With Ohio Gov. John Kasich out of the race, Donald Trump is now the captain of the Republican effort for the White House. But some Ohio State Republicans are jumping ship, along with established GOP politicians.
Trump started his campaign as an outsider, mocked by much of the nation and news media. Now, he’s the only Republican left in the presidential campaign, likely facing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in November for the presidency.
The presumptive Republican nominee did not get to his position in the race without generating a lot of controversy, alienating some GOP voters at OSU along the way.
“Here’s my plan in a hashtag: #ImWithHer,” said Chris Colloton, a third-year in Spanish, citing a slogan popular with Clinton supporters.
Colloton said he voted for Kasich in the Ohio primary, calling Kasich the only Republican he could vote for, although he mainly voted for him to stop Trump from winning.
“I don’t absolutely hate (Clinton), but 95 percent of me doesn’t trust her,” Colloton said. “However, I’m willing to hang onto that 5 percent.”
He added, “With (Clinton) you know what you’re getting, and at the end of the day she cares about this country.”
Colloton’s dislike for Trump was clear: He called him a racist, xenophobe, misogynist and an eyesore for America.
Still, voting for Clinton remains hard, or impossible, for some.
A fourth-year in agribusiness and applied economics, who wished to remain anonymous due to workplace media policies, said he identified as a right-leaning independent and voted for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. He wasn’t sure if he would vote for Trump or not.
“If (the vice presidential candidate) is someone who can help bring Congress together to actually get work done, I would vote for (Trump),” he said.
He added that he wouldn’t vote at all if he didn’t like Trump’s pick for vice president.
“But I don’t see a scenario happening where I vote for (Clinton),” he said.
For some, the choice of what to do when it comes time to vote is less clear. Self-described lifelong Republican Martin Lopez said he feels caught between a rock and hard place in a Trump versus Clinton showdown.
“I will be voting in some form or another against Donald Trump,” said Lopez, a third-year in political science who is working for Republican Rep. Robert Dold this summer and has volunteered on three Republican congressional campaigns in the past.
Lopez called Trump’s proposed immigration ban on Muslims “abhorrent,” and he cited a litany of reasons he isn’t supporting Trump, from his controversial statements about women to his trade policies and complete lack of political experience.
“But I’m not in line with (Clinton’s) ideology, and I’m concerned with her character and conduct as secretary of state,” he said. “What I can say is writing in another candidate, or voting libertarian, if you couldn’t vote for (Clinton), that’s the best option.”
Rep. Robert Dold, who represents Illinois’s 10th district, is widely considered a moderate and has publicly denounced Donald Trump multiple times in the past. A campaign spokeswoman said in an email on Thursday that his position had not changed.
He was quoted on Wednesday in a suburban Chicago newspaper doubting both Clinton’s and Trump’s leadership abilities.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who has ties to the conservative Tea Party movement, has perhaps been the most outspoken elected Republican who has come out against Trump.
“There are literally dumpster fires in my town tonight more popular than either Trump or Clinton,” Sasse tweeted Wednesday night.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told CNN on Thursday that he is “just not ready” to support Trump “at this point,” becoming the highest elected Republican to come out against him.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, however, plans on supporting Trump.
The Columbus Dispatch reported a statement from a campaign spokesman on Thursday stating, “As Rob has been saying for the past year, he intends to support the Republican nominee,” although it didn’t mention Trump by name.
Portman had endorsed Kasich for president, who was the last Republican remaining in the race against Trump until he suspended his campaign on Wednesday.
Portman’s campaign office did not return a request for comment on Thursday.