Your call: In anti-establishment 2016, do endorsements matter?

Several high-profile Republicans have been hesitant to support a Donald Trump nomination, despite its perceived inevitability and the businessman's domination of the party's primary process. Will it matter?

Image via Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons; Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Resized from original
Image via Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons; Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Resized from original

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump hasn’t collected the amount of delegates required to rule out a contested Republican National Convention, but with the burnout of his final two rivals, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, his nomination seems a near certainty.

Yet several high-profile Republicans have publically announced they would either wait on endorsing a Trump nomination or skip the convention entirely. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he would wait to endorse Trump. Former Republican presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush, along with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain, said they would not attend what will likely be Trump’s certification as the GOP nominee.

Populism and anti-establishment sentiment have carried Trump almost all the way to the nomination; On the Democratic side, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has managed to win 19 primaries with almost no establishment support. In what seems like an anti-establishment year, do endorsements still matter?

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