If they ran, there was a very real possibility they’d get an embarrassingly small percentage of the vote (think Pat Buchanan as the Reform Party nominee in 2000). Alternatively, they could do better, be blamed for electing Clinton and then be held responsible for all her liberal accomplishments over the next four to eight years (think Ralph Nader, also 2000, or Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996).
That’s why nobody especially noteworthy offered to run. But as conservatives used to know back in the days of Russell Kirk, there is nothing wrong with being elite. Where “Never Trump” has had its greatest influence is with the conservative journalists, Republican operatives and party leaders who could disproportionately help Trump and don’t.
So when Trump’s campaign stumbles, the conservative media and Twittersphere piles on with as much glee as their liberal counterparts. Top-notch Republican speechwriters aren’t knocking down the doors of Trump Tower.
From: The biggest battle ‘Never Trump’ won | Washington Examiner