Will Trump face a credible primary challenge?

This of course assumes he does not resign or otherwise leave office. (I know some are betting on one or the other of those outcomes).

Assuming he is still in office will he face a serious challenge within his party?

LBJ was challenged and quit quickly. Reagan ran against Ford in a serious challenge, lost, but used it as his next jumping off point. Carter was seriously challenged by Ted Kennedy. Buchanan gave G.H. Bush a bit of a run for a bit.

If so who would be the most likely to try it and who would do best? (Not necessarily the same answers.)

Well, I guess nobody has a crystal ball…but this was a terrible week for Trump. He’s lucky that the Senate seems pretty safe for Republicans next year, but keep your eyes on North Georgia. If Ossof wins, holy effing Christ! The GOP are going to shit their britches. Might be President Pence time.

It’s really impossible to make any realistic predictions today about where Trump’s reputation will be in 2019. Anything said at this point is just a wild guess.

It is not impossible that Trump both resigns and runs again in 2020.

He hates being president, but he loves running for president.

What even is a credible Republican these days?

I will note that Mr Comey has executive branch experience, and is very tall. Some people like tall.

He looks like a vastly more handsome version of Lincoln, and with the smarts.

At this point in time, Pee Wee Herman might be an improvement in intelligence, capacity, and temperament over the incumbent.

I think the OP is clear that he’s talking about a candidate who has a good chance at taking the nomination away from Trump. Even if that means a candidate who tells bigger lies than Trump.

As much as I am seeing Kasich on the media circuits these days, I think he’s gearing up for a shot at the 2020 primary.

He could do well as a moderate republican, something that we do not see too much of in politics these days.

Exactly. You might as well ask what the weather is going to be like 3 years from now. (I live in CA and it rained on Friday. In June!!)

There’s a not insignificant chance that Trump will not even be in office. The economy might boom or bust. There might be some yuge terrorist attack in the US. The results of the 2018 midterm election will be known. One could go on and on…

Yeah, ask again after the 2018 midterms. I’m not making any guesses on this until then.

If you want to get a sense of how Trump is doing, you have to look at the degree to which conservatives are supporting him and also get a sense for any spikes in anxiety. There have been a lot of conservatives who have been caught in candid expressions of bewilderment and occasional facepalms in between. But what I’m starting to notice on right-leaning sites like *TheHill is more outspoken criticism and frustration, particularly over the past week. I am nowhere close to writing Trump off yet – he’s mastered the 4th quarter comeback. But I am beginning to sense that GOP patience is starting to wear thin, especially when they know that Mike Pence would be easy to work with and would at least take some of the energy away from the grassroots left.

*TheHill is a good place to get a sense for how the Right is reacting to the news of the day. It’s right-leaning, but it’s not nut bar right wing like Breitbart.

Except that someone who is considering making a challenge is often best served by prepping for that with infrastructure and fundraising, or at least promises of funds and support, before then. And the popularity of the incumbent then is not necessarily so predictive either … remember that G HW Bush was up in 80% approval rating in most of early '91 … not only scaring off within party challenges but keeping many serious contenders on the Democratic side from entering as well (which set the stage for Clinton, along with Perot).

It is tea leaf reading at best to predict how strong or weak Trump will be by primary time … the question though is how the possible contenders to make that run are reading those leaves right now and over the next year, when serious prep work usually begins.

My read, for the very little it is worth, is that Trump will stay up and down around his current level through mid-terms at least. Sure we could have some major event one direction or the other but no better chance in my mid either direction. I’m guessing some credible challengers will try to get the inside track on being the challenger and start positioning as such, quietly but unmistakably, sooner rather than later. And yes, I see Kasich as the most likely person to try.

I hope so. Kasich is divisive, right-wing, an old ally of Newt Gingrich, and capable of the sort of embarrassing clumsy corruption of Chris Christie. But he seems to have more understanding of the responsibilities of public service than Pence. (Trump, of course, is too much of a vain, distractable flake to do much good on that front.)

Predicting the details of the next 3 years is of course very difficult, but I can’t imagine a scenario where Trump faces a serious primary challenge. He might resign before then. He might somehow retain most of the Republican base and run unopposed. He might lose part of the base, with someone like Romney making noise after the midterms that he will run. The thing is in the latter scenario I just don’t see Trump mounting a reelection bid. If things are that bad I think he would almost certainly do what Johnson did in 1968 and decide not to run.

Kasich held an event in New Hampshire in April 2017, but he was just there to sell books and was in no way laying ground work.

Groundwork at this point would not be public pressing the flesh events. (Albeit both the book and the visit are pretty standard laying the groundwork plays.)

Step one is just publicly starting at “no” and moving to “If I see something I need to do to help my country, that I really believe that I have to do, then I would think I would probably do it.” and “I don’t know what I’m going to do. … I can’t tell you what that’s going to be, and I’m not plotting and scheming. I’m rooting for him to do well, Bill, for the same reason I root for a pilot on my airplane to do well. Okay? He’s the president.”

So IOW … “I am ready to grab for the controls if Trump looks like he is flying into the mountain. I will run if he looks beatable and I am the one to look to do it.”

Meanwhile, if he’s serious, he’s having behind the scene conversations with fundraisers/bundlers, keeping his PACs going, and having quiet conversations with potential endorsers of significance who would not want to be public right now.

He’s not running yet, but it sure looks like he’s placed himself on the inside track, and is beginning to walk to the blocks.

If Trump is running in 2020 then he’d need to have an incredible performance for the rest of this term in order to avoid a primary. Depends what you call credible though, Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham are prime candidates to run against Trump if they find it all feasible. There are plenty of Republicans who don’t like Trump even if they don’t say so much publicly right now, and even if he is very successful.

At this point, I would be shocked if Trump is running for a second term in 2020. I’m not exactly predicting impeachment, but by 2018 he’s going to be running out the clock and avoiding impeachment only because he’s going to be gone shortly anyway.

Could be wrong. But with so many Republicans holding their nose and trying not to vomit as they support Trump, it can’t last. Trump’s support is an inch deep, except among the nihilist alt-right. They fucking love him.

Answer to the OP question: No, unless he proposes a tax increase.

I expect that some people will try, and there are certainly Never-Trump donors with enough money to get such candidates fired up. Trump crushed something like 15 other contenders in 2016, however, and ISTR polls showing that his support among his voters has not wavered since the election. In other words, as of now there’s no reason to believe that GOP voters will abandon Trump in favor of any of the candidates that they rejected before, or more generally in favor of the GOP establishment.