Talk of a 2020 Primary Challenger To Trump Heats Up Amid White House Chaos

As President Trump stumbled through a rocky month of staffing upheaval, controversy, and public feuds, hypothetical talk of replacing him as the Republican nominee for president in 2020 has grown louder despite the improbability of the prospect.

No sitting president in the modern era has been replaced during his re-election race by a challenger from within his own party. While some have faced primary challenges — Ronald Reagan mounted a strong challenge against Gerald Ford in 1976, Ted Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter in 1980, and Pat Buchanan ran against George H.W. Bush in 1992 — none have succumbed to those intra-party challengers.

But several high-profile Republicans speculated openly this week someone other than Trump could represent Republicans on the 2020 ticket.

"Since 1900, 20 presidents have sought re-election and of those, 15 have won and five have lost. So basically, he's the favorite right now even with the numbers the way they are," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist. "The only question is whether he chooses not to run again and that's it."

Tony Fabrizio, Trump's campaign pollster, shared a poll on Wednesday that also found Trump holding major leads over Cruz and Kasich in a 2020 primary. Sen. Ben Sasse, a prominent GOP critic of Trump, commanded just 1 percent of the vote in the hypothetical primary contest. 

Read more from Sarah Westwood at the Washington Examiner

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Analysis & Political Strategy