While it’s hard to imagine even a more serious Republican elected official — like, say, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan or former Ohio Gov. John Kasich — beating Trump in a primary, at least a candidacy by one of those sorts of politicians would signal to the GOP (and the broader country) that there remained a real and robust resistance to the sort of politics Trump peddles.
Instead, what “Never Trumpers” are left with are three pols running — or thinking about running — because they have nothing left to lose. All three are so irrelevant in national Republican politics that they are willing to embark on quixotic charges against Trump.
If this trio is the best the “Never Trumpers” can do, then it’s very hard to take them seriously as a movement — or even a loose affiliation of like-minded influencers — within the Republican Party.
The Point: Beating Trump in a primary was never going to happen in 2020. But running a serious conservative alternative might have allowed certain elements within the GOP to preserve the idea that the whole of the party hadn’t capitulated to Trump. That hope is now gone.