The most obvious lane is that of the Imperial Successors. These candidates will likely run as the person best situated to carry on President Trump’s legacy without the controversial elements. Miller Lite became famous in my youth for a set of commercials that all ended with the tagline “Tastes great, less filling”. These candidates will argue “Trump’s great, less tweeting.” Vice President Pence, presidential scion Donald Trump Jr., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fit neatly into this lane.
The second lane could be called the Restoration Crew. These candidates will essentially run as people who represent pre-Trump party factions seeking to gloss over the interregnum with claims of fealty to the departed overlord while carrying on pretty much as they would have in 2015. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley are obvious fits here, with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.) other possible entrants.
The third lane is the most interesting, the Young Reformers. These candidates all argue that something about the old GOP, even the Trump-era party, needs to change. They are a quartet of young senators — Tom Cotton (Ark.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) — and while each sounds a different note, all sing from similar hymnals. The big question is whether Republican voters want a different type of music or if they prefer the old standbys.