“This time #NeverTrump will succeed” is presumably going to be the “no, this year there could really be a BROKERED CONVENTION!!!!!” of the next little while. A few points:
- The logistics of replacing Trump are enormously difficult and get even harder with each passing day. It’s impossible if he doesn’t leave voluntarily and it would be hard to pull off even if he did.
- I don’t see why anyone would think Trump would leave the ticket now. He’s going to humiliate himself to maybe protect some Republican senators? Why?
- Crucially, only 12% of Republicans think he should leave the ticket. This is one reason to think he’s not going anywhere. But this is also why it’s never made any sense to think that Trump being replaced by Pence or Mittens would save the election for the GOP. A generic Republican who actually won the nomination would almost certainly be doing better than Trump. A generic Republican who was placed on the ticket because Trump was forced out would almost certainly do even worse than Trump, up and down ballot. The shallowness of Trump’s support among party elites shouldn’t be confused for a lack of support from the party’s base.
- I don’t think it’s correct to say that “high-ranking” Republicans are breaking with Trump. The party’s actual leadership has notably refused to repudiate Trump. The Congresspeople who have stated they aren’t supporting Trump are mostly people who didn’t support him before the Billy Bush tapes or people in desperate election fights, and none of them are near the top of the party’s hierarchy. If Ryan or McConnell says they won’t support Trump, you’ll actually have something, but there’s no reason to think this will happen.