U.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Pastor Ramiro Pena (R) of Christ the King Church during a meeting with Hispanic pastors at the Roosevelt Room of the White House January...
November's Mid-term elections showed that the 'Blue Wave' was real, the Democrats regained the House and Nancy Pelosi returned as Speaker. This has set the scene for confrontation politics, probes, investigations and political gridlock, as a Republican administration led by Donald Trump goes head-to-toe with the Dems.
2019 didn't start off well for the Trump administration. The recent United States government shutdown was the longest in history, with 61% of people polled by CNN Politics expressing disapproval at the way the President handled negotiations with Congress.
As the President's approval ratings hit 40 per cent or lower, there are rumours that some are considering challenging him for the 2020 Republican nomination.
But who are the likely contenders?
As Matthew Walther of The Week argues, Trump should be afraid of John Kasich mounting a bid. He was the last to concede to Trump in 2016 and didn't endorse him thereafter. Kasich is an established social conservative who supported Obama's expansion of Medicaid. He even managed to defeat Trump in the 2016 Ohio Republican primary. The most likely outcome is that Kasich fails, but destabilises Trump's coalition, especially in the Mid-West.
Before entering politics, Kasich worked for Fox News, hosting 'Heartland with John Kasich' from 2001 to 2007. He also worked as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers. He was elected in 2010, defeating Democrat Ted Strickland.
Despite receiving an endorsement from the President for his Senate bid last year, Ted Cruz is likely to battle Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination. He is thought to remain miffed with the President for calling him 'lyin' Ted' during the 2016 primaries, but the Senator may not have the support among his fellow Republicans necessary to make a credible run.
Cruz worked for George W. Bush during his 2000 presidential campaign as a domestic policy adviser. He served as an associate deputy attorney general, as Texas solicitor general and for a Texan law firm before getting elected to the Senate in 2012.
McMullin stood as an independent conservative candidate in 2016. The Week's Matthew Walther suggests he is likely to challenge Trump for the 2020 nomination, but he is best remembered for coming third in his home state of Utah in 2016. McMullin served in the CIA from 2001 to 2010. He also worked for the investment division of Goldman Sachs for a year and a half after graduating from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), participates in a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, January 3, 2019.
First-term Republican senator and former university professor Ben Sasse may be tempted to run for president. Before entering politics, he taught at the University of Texas and served as an assistant secretary in the US health department. In 2014, he defeated Democrat David Domina by a margin of 65 per cent to 31 per cen to win his place in the Senate.
Although Wisconsin governor Scott Walker made barely any impact on the Republican primaries in 2016, CNN Politics said he could run again because his low-key personality may be an asset in contrast to Trump. Walker also seems to be doing a good job running his state, with electronics company FoxConn pledging to build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin (although there are now some concerns that this deal might not work out as originally planned).
Walker served in the Wisconsin State Assembly after defeating Democrat Chris Ament in 1993. He then served on Milwaukee County Executive from 2004-2012, while losing the 2006 race to become Wisconsin Governor. He was subsuquently elected in as Governor 2010.
Hogan is the second-most popular governor in the US, scoring approval ratings of 67 per cent. Politico reported that he has been meeting with influential Never Trump Republicans, indirectly attacking Trump in speeches and he is planning a visit to Iowa.
Logan is the son of a US congressman and served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in the 1970s and 1980s. The Maryland Governor was engaged in brokerage, consulting and investment after establishing Hogan Companies in 1985. He spent 18 years in the private sector.
After winning the election for Governor in 2014, Hogan assumed office in 2015 and his tax and regulatory reforms have helped boost Maryland's economy. He has the ability to avoid alienating voters by leaving controversial issues alone. Despite his Catholic upbringing, he considers abortion and same-sex marriage as settled issues.