When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he faced a Republican primary field of seasoned politicians and leaders. He went on to beat them all, often by deploying visceral personal attacks — from “little Marco” and “low energy Jeb” to “lyin’ Ted,” whose father Trump once baselessly suggested was linked to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Since launching his bid on Nov. 15, he’s been dogged by new controversies — dining with the antisemite Nick Fuentes, saying the Constitution should be partially terminated — and ongoing legal scrutiny as well as a mixed track record with his political power, after his candidates in marquee midterm races went down in defeat.
Some of them predict that if he faces a new slew of GOP challengers, which would be a highly unusual obstacle for a former president running in a primary, he’ll successfully chew them all up, in a repeat of his 2016 playbook.
Or he will choke trying, other party operatives said, regardless of the damage it may do to the broader party.