primary, told the Miami Herald editorial board that she could not support Trump or Clinton.
10. Sen. David Johnson (I-Iowa, formerly R-Iowa)
The senior Iowa lawmaker earned the distinction of becoming the first official to leave the Republican Party over Trump in June.
Johnson told the Des Moines Register on June 7 that he had changed his voter registration to "no party." "I will not stand silent if the party of Lincoln and the end of slavery buckles under the racial bias of a bigot," Johnson said.
Previously a supporter of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and then Carly Fiorina, he said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton.
11. Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.)
Hogan said in June that he would not vote for his party's presumptive nominee.
"No, I don't plan to," Hogan said, according to the Washington Post. "I guess when I get behind the curtain I'll have to figure it out. Maybe write someone in. I'm not sure."
12. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)
According to the Detroit News in May, Amash said he would not vote for Trump, though he is not directly quoted. However, he is quoted in a Fox News story as someone who will "never back Trump." He told Fox News, "I've watched 'The Apprentice' for many years. He views himself as the deal maker. The person in charge. And no one is going to get in his way."
13. Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.)
The South Carolinian said in an email to The Wall Street Journal that he would not support Trump. "Not that political views mean anything in this year, but because I believe in constitutionally limited government, his candidacy is one I certainly can't support," Mr. Sanford said.
14. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.)
Ribble, who is not seeking re-election, told a Wisconsin television station that he would never back Trump and that an increasing number of House Republicans have privately echoed his sentiment. "There is a pretty significant number who say it to me privately, so I can't say who they are, but it's at least two dozen," Ribble said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
15. Rep. Bob Dold (R-Illinois)
The Republican congressman, facing a tough race in a moderate district, told Crain's Chicago Business in a statement in March that he could never support Trump. "Donald Trump's hateful words towards wide swaths of our country, from women to Latinos to veterans and Muslims, disqualify him from ever serving as president of the United States, and he will never have my support or my vote," Dold said in the statement.
16. Dave Yost, Ohio auditor of state
In a Facebook post dated February 29, Ohio's auditor of state wrote "I've voted Republican all my life. But if Donald Trump wins the nomination of the Republican Party, I will break ranks with my party and will not support him." At the time, Yost, who endorsed Kasich, expressed hope that Trump could still be stopped.
17. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois)
Kinzinger decided after the RNC that he could not endorse Trump.
"Donald Trump is beginning to cross a lot of red lines of the unforgivable in politics. I'm not going to support Hillary, but in America we have the right to skip somebody," Kinzinger said on CNN.
FORMER GOP OFFICIALS & APPOINTEES AGAINST TRUMP
1. Mitt Romney, 2012 GOP nominee, former Massachusetts governor
Romney, an elder statesman of the party, delivered a scathing speech in early March denouncing Trump as a phony, a fraud, a misogynist and a threat to America. By May, Romney's stance hadn't changed.
"I see way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle and I only hope and aspire that we'll see more greatness," Romney said at an event on May 5. "I don't intend on supporting either of the major party candidates at this point."
2. Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush
Politico reports that Armitage, who also served as an appointee under Ronald Reagan, will break Republican ranks this fall rather than vote for Donald Trump.
"If Donald Trump is the nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton," Armitage told Politico. "He doesn't appear to be to be a Republican, he doesn't appear to want to learn about issues. So I'm going to vote for Mrs. Clinton."
3. Former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.)
Martinez did not hold back when criticizing the GOP front-runner. "I would not vote for Trump, clearly" he said, according to reporting by the Wall Street Journal. "If there is any, any, any other choice, a living, breathing person with a pulse, I would be there."
4. Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Congressional Leadership Fund chairman
In an op-ed for The Star Tribune, Coleman called Trump a "misogynist," "bigot," "fraud" and a "bully" as he described why he would never vote for the real estate mogul. However, his choice of an alternative is unclear.
"Who my choice may be if Donald Trump is the standard-bearer under the rules of the Republican Party, I do not know. I know it won't be Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. And I know it will never be Donald Trump," Coleman wrote.
5. Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
When asked on CNBC's "Squawk Box" if he would support Donald Trump if he were the Republican nominee, Paul chucked. "No, I wouldn't support him, at all," Paul said, calling Trump's populist-appealing, immigrant-blaming rhetoric "nonsense" and stating that while Trump's approach might be different, his policies mostly align with the establishment GOP policies Paul has eschewed. "In some places, he's worse than the establishment. He loves torture!" Paul said.
8. Former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R-N.J.)
Supporting: Clinton or a write-in candidate
"While I certainly don't want four more years of another Clinton administration or more years of the Obama administration, I would take that over the kind of damage I think Donald Trump could do to this country, to its reputation, to the people of this country," Whitman said on Bloomberg's "With All Due Respect" in February.
When asked if Whitman would explicitly support Clinton over Trump, she said that it's likely. "I will probably vote for her," Whitman said. "I don't want to. I can do a write-in. But I think that's where I'd go if those are my choices."
10. Eliot Cohen, counselor of the Department of State during President George W. Bush's administration
Supporting: Sen. Ben Sasse
Cohen organized a response via open letter that was signed by 60 members of the Republican national security community "united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency."
11. Jeb Bush, 2016 Republican presidential candidate
The former Florida governor published a statement on Facebook saying that Trump does not "demonstrate the temperament or strength of character" to become president. The announcement comes after his brother and father, former Presidents George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush, said they won't comment on or endorse in this year's presidential contest. Jeb Bush said he "will support principled conservatives at the state and federal levels, just as I have done my entire life."
12. Former Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.)
Supporting: Write-in candidate
In February, the former Oklahoma congressman predicted "a tremendous setback for the party" if Trump wins and told the Wall Street Journal that he would vote for a write-in candidate.
13. Former Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.)
In August, Shays endorsed Clinton on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He had supported Kasich in the GOP primary.
"Donald Trump lost me a long time ago. He does and says everything my mom and dad taught me never to say and do. He doesn't understand the basic requirements of being President of the United States. And, frankly, he's dangerous," Shays said.
14. Former Gov. Tom Ridge (R-PA)
The longtime Republican was never behind Trump's candidacy, and on May 17, published an op-ed in the U.S. News and World Report under the headline, "Why I Won't Vote for Trump."
Ridge writes, "Every four years since my 18th birthday, I have pulled the lever in support of the Republican nominee for President of the United States. That streak will end this November. My disregard for Donald Trump has been well documented by multiple media outlets over the last several months, so I won't belabor it yet again. Suffice to say that I am disappointed that he is our party's nominee. With a bumper sticker approach to policy, his bombastic tone reflects the traits of a bully, not an American president and statesman. If he cannot unite Republicans, how can he unite America? I simply cannot endorse him."
Ridge also notes that he cannot support Clinton, and will focus on supporting Republicans in down-ballot races.
15. Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense for George W. Bush
Supporting: Unknown, leaning Clinton
Wolfowitz, who served under President Bush during the push toward and the beginning of the Iraq War, told German newspaper Der Spiegel that he "might have to vote" for Clinton due to his concerns about Trump.
"The only way you can be comfortable about Trump's foreign policy is to think he doesn't really mean anything he says. That's a pretty uncomfortable place to be in," Wolfowitz said. "Our security depends on having good relationships with our allies. Trump mainly shows contempt for them."
16. Former Oklahoma Rep. Mickey Edwards
After speaking out against Trump in March, Edwards joined with other Republicans in signing a letter in August urging the RNC to defund the nominee and concentrate resources on down-ballot candidates.
17. Rudy Fernandez, former special assistant to George W. Bush
"I will support Marco Rubio for Senate re-election, I will support Republicans running for the state legislature - no, hell no, I will never support Donald Trump," Fernandez told Fox News Latino in August.
18. Former South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis
Inglis told MSNBC's Chris Hayes in March that he would not vote for Trump in November.
"No, under no circumstances," Inglis said.
19. Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson
Carlson worked with Clinton when she was first lady. "I found her very kind, a very good person," he wrote.
Read Carlson's reasons for supporting Clinton in full here.
PARTY STALWARTS AGAINST TRUMP
1. Sally Bradshaw, adviser to Jeb Bush's presidential campaign
Supporting: Clinton, if Florida is close
Bush's longtime aide told CNN that she could no longer be a member of the Republican Party, which she has been affiliated with the 1980s when she worked for the campaign of George H.W. Bush, because of Donald Trump.
NBC News confirms that Bradshaw registered "no party affiliation" in Florida a few weeks ago.
2. Meg Whitman, Republican fundraiser
Whitman, who is the CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a major GOP donor, announced in early August that not only would she vote for Clinton, she would donate to her campaign and lend fundraising support.
"I will vote for Hillary, I will talk to my Republican friends about helping her, and I will donate to her campaign and try to raise money for her," Whitman told the The New York Times.
Trump's candidacy, Whitman said in a follow up statement, "has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division."
In June, Whitman reportedly compared Trump to dictators Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler at a private donor event. She told the Times that she stood by that comparison.
3. Mark Salter, former aide and speechwriter for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
Salter, a longtime Republican aide to McCain, has been penning anti-Trump essays since at least last July. He wrote the first for Real Clear Politics comparing Trump to P.T. Barnum but "with bad hair." Then, in a January 2016 Esquire piece titled "We Deserve Better Than Donald Trump," Salter wrote more about his distaste for the front-runner.
In late February, he penned another piece for Real Clear Politics, proposing that Hillary Clinton was the preferable alternative.
In May, Salter again doubled down on his opposition to the Republican nominee, saying again that he will support Clinton over Trump in November. He tweeted: "I'm with her."
4. Max Boot, foreign policy adviser to Sen. Marco Rubio, Council on Foreign Relations fellow
"I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump," Boot told the New York Times on March 2. "There is no way in hell I would vote for him. I would far more readily support Hillary Clinton, or Bloomberg if he ran."
5. Robert Kagan, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
The neoconservative foreign policy commentator called Trump the GOP's "Frankenstein monster" who is "strong enough to destroy its maker" in a February 25 op-ed for The Washington Post.
"The Republicans' creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out," Kagan wrote. "For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be."
6. David Ross Meyers, former White House staffer under George W. Bush
In an editorial for Fox News, entitled "A message for my fellow Republicans: If you back Trump you will not be trusted again," Meyers excoriated his Republican brethren who "seem to be acquiescing to the idea of a Donald Trump candidacy and presidency." He writes: "Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States for reasons almost too numerous to mention."
Meyers went on to declare support for Clinton, and urged Republicans to speak out against Trump's candidacy.
7. Harry Sloan, Republican financier for McCain, Romney, and Kasich
Harry Sloan, CEO of Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. and former CEO of MGM, announced via a statement in early August that he is backing Clinton for president. Sloan, who now sits on the board of directors of the McCain Institute, was on the National Finance Committee for John McCain's campaign in 2008, Mitt Romney's in 2012 and John Kasich's in 2016. Sloan was also California Finance Chair for Romney.
"Donald Trump does not embody the values that have made me a lifelong Republican. He is unprepared and temperamentally unfit to be our President. Most of my Republican friends feel the same way. As a businessman, a father, and a conservative it is clear to me that Hillary Clinton is the right choice in this election," the statement said.
8. Cindy Guerra, former GOP chair in Florida
Guerra, a lifelong Republican who supported Jeb Bush, has endorsed Clinton for president over Trump, her party's nominee. According to Miami Herald, she was the first Cuban American to lead the Broward Republican Executive Committee.
She called Trump "sexist, bigoted" and "not stable."
9. Ben Howe, contributing editor to the conservative website RedState
A staunch member of the Never Trump movement, Howe invoked Alexander Hamilton, the founding father currently enjoying newfound popularity, after Trump's Indiana victory in a manifesto that laid out a rational for supporting Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. On Twitter and in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Howe was similarly unequivocal.
10. Jamie Weinstein, senior editor, Daily Caller
Weinstein, in an opinion piece for the conservative news website where he is senior editor, wrote that "in a White House race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I'd prefer Clinton, just as I'd prefer Malaria to Ebola. In most cases, Malaria is curable. Ebola is more often deadly."
In August, as Trump dropped in the polls, he penned "The Case for a Negotiated Republican Surrender to Hillary."
Weinstein is engaged to Michelle Fields, the former Breitbart journalist who alleged that Corey Lewandowski, Trump's campaign manager, had grabbed her during a March rally hard enough to leave a bruise.
11. Ken Mehlman, former Republican National Committee chairman
Mehlman, who ran Pres. George W. Bush's re-election campaign, tweeted his scorn for Trump after the David Duke debacle. "Leaders don't need to do research to reject Klan support #NeverTrump," he posted, linking to a New York Times article in which Pres. Ronald Reagan spurned the KKK.
12. Patrick Ruffini, Republican strategist and early #NeverTrump adopter
Ruffini is prominently Never Trump on Twitter.
13. Tim Miller, former spokesman for Jeb Bush, adviser to Our Principles, an anti-Trump super PAC
After Trump won Indiana, forcing both Cruz and Kasich out of the race, Miller tweeted: "Never ever ever Trump. Simple as that."
14. Peter Wehner, GOP strategist
"Beginning with Ronald Reagan, I have voted Republican in every presidential election since I first became eligible to vote in 1980. I worked in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations and in the White House for George W. Bush as a speechwriter and adviser," Wehner wrote January 14 in an op-ed for The New York Times. "Despite this history, and in important ways because of it, I will not vote for Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination."
15. Liz Mair, GOP strategist
Supporting: Libertarian ticket
"I have long said that I can support neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton, on the grounds that neither sufficiently shares my philosophical principles, on the basis that I consider it highly likely that one or both will end up wearing an orange jumpsuit sooner or later, and because both present very serious risks to our national security," Mair said regarding her support for a third party.
16. Rick Wilson, Republican operative
Put bluntly in his own words: "I will never vote for Donald Trump, not even if he's the Republican nominee. I will never vote for Donald Trump, not even if Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley rise from the grave and beg me to support him. I will never vote for Donald Trump, not even if it means he forms a third party and runs as the narcissist sociopath he truly is."
Wilson is currently working for independent candidate Evan McMullin, who entered the race in August.
17. Stuart Stevens, top strategist, Romney 2012
A day later, he wondered about a "support group" for "those not threatened by thuggish trust funder" Donald Trump. "Getting to be a small group," he tweeted.
18. Kevin Madden, former Mitt Romney communications director
Supporting: Write-in candidate
Madden, like some of his peers, said earlier on that he could never vote for Trump. If Trump is the nominee, he said, "I'm prepared to write somebody in so that I have a clear conscience." The results of Indiana's primary didn't change anything Madden. Regarding voting for Trump, "absolutely not," he told the Daily Beast.
19. Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard
Supporting: Independent candidate Evan McMullin
Staunchly Never Trump, Kristol has thrown his support behind Evan McMullin, a former CIA operative and former GOP aide who entered the race in August.
20. Erick Erickson, conservative commentator, former editor of RedState, founder of The Resurgent
Supporting: Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning
"If Trump is the Republican Party nominee, I won't be a Republican," he told the Daily Beast. "I'm not down with white supremacists."
When former CIA operative Evan McMullin entered the race as an independent candidate, Erickson wrote that he was open to being persuaded by McMullin, but so far, remains committed to writing in former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning for president.
21. Steve Deace, conservative commentator and radio talk show host
Deace changed his party affiliation over Trump.
22. Brian Bartlett, GOP communications strategist
Bartlett excoriated Trump in a post on Medium following the New Hampshire primary and vowed to never support the businessman. "A Donald Trump presidency is not the manifestation of our wildest dreams — it is our worst nightmare," Bartlett wrote. "He does not represent the values of the party of Lincoln and Reagan. I will not support him in either a primary or general election, and neither should any other conservative, Republican, or American."
23. Jay Caruso, contributing editor at RedState
Caruso penned a post on the conservative website Redstate listing five reasons why he would not vote for Trump should he become the Republican nominee. In the post, Caruso called Trump a "crackpot" who "has no class" and "is not a conservative." Caruso further argued that Trump would do long term damage to the GOP. "I will not vote for Donald Trump if he is the GOP nominee," he said. "In good conscience I will not do it."
24. Linda Chavez, conservative columnist
Chavez lambasted Trump in a column for the conservative publication Townhall. "If Donald Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination, I and millions of conservatives like me will not vote for him," she wrote. "Some will stay home on Election Day; others will go to the polls to support down-ticket candidates in important races. We will do so fully aware that this could well mean another four years of a Democrat in the White House." She argued that while the GOP could survive another presidential defeat, it would not survive a Trump presidency. "I and others who will never vote for him are no traitors," Chavez said. "We are patriots who love our country more than we do any political party."
26. Mindy Finn, GOP media strategist and president of Empowered Women
Finn previously likened Trump to a "bully," an "abusive boyfriend" and a "master of propaganda." In an essay, Finn gives her reasons as to why Republicans should reject the businessman. "To some who see a path to victory and want to join a winner, the list won't matter," Finn wrote. "For me, it's secondary to his menacing character. So I wouldn't support Trump if you paid me his net worth. I refuse to carry his flag. I challenge you to do the same."
27. Jon Gabriel, editor-in-chief of Ricochet
Invoking Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, Gabriel said he could not stand to join the "Party of Trump." Calling the business mogul a "big-government liberal" in a post on the conservative website Ricochet, Gabriel maintained that conservative principles should supercede political power. "If the keys are handed to a would-be strongman, I have no choice but to step out of the car and walk my own way," he wrote. "If that makes me a bad Republican, so be it. I seek to be a good American."
28. Stephen Hayes, senior writer at The Weekly Standard
Hayes decried Trump's claim that he was a "unifier" in an article for The Weekly Standard, saying Trump's assertion "is not just specious, it's absurd." The conservative writer further maintained that he would not back Trump. "Casual dishonesty is a feature of his campaign," Hayes said. "And it's one of many reasons so many Republicans and conservatives oppose Trump and will never support his candidacy. I'm one of them."
29. Glenn Beck, host of The Glenn Beck Program and founder of TheBlaze
Beck, an ardent Ted Cruz supporter, has likened Trump to Adolf Hitler.
30. Nathan Wurtzel, Make America Awesome Again super PAC
Wurtzel, who describes himself as a 20-year conservative operative, is actively Never Trump on Twitter, playing whack-a-pundit with everyone from Fox News' Sean Hannity to random pro-Trump opinionators. His tweets detail a moral objection to Trump's apparent mind meld with white supremacists as well as his view that Trump, as a person, is simply unfit for the presidency. However, Wurtzel won't be joining the Never Trump faction that is reluctantly aligning with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
31. George Will, Washington Post columnist and Fox News commentator
In a Washington Post op-ed published April 29, Will wrote that if Trump is the Republican nominee, it was the responsibility of the GOP to keep him out of the White House.
After Trump's extended attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over two of the three lawsuits against Trump University, Will announced that he was no longer affiliated with the Republican party.
"After Trump went after the 'Mexican' judge from northern Indiana then (House Speaker) Paul Ryan endorsed him, I decided that in fact this was not my party anymore," Will told "Fox News Sunday."
32. Bruce Carroll, creator of GayPatriot.org
Carroll said on Twitter, "I will oppose ALL candidates of any political affiliation who align with @realDonaldTrump. That includes whomever is VP pick is."
33. Mona Charen, senior fellow at Ethics and Public Policy Center
In early May, as Trump became the Republican party's presumptive nominee, Charen tweeted, "Attention weak-minded press and wobbly Republicans. We will never surrender. #NeverTrump"
34. Dean Clancy, former FreedomWorks vice president
35. Rory Cooper, GOP strategist, senior adviser to the Never Trump PAC
Cooper went on MSNBC on May 4 and said he is committed to continuing the Never Trump campaign.
36. Daniel Vajdich, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, national security policy adviser to the Ted Cruz campaign
Vajdich, in his role as adviser to the Cruz campaign on national security, wrote critically about Trump's fuzzy relationship with Russia president Vladimir Putin in March.
"There is no doubt that Putin would be maliciously gleeful if an American president adopted his style of autocratic governance. And this is exactly why Putin supports Donald Trump," Vajdich wrote for the National Review, later critiquing Trump's foreign policy address in Washington, D.C.
37. Michael Graham, conservative radio host
Graham wrote an article on May 4 for the Weekly Standard, clarifying he is still #NeverTrump: "If they [Trump supporters] acknowledge that it's possible for a presidential nominee to be so unpopular and off-putting that it hurts the entire brand, then they must consider the possibility that Trump is one such candidate. This is what #NeverTrumpers see as self-evident, but many Trump supporters don't see at all."
38. Connor Walsh, former digital director for Eric Cantor, founder of Build Digital
Walsh is squarely behind the Never Trump movement.
39. Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at National Review
The National Review went to war with Trump in January when it dedicated an issue to the "conservatives against Trump," in which many prominent conservative blasted the front-runner, now the presumptive nominee. Goldberg, one of the publication's writers, is prominently Never Trump.
In April, as a Trump nomination looked more and more possible, he wrote a post entitled, "No, I Will Never 'Come Around' to Supporting Trump."
"People ask me all the time, 'If Trump is the nominee, who will you vote for?' I concede that for conservatives living in swing states, this is a legitimately painful decision. Clinton and Sanders alike would be horror shows," Goldberg wrote. "But my answer is simple: I will never vote for Trump and I will never vote for Hillary or Bernie. Period."
40. Alan Goldsmith, former staffer, House Foreign Affairs Committee
Goldsmith, who now works for nonprofits, proclaims his Never Trump status on Twitter.
41. Stephen Gutowski, Free Beacon staff writer
42. Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist
Faced with the reality of Trump as the presumptive nominee, Douthat laid out what he called the"conservative case against Trump":
"In sum: It would be possible to justify support for Trump if he merely promised a period of chaos for conservatism. But to support Trump for the presidency is to invite chaos upon the republic and the world. No policy goal, no court appointment, can justify such recklessness."
43. Doug Heye, former communications director for the Republican National Committee
In an op-ed for the conservative website Independent Journal, Heye said he could not support Trump if he were to win the Republican nomination.
44. Brad Thor, conservative author
45. Charlie Sykes, radio show host
In March, Donald Trump assented to an interview with Wisconsin conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes, who vowed early that he would never vote for Trump. As Politico put it, it was like the billionaire businessman walked into a "#NeverTrump radio buzzsaw."
In an interview with Megyn Kelly, Sykes doesn't mince words. "I've cautioned my fellow conservatives, you embrace Donald Trump, you embrace it all. You embrace every slur, every insult, every outrage, every falsehood."
46. Erik Soderstrom, conservative blogger
47. David French, National Review writer
French briefly considered an independent presidential run in May after he was drafted by Bill Kristol. Just days before news of his potential independent run got out, French had appealed to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney to enter the race via an article in the National Review, and appeared on MSNBC to discuss it.
Eventually, French announced that he would not be running for president.
48. Jennifer Rubin, conservative opinion columnist for the Washington Post
Rubin has not been shy about her distaste for Trump. On May 4, she penned a column entitled "#NeverTrump is good for the soul." She advocated for Republican delegates to withhold the nomination until Trump produced his tax returns. Most recently, she wrote about breaking up with the Republican party and turning independent, at least until it gets the Trump out of its system.
49. Quin Hillyer, conservative columnist
Hillyer is a longtime conservative and an avowed member of the #NeverTrump movement.
50. Carlos Gutierrez, former Secretary of Commerce under George W. Bush
"I actually think Hillary Clinton has the experience, she's been around, she knows how the system works. I think she'd make a darn good president," Gutierrez said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I would have preferred Jeb Bush, but I think Hillary is a great choice. I am afraid of what Donald Trump would do to this country."
51. Rosario Marin, U.S. Treasurer under George W. Bush
The Mexican-born Marin, who described herself as having identified as Republican ever since she became a citizen in 1984, announced in a statement that she has endorsed and will vote for Clinton for president.
"For me to consider the unthinkable — to vote for a Democrat — has been a profound soul searching process. Leaders are tested time and time again and so, I will stand up for my community against the menace of a tyrannical presidency that does not value the countless contributions of immigrants across its beautiful and bountiful history," Marin said.
52. Richard J. Cross, III, Speechwriter for the 2016 Republican National Convention
Cross wrote the speech for Patricia Smith, the mother of a Benghazi victim, for Trump's nominating convention in Cleveland. He has since come to the conclusion that he cannot vote for the nominee.
NBC News' Liz Johnstone, Christina Coleburn, Anna Merod, Kasie Hunt, Vaughn Hillyard, and Hallie Jackson contributed to this report.
Editor's Note: The first version of the story included Ken Cuccinelli, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund. The 2013 Senate candidate said he supports Ted Cruz for president, but plans to support the Republican nominee in November.