Polling nationally and in the early 2020 states of Iowa and New Hampshire reveals that a significant number of Republicans want Trump primaried in 2020.
The Pew Research Center found, “Most Republicans and Republican leaners (61%) say they would not like to see other Republican candidates challenge Trump for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020, while 37% say they would like to see a challenge to the president.”
The national number is similar to how Democrats felt about primarying Obama after Democrats lost the House, but the kicker comes in a tweet from Bill Kristol:
Pew: 37% of Republicans and Republican leaners would like to see a primary challenge to Trump in 2020. Pretty substantial. Previous polling in IA and NH shows the number in those states supporting a challenge about ten percentage points higher. https://t.co/SzZ1xMHyOB
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 15, 2018
After a flurry of stories in the spring about how Republicans don’t want Trump to primaried, it is clear that there are significant pockets of Republicans are not happy with the direction of their party and would like another option in 2020.
Trump would easily win a national primary, but what his opponents are looking for Eugene McCarthy in 1968 type of situation where they can have a voice and challenge Trump. The point isn’t to win a national primary, but to speak out against the direction of the party with a surprise early showing or two in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Presidents who get seriously primaried usually don’t win reelection. If a Jeff Flake or John Kasich got 40% or more of the vote in Iowa or New Hampshire, it would be a signal to Democrats that Trump is extremely vulnerable.
The fact that so many Republicans in early 2020 states are open to the idea is bad news for Trump, but the worst may be yet to come if the primary challenge actually happens.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Follow Jason Easley on Facebook.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association