Republicans are already working on ways to make Trump look stronger than he is ahead of the 2020 election campaign.
The South Carolina Republican Party is considering a plan that would cancel their 2020 primary out of the apparent fear that a challenger for the party's presidential nomination would embarrass Trump.
Chairman Drew McKissick told the conservative Washington Examiner, "Considering the fact that the entire party supports the president, we'll end up doing what’s in the president's best interest."
The Examiner noted, "incumbent presidents who faced primaries are in greater peril in the general election, a fact not lost on the Trump campaign and the GOP more broadly."
In 1992, the Iowa Republican Party chose not to have a presidential ballot as a maneuver to protect President George H.W. Bush. Despite that, he was challenged by Pat Buchanan in the New Hampshire primary, and Buchanan received 40 percent of the vote. The New York Times described the result as a "less-than-impressive victory" for Bush and was a "roar of anger" from the party.
Bush went on to win the nomination, but he was defeated by Bill Clinton and ended up being a one-term president.
Trump clearly wants to avoid the same fate, and the concern from party bosses could reflect Republican fears of just that.
While Trump might easily coast to a nomination win in 2020, a strong showing from a primary challenger could indicate serious vulnerability in the 2020 general election.
And Trump is already extremely unpopular.
Trump also just presided over a 40-seat loss in the House and saw his party lose control over the legislature. Democrats outvoted Republicans by over 8.8 million votes —a record — and Trump was not even officially on the ballot.
It is not a good sign for Trump and his prospects for re-election that Republicans are already discussing how to make 2020 easier for him.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.