Assuming that Donald Trump loses this year’s presidential race, who is likely to be the GOP nominee in 2020? The FiveThirtyEight crew takes a stab at this question (as well as the Democrats’ side of the equation). The discussion is too snarky and anti-Republican for my taste, but worthwhile nonetheless.
Here (in no special order) are the six Republicans I consider most likely to be the nominee in four year: Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Pence, Tom Cotton, and Nikki Haley. (I almost included Scott Walker, but I’m not feeling it).
No one knows what the political landscape will look like in four years or what the defining issues will be. Thus, it’s probably foolish even to present a list of six, much less adjudicate among those on such a list.
It does seem to me, though, that the nominee is likely to be the candidate who can convincingly mix, say, two doses of traditional conservatism with maybe one dose of Trumpianism. At the rate Ryan is going, he might struggle to find sufficient doses of either. Rubio might struggle to be convincing on immigration, which is likely to remain a big issue.
The other thing to consider is the level of desperation Republicans will probably feel after losing (in this hypothetical) three straight presidential elections and enduring 12 years of left-liberal presidents. To a considerable extent, GOP voters may be willing to overlook both ideological and genuineness concerns in the name of nominating someone who can defeat Hillary Clinton or whichever leftist the Democrats nominate.
I know I will be, unless this means backing a monster.