“Renegade Republicans intent on upending President Trump in 2020 are keeping their powder dry, waiting to see if legal and political controversies drive him from office first.
“Political operatives and potential candidates that inhabit the loose-knit community of Republicans who oppose Trump’s re-election are eyeing June as the approximate moment for deciding on a primary challenge or independent bid. It’s a strategic delay. Some Republicans think the weight of multiple investigations could motivate the president to exit the White House after one term—especially if special counsel Robert Mueller issues a politically damaging report.” (Washington Examiner)
TRUMP 2020. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said Thursday “that the ‘number one reason’ swing voters are inclined to vote for the New York Republican in 2020 is because of his crusade in favor of strengthened border security and construction of a wall.” (Fox News)
2020 ELECTORAL COLLEGE RATINGS. “Here it is. Our first pass at the 2020 Electoral College ratings. These ratings take into consideration the 2016 and 2018 results as well as what we’ve learned about the political coalitions that currently make-up the Trump and Democratic bases.
“Anchoring the toss-up column are the three former 'Blue Wall' states that Trump narrowly carried in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Florida, the perennial 50-50 state is also housed here. Making it’s first appearance in Toss Up-at least this early in the cycle - is Arizona, a state that has been slowly drifting away from its GOP moorings in the Trump era.
“On their face, the three Rust Belt states are the most tenuous for Trump. Not only did he fail to reach 50 percent in any state in 2016, but in 2018 GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates in all three states were defeated, including Wisconsin’s battle-tested Gov. Scott Walker.” (Cook Political Report)
FLAKE. “After retiring from the U.S. Senate last week, Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is still looking for his ‘next thing.’ It might just be at CBS News, which has engaged in talks with the Arizona Republican about a role at the network.” (Hollywood Reporter)