U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) at CPAC 2015. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) at CPAC 2015
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)

People read too much into Republicans coming to Iowa. U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) will keynote the Story County Republican Party’s Judge Joseph Story Dinner tonight, and that has politicos outside the state buzzing about the next Iowa Caucus.

Katie Glueck writing for McClatchy wrote, “If there’s a path for a Republican to challenge Donald Trump, it doesn’t run through Iowa.”

I have a problem with that statement for several reasons.

First, we have at least one-and-a-half years before anyone is going to even think about going public about challenging President Trump. Why are we talking about this?

Second, her opinion (and that statement is an opinion, not a fact) is based on interviews with a handful of Republicans which is not enough to make a definitive statement like that.

Third, it assumes too much of President Trump’s popularity. Remember, Iowa was one of the few states he didn’t win, so if someone were going to challenge President Trump Iowa would be a state to consider.

That said it is simply too early to talk about this which is why there is no chatter, and speculating on every Republican elected official that comes into the state in 2017 (and 2018 to campaign for Republican congressional campaigns) is a waste of time.

Sasse, outside what Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann thinks, is an intriguing politician. He appears to be cut from a different cloth, and there are people in this state who would like to hear what he has to say.

That doesn’t mean he is thinking about running or that people want him to run. A decision to challenge an incumbent president in one’s party is a serious one, and it is frankly too early into gauge whether or not a challenge is politically possible or even needed.

If President Trump governs well and accomplishes the things in his agenda that have broad appeal among Republicans, he will probably stave off a primary challenge. If he self-destructs, which is not outside the realm of possibility, then he probably won’t, and there will start to be chatter about a primary opponent. Sasse, among others, would certainly be worth considering.

It is just too early to tell.

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