Trump is teflon-coated. It doesn’t matter if the establishment points out that he makes military widows cry. First off, many Republican voters have been brainwashed by Fox News into believing such allegations are #fakenews. But more importantly, when they hear it from an establishment GOP politician, they think something like, “Yeah, he made one widow cry, and you turned thousands of military wives into widows by lying about Iraq.”
2020 will not be a repeat of 2016, when Trump only ever got a plurality of the vote until he was the last man standing. He will be the president of the United States and the Republican Party’s incumbent and presumptive nominee. He will combine the advantages of a populist candidate — rhetorical excess, a passionate core of supporters — and all the advantages of institutional support, however reluctant, that come with incumbency.
He will destroy his establishmentarian challenger. What’s more, the challenge will help him in the general, because it will distance him from everything that swing voters hate about the GOP — congressional dysfunction, slavish devotion to big business, and smarmy self-righteousness.