A Republican finally got the guts to announce a run against Trump in 2020 — and many GOP voters are open to it
Bill Weld, the former governor of a Massachusetts, on Monday became the first Republican to officially announce he will challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 race for the White House.
"It is time to return to the principles of Lincoln -- equality, dignity, and opportunity for all," said Weld in a statement, as CNN first reported. "There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight."
Weld had already formed an exploratory committee for a presidential run.
While Trump retains strong approval within his party, a substantial portion of the GOP is actually open to the idea of the president having a challenger from within its own ranks.
"Two months ago, 40% of Republican voters said they’d like to see a 2020 primary challenger to President Trump," noted GOP pollster Frank Luntz, citing a Monmouth University poll. "Doesn’t mean they’ll vote for the challenger – but they wouldn’t mind having the option."
Weld may not remain the only Republican challenging Trump. Maryland Gov. Lary Hogan has also hinted at an interest in running, though he has yet to make an announcement. Of course, the more crowded the field becomes with challengers, the more likely it is that Trump retains his party's support.
In any event, though, there's little precedent for a sitting president to lose a primary to a competitor. But for Trump, that shouldn't be his main worry. As many observers have pointed out, in the last 50 years, no president has faced serious opposition with his own party in the run-up to re-election and still gone on to win a second term. So even if we're not very likely to see a President Weld or President Hogan anytime soon, their presence in the race could make it less likely we'll see four more years of Trump.