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Divided They Stand (or Fall)

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Anti-Trump Republicans are not facing their challenges

President Donald Trump’s response to the mayhem in Charlottesville, Va., led to renewed calls for Republicans to abandon him. Even beforehand, reporters had written about a possible challenge to his renomination in 2020. Vice President Mike Pence felt obliged to disclaim any interest in being a challenger himself.

Interest in this question is a sign of Trump’s political weakness. Nobody would be talking about the 2020 primaries if Trump’s poll numbers were stronger, or if he had signed major legislation on health care or tax reform. But his Republican opponents face four hurdles before they can mount a serious campaign against him — and they do not seem to be paying any attention to the biggest one.

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