The Party Line: Lawmakers on Their Nominee


UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 27: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Madison City Schools Stadium, Ala., February 28, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What if it’s Trump? Not all lawmakers will commit to supporting whomever their nominee is in the fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The bitter fight for the Republican presidential nomination is raising questions about whether lawmakers will eventually rally around a candidate who is not their first choice, particularly if that nominee is Donald Trump. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida pledged to support the eventual nominee at a GOP debate on March 3.

Here is a rundown of the positions of Senate and House Republicans, gathered from interviews with Roll Call, public statements and other media reports. In addition, other lawmakers have endorsed Trump outright. We’ll keep updating this list. Where appropriate, we’ve included quotes to show their line of thinking, particularly those who are hedging.

Senators Who Say They Will Support GOP Nominee

  • Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.
  • John Cornyn, R-Texas
  • Ted Cruz, R-Texas
  • Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.
  • Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
  • John McCain, R-Ariz.
  • David Perdue, R-Ga.
  • Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Senators Who Won’t Commit to Supporting GOP Nominee

  • Cory Gardner, R-Colo.
  • Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
  • Ben Sasse, R-Neb. (“If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, my expectation is that I will look for some third candidate – a conservative option, a Constitutionalist.”)

Senators Who Are Hedging

  • Rob Portman, R-Ohio (“I mean, you know, I’ve said for a year now, I intend to support the Republican nominee. But I’ve also said, ‘Unless something crazy happens.’”)
  • Jim Risch, R-Idaho (“I’ve made two decisions: No. 1, I’m not voting for [Hillary Clinton] or [Bernie Sanders] under any circumstances. And I’m supporting Marco Rubio until the day he becomes president or until the day he quits his campaign. Until then, I’m not making any decisions on this.”)

House Members Who Say They Will Support GOP Nominee

  • Dave Brat, R-Va.
  • Tom Cole, R-Okla.
  • Bill Flores, R-Texas
  • Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
  • George Holding, R-N.C.
  • Leonard Lance, R-N.J.
  • Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.
  • Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla.
  • Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. (“If Donald Trump is running against Hillary Clinton that becomes a very easy decision. My district and the American public are ready to move on past these never-ending Clinton for president campaigns that have gone on for decades.”)

House Members Who Won’t Commit to Supporting GOP Nominee

  • Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. (“Going to look at that but not throwing in towel yet.” Sticking with Rubio)
  • Scott Tipton, R-Colo.

— Bridget Bowman, Eric Garcia and Tom Curry contributed to this report.

Contact Dick at and follow him on Twitter at @jasonjdick.


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