The mood at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was noticeably dour, and the widespread pessimism about the future of the conservative movement was obvious among attendees that we talked to at the annual gathering last week.
MRCTV talked to numerous conservative activists at CPAC and asked them a simple question: "Would you vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 general election if he was the GOP nominee facing off against Hillary Clinton?"
What we found was that a significant number of conservatives, who in years past would never have dreamed of casting their vote for anyone other than the GOP nominee, were prepared to split with the party if Trump becomes the nominee. Even many of the conservatives who said that they WOULD cast their vote for Trump in November were not happy about the prospect.
There were a handful of Trump supporters in attendance, but it was clear that they were a distinct minority.
While some will brush the defectors off as being GOP "establishment elitists," there can be little doubt that the growing fissure within the party is very real, and could make GOP unity very difficult to achieve in the months leading up to the presidential election on November 8.