Donald Trump’s support is collapsing among conservatives. In the latest CBS poll, only 64 percent of self-described conservatives support the Republican nominee. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 82 percent of self-described conservatives. Twenty-one percent say they will vote for Clinton instead, a crossing of ideological and party lines that would have once seemed unimaginable.
Trump must know these lethal numbers. If so, that fact may explain his sudden discovery of the paramount importance of the Supreme Court. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on July 28, Trump warned conservatives: "If you really like Donald Trump, that's great, but if you don't, you have to vote for me anyway. You know why? Supreme Court judges, Supreme Court judges. Have no choice, sorry, sorry, sorry. You have no choice.”
Some conservative commentators, notably broadcaster Hugh Hewitt, have endorsed this claim:
If Hillary Clinton wins, the Left gavels in a solid, lasting, perhaps even permanent majority on the Supreme Court. Every political issue has a theoretical path to SCOTUS, and only self-imposed judicial restraint has checked the Court's appetite and reach for two centuries.
For that reason, among others, Hewitt concludes: “Of course I’m voting for Donald Trump.”