In it, but not of it. TPM DC

A candidate who exploited white resentment and racist rhetoric.

A bitter primary fight that threatened to sever the Republican Party.

Warnings of a catastrophic GOP defeat in the general election.

There are many similarities between Donald Trump’s journey to the top of the 2016 GOP heap and the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964. But there’s one place where current reality could depart from historical parallels: Don’t expect Republicans to publicly rebuke Trump, the way some moderate GOPers did during and after Goldwater's 1964 nomination.

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The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have a message for their Republican counterparts, who are leading the blockade on President Obama's Supreme Court nominee: If you care so much about giving America a voice, give us a hearing on voting rights!

The nine Democrats on the committee sent a letter Friday to its Republicans leaders -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chair of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), chair of its subcommittee on the Constitution -- demanding a hearing on voting rights, which the committee has not hosted since the GOP took over the Senate. They pointed to the 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act and the electoral and legal chaos that has ensued since. But they also used the letter to call out the same Republicans for refusing to grant Obama's nominee Merrick Garland a hearing.

"It is ironic that Senate Republicans would claim to give the American people a voice, but at the same time allow sweeping voting restrictions to be enacted that would silence many of these Americans - a disproportionate number of whom are minorities," the letter said.

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When it comes to Donald Trump’s women problems, the top-line polling numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

The real estate mogul's sexist rhetoric coupled with his clumsy posturing on policy issues that already hamstrung Republicans with female voters have exacerbated a gender gap that helped President Obama defeat Mitt Romney in 2012.

It’s no secret that Trump -- whose latest antagonization was his insistence Tuesday night that Hillary Clinton was relying on the “woman card” -- is turning off women in huge numbers. But Trump is not just angering the women who were maybe leaning Democratic anyway.

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As the Republican primary calendar enters its final stretch, Donald Trump still has a more than decent shot -- better than some would have you believe -- at securing the 1,237 delegates that would guarantee his coronation in Cleveland.

For all the talk of a contested GOP convention -- the unicorn of modern day political reporting -- the delegate math still points to Trump locking up the nomination before the convention, or coming so close that it would be politically impossible to deny him the nomination.

The significance to the alleged “alliance” formed in recent days between Ted Cruz and John Kasich is its implication that without teaming up in an extraordinary joint effort to coordinate the voting of their supporters state by state, Trump will win enough delegates to make stopping him impossible.

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You know you've made it in Republicans politics when conservatives are circulating your name as a potential savior who would swoop into the presidential race and save the party from Donald Trump.

Whether the plan was stop the real estate mogul with a third party bid or in a brokered convention, #NeverTrump-ers continually ran into the same problem: just whom would they rally around instead?

Next to the graveyard of the legitimate presidential candidates who tried and failed to stop Trump, there's the cemetery of the potential white knights whose campaigns just never got off the ground. Here's a look at some of the more absurd ideas put forward by Republicans seeking to wrest the nomination away from Trump:

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Donald Trump isn't done antagonizing the conservative anti-abortion movement just yet.

The Republican frontrunner suggested Thursday that the GOP platform on abortion should be loosened to permit exceptions for cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother, prompting a major anti-abortion group to accuse Trump of taking a position that "would set back years of hard work in the pro-life movement.”

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Update: This story has been updated to include additional reasoning from some Republicans as to why they plan on skipping the convention.

It's not new that some politicians facing tough re-elections will skip out on national party convention, particularly when associating with the top-of-the-ballot nominee isn't a good look for them.

But the calculus facing GOP lawmakers in the 2016 cycle is particularly ugly. Senators defending seats in purple states might be show up to July's Republican National Convention in Cleveland for a pageant crowning Donald Trump -- who has alienated minorities, women, and many others -- their party leader. Or they might risk getting tangled up for a messy floor battle, in which a candidate perhaps just as toxic ends up wresting away the nomination.

So vulnerable Republicans have come up with some creative ways to explain why they haven't booked their plane tickets to Ohio just yet.

Here are the Republicans thinking about skipping the GOP convention and how they're spinning their reasons:

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