A same-party primary challenge against a sitting president is not unheard of. Five members of a sitting president’s party would be extraordinary.
Currently, only former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld has officially declared he is running for the Republican nomination for president.
But as The Washington Post just reported, there are four more Republicans in the wings, “inching” closer to declaring their candidacies.
Former Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh, whose journey over the past year has found him moving from disturbing support for Trump to joining the anti-Trump camp (while occasionally offering up some common sense takes on current issues,) is among the four. He “is preparing a Republican primary challenge to President Trump that he previewed as a daily ‘bar fight’ with the incumbent over his morality and competency.”
Former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford, who lost his seat after he criticized Trump and the president’s machine went into action against him, “said he is inching closer to a bid of his own by sounding out activists in New Hampshire and other early-voting states about an insurgency focused on the ballooning deficit.”
Former Arizona senator Jeff Flake, who was also the target of the Trump machine, “said he has taken a flurry of recruitment calls in recent days from GOP donors rattled by signs of an economic slowdown and hungry for an alternative to Trump.”
Former Ohio governor John Kasich, who ran for president in the 2016 primaries and earned The New York Times’ endorsement for the GOP nomination, “will head to New Hampshire next month to ‘take a look at things’ after experiencing ‘an increase’ in overtures this summer.”
While the chances of any Republican winning the Republican nomination over Trump are slim, primary challengers take up a campaign’s time, money, energy, and focus, and that can help the opposing party unseat an incumbent.
For example, in 1992 Pat Buchanan’s primary challenge against sitting President George H.W. Bush led to the 41st president losing the White House to then-governor Bill Clinton. In 1980 Senator Ted Kennedy challenged sitting Democratic President Jimmy Carter, helping put Ronald Reagan into the Oval Office.
As Business Insider noted in May, “Throughout the 20th century, sitting presidents who faced challenges from within their own party went on to lose in the general election after being severely weakened.”
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‘Democrats Are Angry’: Polling Shows ‘Massive Blue Wave’ Rising in America’s Cities
Reuters has conducted an extensive review of polling data and has found that interest in voting in 2020 is surging in urban areas dominated by Democrats faster than in Trump-supporting rural areas.
“Even as Trump commands rock-solid support among Republicans, voters’ interest in going to the polls appears to be growing faster among those who disapprove of Trump than among those who approve of him,” Reuters reports. “The advantage in urban political engagement extends deep into the most competitive battleground states that Trump won by razor-thin margins four years ago.”
One factor that led to Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 was lower turnout in Midwestern cities such as Detroit and Milwaukee — but there are indications that trend is reversing four years later.
“In large urban areas of the upper Midwest, a region that includes swing states Michigan and Wisconsin, for example, the number of people who said they were ‘certain’ to vote in the upcoming presidential election rose by 10 percentage points to 67 percent compared with survey responses from 2015,” Reuters reports.
Nicholas Valentino, a political scientist at the University of Michigan who helped Reuters review and analyze the polling data, said that the results show unmistakable signs that Democratic voters are still furious about President Donald Trump.
“Democrats are very angry,” he said. “Many see this administration as an existential threat to the constitutional order. They’re standing ready to participate to try to change the course of this country.”
Warren Loudly Cheered for Saying the Only Candidates on Stage ‘Who Have Won Every Single Election They’ve Been in Are the Women’
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren appears to have had the best moment of the night at Tuesday Democratic debate. When asked to discuss the current story of the day – can a woman become president in the United States? – Warren appears to have scored big, based on the debate audience’s reaction.
“Senator Warren, what did you think when Sen. Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?” she was asked.
“I disagreed,” Warren said, appearing to take a breath before responding. “Bernie is my friend, and I’m not here to try to fight with Bernie.”
“But look. This question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised and it’s time for us to attack it, head on. I think the best way to talk about who can win is by looking at people’s winning records. So, can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage. Collectively they have lost ten elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women.”
Warren was greeted with loud cheers.
Warren also added that “the real danger that we face as Democrats is picking a candidate who can’t pull our party together or someone who takes for granted big parts of the Democratic constituency.”
"Can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage. Collectively they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the electability of women #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/s7FxcrYpJU
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) January 15, 2020
Trump Tries to Manufacture a Warren-Sanders ‘Feud’ While Falsely Claiming ‘Everybody Knows Her Campaign Is Dead’
President Donald Trump, under fire for assassinating Qasem Soleimani then apparently lying about why he made the decision to kill the top Iranian general is trying to change the national narrative by targeting his Democratic opponents.
After attacking billionaire Mike Bloomberg earlier Monday morning while lying about protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, Trump turned his attention to his two of his top political rivals.
Taking advantage of the current media narrative that Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – who some claim share a supporter base – have started to “attack” each other, Trump tried to manufacture an all-out “feud.”
After misspelling his racist nickname for Senator Warren, Trump lied about the state of her presidential prospects.
“Everybody knows her campaign is dead,” he tweeted, which is false. “Elizabeth is very angry at Bernie. Do I see a feud brewing?”
Bernie Sander’s volunteers are trashing Elizabeth “Pocahontus” Warren. Everybody knows her campaign is dead and want her potential voters. Mini Mike B is also trying, but getting tiny crowds which are all leaving fast. Elizabeth is very angry at Bernie. Do I see a feud brewing?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020
In fact, in poll after poll, when asked who their second-choice candidate is, Warren tops the list. While recently losing several points in nationwide and state polls, Warren is consistently in the top three, as RealClearPolitics proves.
Currently FiveThirtyEight places the chances of Biden winning the Democratic presidential nomination at 2 in 5. Sanders at 1 in 4. Warren at 1 in 8. And Buttigieg at 1 in 10.
MSNBC’s Shannon Pettypiece on-air reports that the Trump campaign has decided to attack Sen. Sanders “policies” and “character.”
“It seems,” she said Monday morning,” that this is essentially the Trump campaign “trying to put their finger on the scale of the Democratic primary.”
But Pettypiece says Trump targeting Sanders is more of an attempt to give the Vermont Independent Senator “a boost in the primaries,” given that any time Trump attacks a Democrat it tends to strengthen their poll numbers.
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