Now that Donald Trump is definitively the Republican nominee, it’s time to see whether he can unite the party. Who will endorse him? Will more than nine people stay in the #NeverTrump minyan? We want to help you track who’s endorsing, who’s not and the various grey areas of awkwardness in between. So starting this afternoon, after consulting statisticians, political scientists and ourselves, we’ve derived this five part taxonomy.
They are: 1) Endorse, 2) “Supporting the Nominee”, 3) Mum’s the Word, 4) Fuzzball and 5) NeverTrump.
Some of these are self-explanatory. Endorse is reserved for people who actually endorse or explicitly say they’re supporting Trump’s candidacy. NeverTrump is equally clearly but we’re keeping it tight. You get included in you’re definitively not voting for Trump, supporting another candidate etc.
From there things get a bit fuzzier.
“Supporting the Nominee” is an increasingly common designation. Sens. Ayotte and McCain are in. They’re supporting – at least we can say that by deductive reasoning. They’re supporting the nominee and Trump is the nominee. Ergo, according to that Games Section I studied for on the LSAT, that means they’re supporting Trump. But they are still unwilling to actually utter Trump’s name, which suggests a certain tepidness in their enthusiasm for The Donald. Let’s call this a theoretical support which is so minimal that the supporter is unwilling to say the name of the person they’re suporting.
Mum’s the Word means you’re refusing to comment, running from the cameras.
Fuzzball requires the greatest explanation. The fuzzball designation is reserved for the many elected officials who are making various nonsensical statements or arguments just to avoid answering the question. They’re fuzzing it up, but generally not well. So for instance, today, Sen Susan Collins says she’ll consider supporting Trump if he starts being nice to people. What?
So that is our five part dichotomy. We’ll be debuting our list today. If you have examples, please send them in. We’ll be recording the positions of members of Congress, former presidential candidates and governors.