Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller argues that most of the people declaring themselves “Never Trump” right now on the Right will end up caving and supporting Trump in the fall. He makes two main arguments: that most ordinary voters don’t really care much about elitist concepts like Constitutional principle or consistency on issues or whether the President has the vaguest clue what he’s doing, and that the tribal nature of partisan politics and the horrible prospect of a Hillary presidency will create enormous pressures to fall in line and vote R. He uses as an example the 2008 “PUMA” (Party Unity My A**) Hillary voters – a few of the internet voices of the PUMAs ended up leaving the party for good, but the overwhelming bulk voted for Barack Obama anyway in November.
Lewis’ arguments are not wrong, as such, and I have no doubt that some number of the people swearing now they won’t vote for Trump will come around for the reasons he identifies. Certainly many elected officials will, since they still need to appeal to the Trump voters. But I think he is underestimating a couple of important factors.