The anti-Trump movement inside the Republican Party — long a political wasteland — is feeling new urgency to mount a credible opposition to Trump before it’s too late. With state deadlines for nominating contests rapidly approaching in the fall, potential candidates face pressure to decide on running within the next few weeks. So far, only former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld has declared that he is running, but he has struggled to gain traction.

Republicans considering bids, as well as those trying to draft other candidates, acknowledge that defeating Trump appears to be nearly impossible but argue that a recession or an unforeseen change in the political climate could weaken him enough to make a primary challenge more than a Never Trump fantasy…

Sanford said he recently returned from a trip to New Hampshire and is leaning toward jumping in — “another ‘green light on go’ versus ‘no go’ ” — and figures he “could win without winning.”

“If [Trump] gives you a nickname and has surrogates rough you up, you could get a message out and create a national conversation on what it means to be a Republican these days and that could probably be worth the endeavor,” Sanford said…

Referring to Trump, [Walsh] said, “He’s a bully and he’s a coward. Somebody’s got to punch him in the face every single day.”