Michael Cohen’s Testimony Opens New Phase of Political Turbulence for Trump – The New York Times

Michael Cohen’s Testimony Opens New Phase of Political Turbulence for Trump – The New York Times

Many voters in the latter group defected to vote for Democrats in the midterm elections or stayed home, helping deliver the House into Democratic hands. Should the same thing happen in 2020, it would be very difficult for Mr. Trump to assemble the Electoral College votes he needs to win a second term.

It may grow more difficult for Mr. Trump to reforge his 2016 coalition if he faces protracted humiliation of the sort inflicted by Mr. Cohen. In addition to denouncing Mr. Trump as a racist, a liar and a habitual business cheat, Mr. Cohen hinted at the gravity of a probe being conducted by federal prosecutors in New York. And he may have pointed the way toward potential future hearings involving Mr. Trump’s employees and even family members.

Some Republicans who have been critical of Mr. Trump have suggested that a turbulent first half of 2019 could create an opening for other Republicans to enter the presidential race, if prosecutors allege that Mr. Trump has broken laws or if the president begins to appear so politically weak that the party fears it could lose the 2020 election in a rout.

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a moderate Republican who is weighing a primary challenge to Mr. Trump, suggested in a recent interview that the president’s strength as a candidate was a big question mark and speculated that Mr. Trump might ultimately choose not to seek another term.

“He’s pretty strong in a Republican primary at this time,” Mr. Hogan said, adding vaguely, “I don’t know what’s going to happen over the next several months.”

Mr. Hogan suggested that Mr. Trump’s command of the Republican base could be attributed mainly to conservatives’ revulsion with the Democratic Party, more than their thoroughgoing affection for Mr. Trump.

“He’s the president and Republicans are saying, ‘Well, we support the Republican president and we don’t like some of these far-left Democratic alternatives,’” Mr. Hogan said.

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