How big is the #NeverTrump army? Maybe not as big as some think

Trump enjoys substantial support among Republicans: He’s still the preferred choice of more Republicans nationwide than any other candidate. A CNN/ORC poll last month showed roughly two-thirds of Republicans would feel either “enthusiastic” or “satisfied” if Trump won the nomination. And asked about the possibility of a contested convention, a majority of Republicans tell pollsters, if Trump comes into Cleveland with the most delegates — even if it is just a plurality — he should be the nominee…

In nine primary states that voted from early February through March 8, Republican primary voters were asked by exit pollsters if they would be satisfied by a Trump nomination. There was an even split, a POLITICO analysis of exit polls shows. According to an average of exit polls weighted by state turnout, 49 percent of Republican primary voters in those 9 states said they would be satisfied if Trump won the nomination, while 49 percent said no.

When that question was tweaked for the states that voted on March 15 to ask whether voters would be satisfied if Trump and Clinton were the nominees, 55 percent said yes across the five states, while 39 percent said they’d consider a third-party candidate.

The magnitude of the resistance to Trump is historically unusual, but it isn’t prohibitive of a Trump nomination, said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, which found last month that 54 percent of Republican voters want Trump to be the nominee in the event he falls short of clinching the nod on the first ballot.