Our first clue that "never Trump" wasn't big with conservative voters should have been the fact that no Republican mounted a serious primary challenge to Trump. Trump's support among Republican voters is much higher than W Bush's comparing the first 6 months of 2020 vs 2008.
The L.A. Times reports on June 28, 2020:
"Comparing Trump to George W. Bush, the last Republican president, shows how unusual this situation is. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans for the first half of 2020 is 91% compared with 69% Republican approval for Bush in the first half of 2008. If we compare approval ratings among Republicans for Bush’s entire second term with Trump’s first term, Bush’s average overall approval was about eight points lower than Trump’s average: 78% vs. 86%.
Indeed, Trump’s average support level among his fellow partisans is higher than for any president of either party since Eisenhower."
Gallup reported in May 2004 that W Bush's Republican support was 89%.
Nixon's in 1972 was also 89%
Reagan was 85%
Clinton was 85%
Obama was 83%
and Carter 55%
Trump in the first half of his re-election year is at 91%
(The above numbers represent support within their own party)
By pure numbers, the anti-Trump conservative bloc is both fairly small and not that remarkable. The group of Republican voters who disapprove of Trump is similar (but slightly smaller) than Democrats who disapproved of then-President Barack Obama during his first term. Conservatives who really hate Trump probably no longer identify as Republicans — 11 percent of Republicans switched their party affiliation between December 2015 and March 2017, according to Pew. But surveys suggest that the share of Democrats switching affiliation in that same period is about the same. It’s hard to be precise about this: Data suggests at most 10 percent of American voters overall are anti-Trump but generally lean Republican. That’s not nothing, but between 40 and 50 percent of Americans are likely to vote for Trump in November.
But while this hard to prove conclusively, anti-Trump conservatives are arguably way overrepresented in elite media, at least compared to their numbers in the general population. The New York Times, for example, has three conservative-leaning but Trump-skeptical opinion columnists — David Brooks, Ross Douthat, Bret Stephens — and no columnists who regularly align with the president. MSNBC has programs fronted by two anti-Trump hosts once closely aligned with the GOP establishment — ex-Rep. Joe Scarborough and Nicolle Wallace, a former communications director for President George W. Bush — and no explicitly pro-Trump hosts. Among the 53 Washington Post opinion writers highlighted on the paper’s website, seven are people who have identified with conservatives and/or the Republican Party in the past but regularly attack Trump. Just four are conservatives who regularly defend the president. Numerous anti-Trump conservatives are also featured prominently on CNN.
Yes, There is a huge contingent of "Never Trump" Republicans represented in the corporate media pundit class. That is not reflected in the electorate.
May be more corporate media simply manufacturing consent.
Misrepresenting public opinion.