Political reporter says a moderate GOPer would face uphill battle against Trump

Political reporter Eli Yokley noted Friday that it would likely be very difficult for a moderate Republican to perform well against President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE in a 2020 primary challenge.

"That's what all the talk is [about], a moderate challenge," Yokley, a political reporter at Morning Consult, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

Yokley noted that Trump's base is "fired up" after his first two full years in office: "They like everything. They love what he's doing on trade. They love what he's doing on the wall," he said.

"All of these things fire folks up more than some moderate governor from the middle of the country," he added. "This is going to be a hard hill to climb for some of these moderates who think they can get a grip of the Republican Party from Donald Trump." 

Some moderate Republicans including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich have been floated as potential primary challengers to Trump. 

However, polls show that the president continues to enjoy widespread popularity within the Republican Party. 

Eighty-eight percent of Republicans say they approve of Trump's job as president, according to a Gallup poll conducted Jan. 2-10.

— Julia Manchester