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A Moderate Republican Wants to Give Donald Trump a Primary Challenge in 2020

Donald Trump boasts an approval rating among Republican voters of close to ninety per cent. But the former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld recently announced an exploratory committee to challenge Trump in the primary. It looks like a political suicide mission, but Weld sees a pathway to victory that runs through his neighboring state of New Hampshire, to other blue-leaning states where Republican voters might be open to a different candidate for the nomination. Weld is a type of Republican rarely seen at the national level these days—a New England moderate—and he’s called Trump’s Presidency a “train wreck.” He says that some “billionaires” will back his long-shot bid, and he’s betting that the damage from investigations may end Trump’s charmed political life. Weld criticizes the white-supremacist dog whistles used in Trump’s 2016 campaign, and he calls Republicans in Washington victims of Stockholm syndrome—identifying with the man who captured their party.

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