A report from Politico says the Democratic National Committee started–up opposition research on potential Republican candidates who could run against President Donald Trump in 2020. One of the names on the list hails from South Carolina in United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley.
“Nikki Haley [was] the governor and she has a lot of support so there may be a primary here with her running,” said Clemson political science professor of David Woodard after hearing the reported list of names the DNC is targeting.
Since 1976 when Ronald Reagan ran against Gerald Ford, “no president has ever withstood a challenge in his own party for his second term,” said Woodard. “New Hampshire and South Carolina being early primary states are the showdown where this occurs.”
The last time a candidate tried unseat a president from his own party was in 1992, when Pat Buchanan ran against George H.W. Bush. Bush won the primary but Clinton won the presidential election.
Some Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham have become frequent critics of President Trump, but Woodard says don’t be fooled by language in thinking that a Republican challenger may emerge in 2020. Woodard says the old adage holds true in politics, ‘actions speak louder than words.’
Despite harsh language appearing on news programs, Republican voting in Congress remains aligned and united under the president’s agenda. Woodard says President Trump will not likely face opposition in his own party unless he started losing those votes in Congress.
“People are reluctant to abandon a president that has won the presidency because they fear the other party might win if they do that,” said Woodard. “even though they may not like him they fell like he has the right initial after his name.”