The Once-Mocked ‘Never Trump’ Movement Becomes a Sudden Campaign Force

In States, Voting On
- Updated

The grainy first-person testimonial arrived at 2 a.m. in late June. A 40-year-old man with a thick Southern accent — shirtless, the red ember of his cigarette glowing in the green twilight between drags — looked into his smartphone and began talking.

“Hi, my name is Josh and I live in North Carolina and I voted for Donald Trump — my bad, fam,” he begins, before explaining that this November will mark the first time “ever, ever” that he will vote for a Democrat. “If Joe Biden drops out and the DNC runs a tomato can, I will vote for the tomato can, because I believe the tomato can will do less harm than our current president.”

The unsolicited video submission to a group called Republican Voters Against Trump is just one small part of a broader “Never Trump” rebellion that began four years ago as a largely ineffective cadre of appalled Republicans, but which has transformed in recent weeks into a potentially disruptive force in this year’s presidential race.

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