According to at least one Republican senator, it’s unclear whether or not President Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee for the 2020 election. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told MSNBC this week that she continued to have significant concerns about the de facto leader of the party.
“It’s far too early to tell now,” Collins said when asked if Trump would be the nominee. “There’s a long ways between now and that point. It’s too difficult to say.”
Collins said that she found herself in an unprecedented position in 2016.
“I didn’t support the president when he was our party’s nominee,” she said. “That was a very difficult position for me to take. I’d never taken it before. Instead, I wrote in the name of Paul Ryan, and that was very hard for me to do as a lifelong Republican.”
But if Susan Collins isn’t sure about Trump’s plans for re-election, the president himself is. According to Politico, the Trump campaign train is already pulling out of the station in preparation for what promises to be one hell of a fight:
President Donald Trump is methodically building a 2020 reelection campaign machine, shunting aside doubts about his viability for a second term as controversy consumes the early months of his administration.
Trump is mapping out a fall fundraising tour that is expected to fill his campaign bank account with tens of millions of dollars. His team has tracked dozens of potential Democratic rivals, a list of names that ranges from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. And his administration has received political advice from a top campaign pollster from his 2016 campaign, who has urged the president to keep up his attacks on the mainstream media.
And while Trump’s poll numbers have seen better days, the momentum is still behind the president going into the next election. According to a new Marist poll, Republican voters favor Trump over John Kasich and Mike Pence when put head to head in a primary campaign matchup. Other potential challengers like Ted Cruz and Ben Sasse are likely to find considerable resistance to an intraparty, dividing campaign.
Collins is right about one thing: A lot can happen in 3 1/2 years, especially when you’re talking American politics and Donald Trump. It’s almost impossible to predict where we’ll be as a nation in 2020, just as it was impossible to predict what would happen when Trump first descended that escalator in the summer of 2015.