Republican leaders have not yet settled on a candidate to challenge Trump in 2020.
That could be a tough call for a party that faces the prospect of losing the Senate in a decade-long fight over the country’s health care system.
“There’s a big opportunity to win in 2020,” said one Republican strategist.
The party is not yet sure how much to emphasize about repealing Obamacare, which is one of the most divisive aspects of Trump’s presidency.
Republicans have focused on health care, a major theme in the 2020 campaign, and on a number of other issues, including jobs, immigration, and education.
“They’ve got to be able to talk about their core priorities,” said Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
The 2018 election cycle was the first to feature the possibility of Republicans losing the House.
A number of factors have made the 2020 election cycle more challenging than the 2018 cycle, though, including the Trump administration’s crackdown on voter registration and registration drives in certain states, including Wisconsin.
“I think in 2020, it’s going to be a little bit tougher,” Salmon said.
The Trump administration has not yet signaled a willingness to go after voter registration drives, or even voter ID requirements, which have helped Democrats and some Republicans maintain a majority in state legislatures. “
It’s going be harder to win and lose than it was to get to the point where we have the ability to do things that have been successful.”
The Trump administration has not yet signaled a willingness to go after voter registration drives, or even voter ID requirements, which have helped Democrats and some Republicans maintain a majority in state legislatures.
The president and some Republican lawmakers have also been vocal critics of voter fraud.
“This is a real threat to democracy,” said Sen. Thom Tillis, R.-N.C. “If we don’t make sure that elections are run in a way that protects the integrity of the vote, then this whole idea of voting is going to cease to exist.”
The 2020 election is also the first time the party will have a national campaign, as the 2020 Census is expected to produce the largest national sample ever collected.
There are also questions about how much money the 2020 race will cost.
“The costs are going to depend on how much of an impact it has,” said John C. Calhoun, a political science professor at the University of Virginia and a former House majority leader.
The 2020 Census will be the first official time that the party can be seen as a national party.
A handful of national Republican leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have made a concerted effort to get their 2020 campaigns funded, with Ryan announcing in December that he would raise $1.3 billion to boost the party’s messaging.
The campaign is also looking at ways to reach voters outside the traditional voting bloc, such as people who are interested in the economy, or in the military.
Calibur, the Republican strategist, said the 2020 strategy should focus on “the core of what the Republican brand is,” which includes “the American people, the economic freedom that we have, and the American values of opportunity and fairness.”
The next Republican Party debate is scheduled for Oct. 4.