It is now clear that Donald Trump will not have a waltz to the 2020 Republican Presidential nomination.
The long term future of the Republican Party is at stake, after the disaster of the Midterm Elections of 2018.
Mike Pence can claim the Republicans are in good shape, but he is delusional, and we are on the way to a repudiation of not just Donald Trump, but his Vice President, even if by some chance, he becomes President before the Presidential Election of 2020.
It is assured that a President Pence would not be able to keep the office, and would be easily defeated in 2020, as is the case with Donald Trump.
So the question is where the Republican Party turns in planning its future.
The number of potential candidates is growing.
It includes those few who have had the smarts to speak out against Donald Trump, as anyone else is a public relations disaster.
So forget such Senators as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Lindsey Graham, all of whom have lost all credibility.
The list, therefore, only includes newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, and outgoing Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, and outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.
It could also include two Republican Governors in “blue” states that easily were elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018—Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts–although neither Hogan, who has term limits in Maryland, and Baker, who has no term limits in Massachusetts–has publicly expressed interest in running for the White House.
But if the Republican Party wishes to survive long term, none of these, except possibly John Kasich, are seen as likely to have much effect in stopping Trump.
The one and only reasonable choice other than Kasich is a principled conservative of a younger generation who might inspire young people and educated people to return to the Republican Party.
That candidate is Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who would be 48, but nearing 49, by the time of the inauguration in January 2021.
If he were to run in 2020, with Nikki Haley as his Vice Presidential running mate, both only a month apart in age, it could be a winning team.