Julie Bykowicz ?and Julie Pace

WASHINGTON: Donald Trumps best ally in winning over skeptical Republicans is turning out to be Hillary Clinton.

Having overcome a multimillion-dollar Never Trump campaign aimed at blocking him from the Republican nomination, hes now benefiting from a wave of GOP donors, party leaders, voters and conservative groups that are uniting under a new banner: Never Hillary.

Nothing unites Republicans better than a Clinton, said Scott Reed, a political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who has advised previous GOP campaigns. While Reed says there remain many unknowns about Trump, he adds that the knowns about Hillary are very powerful motivators to Republicans.

Thanks to Republicans deep disdain for the likely Democratic nominee, Trump is piling up those kinds of lukewarm GOP endorsements.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who called Trump a dangerous con artist during his own failed presidential campaign, now says hes willing to get involved in the general election to stop Clinton.

If you can live with a Clinton presidency for 4 years, thats your right, Rubio wrote on Twitter Friday. I cant and will do what I can to prevent it.

Later in the day he reiterated on Twitter that his assistance should not be viewed as pro-Trump. I said I would be honored to help party beat Hillary, he wrote.

Never Hillary graced the subject line of a new Republican National Committee fundraising email that had nary a mention of Trump. Super PACs advised by Trump-skeptic Karl Rove are using the hashtag NeverHillary on Twitter to promote online videos about her perceived scandals even as Rove says the groups arent likely to spend money boosting Trump.

Last week when the National Rifle Association endorsed Trump, the announcement came without much of a sales pitch for him. But it did include a blunt message for the 5 million members about Clinton.

Noting the heated GOP primary campaign, Chris Cox, the NRAs chief lobbyist, said at the organizations convention last week, Were there differences between candidates for the nomination? Of course. Are there valid arguments in favor or some over others? Sure. Will any of it matter if Hillary Clinton wins in November? Not one bit.

For the NRA and other Republican-leaning groups, Clinton has become a reason to look past Trumps spotty record on conservative issues. On guns, for example, Trump previously backed an assault weapons ban. Hes since backed away from that, which appears to be good enough compared to Clintons calls for tougher gun control laws.

If she could, Hillary would ban every gun, destroy every magazine, run an entire national security industry right into the ground and put your name on a government registration list, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre told the crowd at the gathering in Louisville, Ky.

Likewise, Clinton has been an entry point for big donors once not thrilled with Trump.

Billionaire Minnesota broadcasting executive Stanley Hubbard helped pay for the Never Trump campaign, but says hes willing to give money to the GOP nominee to stop Clinton.

Trump has unclear policies on some of the issues most important to conservative donors. Even so, Foster Friess, who backed Rick Santorum in his last two presidential campaigns, said he has made a donation to Trump because the choice is stark.