Five Republicans who could challenge Trump in 2020

3. Ben Sasse

Background: First-term Republican senator, former consultant, university president, and alleged “historian”

Chance of running: 25 percent

Everything that can be said about Jeff Flake can also be applied to Ben Sasse. But there are two crucial differences. One is that Sasse is even more of a pompous gasbag. He is the kind of pseudo-intellectual who does his history Ph.D. on Ronald Reagan. He moans about how how the youth don’t try hard at lame teamwork activities like decorating campus Christmas trees. The other thing that separates him from Flake, and makes it somewhat less likely that he will run against Trump, is the fact that he is a sitting senator. The position of Republican leadership is clear: Trump is the president and the de facto head of the party. Going rogue wouldn’t do Sasse any favors in the upper chamber.