One of the biggest questions to be answered next Tuesday is whether the Never Trump movement will hold steady, or will eventually cave in and support Trump on Election Day? Whether the movement holds does not necessarily mean that Trump will lose, but will show that there might be a shift in the Republican Party that will take place over the next several years.
To see if the Never Trump movement holds, I have selected thirty precincts to watch on Election Night. All of the precincts listed are strong Republican precincts, with 46% of more of the precincts being registered as Republicans, yet Donald Trump performed poorly in the precinct compared to the state average. Additionally, Mitt Romney received 57.63% of more in each of these precincts. If these strong Republican precincts under-perform for Trump, then we might see the shift starting immediately.
Here is the list of the precincts to watch. If there is one particular precinct to watch on Election Night, it is Escambia’s precinct 110. Of those registered in the precinct, 72% are Republican. Mitt Romney won 92% of the vote in the precinct. However, Donald Trump only received 8.18% of the primary vote. This precinct is definitely an outlier, but all the precincts on the list under-performed for Trump. Additionally, this list also shows the voter turnout numbers for each precinct in 2012.
It should be noted that precincts in Miami-Dade County have been excluded, primary because of the possibility of localism taking place during the primary which favored Marco Rubio.
There are a few ways to look at these Never Trump voters. First and foremost, does Hillary do better in these precincts than Mitt Romney? If she does, why is that the case? That is where the turnout numbers come into play. If we see that turnout numbers have dropped, that means that Never Trump voters simply didn’t vote in that race (which will make the under vote numbers in down-ballot races even more interesting). However, if the turnout numbers remain the same, or are very close to 2012 totals, yet Hillary does well, this would indicate that Republicans actually voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.
The only scenario in which we can tell that Trump was able to keep these voters is if both turnout and Trump’s vote total are on par with the 2012 results.