Never Say Never-Trump: Biden leaves GOP moderates with ‘no alternative’ but to back former president

Some Republicans who said they would never support former President Donald Trump again appear poised to do just that come November, as they feel President Biden’s policies and leadership cannot be allowed a second term. “It is not an enthusiastic vote,” Eric Levine, a former Nikki Haley supporter, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “I am left with no alternative.” DEMS BLASTED OVER LEAKED MEMO THAT SAYS ‘QUIET PART OUT LOUD’ ABOUT VOTER REGISTRATION EFFORTSLevine, a prominent Republican fundraiser, penned an essay to his vast network of fellow GOP donors and activists last week, informing them that despite his initial resolve after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots to “never” support Trump again, he would be doing just that. He led his memo by writing, “The adage of ‘never say never’ is a wise one.”GOP strategist John Feehery said it will depend “how horrified they are by Biden’s policies” whether “never-Trump” Republicans return to him. This was the case for Levine. He described his decision-making process as such: “I think it was more that I’m so offended by Biden. What am I going to do?” DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST BOASTS PARTY FOUGHT TO UNDERMINE ‘DANGEROUS’ THIRD-PARTY THREAT TO BIDENFor Levine, it was never a choice between Biden and Trump. Rather, it was whether he would stay home on Election Day or return to Trump. “Some will clearly go back to Trump,” explained Republican strategist Doug Heye. He noted this happens after primaries and is “what campaigns call ‘coming home.’” “But no one knows what that number is,” he added. With the likely Trump-Biden rematch shaping up to be competitive, that exact number could make the difference. NO LABELS DECLINES TO FIELD CANDIDATE IN 2024 PRESIDENTIAL SWEEPS: ‘A HERO NEVER EMERGED’Andrew Smith, Director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, said it was “too early” to know, but noted that “voters have a great ability to rationalize why they are voting for their party’s candidate rather than vote for the candidate from the other party.””I think as we get closer to the election, after Labor Day, I believe most anti-Trump voters from the primaries will end up supporting Trump,” he predicted. When Levine sent the memo to his Republican network, he was surprised by the volume of responses he received. “Shockingly, on the extreme of the [Never-Trumpers], it was a split,” he said. “There [were] a number of folks who said, ‘Yeah, I guess we have to’ [support Trump].”Many Trump-averse Republicans had flocked to Haley leading up to the Republican primaries. TRUMP CAMPAIGN RIPS POLITICO FOR ‘HAREBRAINED ASSERTION’ THAT CHINA PREFERS HIM OVER BIDENAccording to various exit polls in New Hampshire and South Carolina, Haley pulled in significant percentages of independent voters as she appeared more moderate than her opponents on the campaign trail. Her coalition was unique, garnering support from disaffected Republicans who were likely exhausted by Trump. She even managed to draw some Democratic support in some states, where those voters could participate in Republican primaries. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, endorsed Haley ahead of the state’s primary, where she garnered 43% of the vote. But In March, he shocked some when he announced his plan to vote for Trump, despite his previous criticisms of the former president. “Post-primary, the vast majority of folks always come back,” he said.”People will go to Trump because Biden has blown it that bad for himself and his party,” he said. According to him, they recognize that it’s about “whether you support a Republican agenda — a Republican administration.”Biden’s campaign has actively sought to win over Haley’s supporters. The president’s team even put out a 30-second ad in battleground states asking those voters to “save America” and “join us.” In contrast, Trump’s campaign hasn’t made any such specific effort to attract Haley’s coalition. “Telling your own voters to pound sand isn’t smart,” noted Heye. In a statement to Fox News Digital, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said, “No amount of gaslighting from the Biden campaign can make voters forget Biden’s bloodbath he has brought all across America.” “Biden is hemorrhaging support from Black voters, Hispanic voters, and almost every other part of his base because of his disastrous policies and failed presidency. Meanwhile, President Trump’s support continues to grow,” he added. BIDEN HOLDS NARROW LEAD OVER TRUMP IN NEW POLL DESPITE CONCERNS HE’S ‘TOO OLD’ FOR A SECOND TERMMarlys Popma, a prominent Iowa Republican operative who endorsed Haley during the Iowa caucuses, said Trump’s lack of outreach may not put off Haley supporters because “when the hardcore reality sets in” people will say, “‘I’m going to vote for Trump because his policies are right.'”Levine said he couldn’t imagine Republicans who supported Haley choosing Biden in November. “I don’t see how any Nikki Haley voter can go from Nikki Haley to Joe Biden,” he said. “Everything Nikki Haley stands for, Joe Biden is against.”But Republican strategist David Kochel, a former adviser to Mitt Romney, offered another prediction: “I think a big number will either not vote in the presidential or will vote for Biden or a third party.” Gunner Ramer, Republican Accountability PAC political director, called it “disappointing yet unsurprising” to see a “member of the GOP elite” cowering and supporting Trump, in reference to Levine. Ramer’s organization recently launched an anti-Trump series of ads in pivotal Midwest swing states as it looks to prevent him from winning a second term. Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.
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