Maybe things would’ve shaken out differently if Ned Ryun had been at the helm of the Republican National Committee in 2016. The conservative politico thinks so, anyway, arguing that there even could “have been a different nominee potentially.”

If Donald Trump loses Tuesday, Ryun tells the Washington Examiner that he’s definitely challenging Reince Priebus for control of the RNC. And while his chances of winning the job are slim, the changes he proposes are significant.

On the eve of Election Day, Ryun’s offered a post-mortem for a still-living Republican campaign. He says he wants Trump to win, but he’s already drawn conclusions from the loss that is widely expected.

“If things don’t change, Republicans might well be a minority party at the national level,” Ryun warns, complaining that the GOP hasn’t applied what works in state and local elections to the presidential contest.

His resume clearly drives his diagnosis. Ryun’s the president of American Majority Action, a conservative grassroots army, and CEO of Voter Gravity, a data engine for campaigns. It’s not surprising then that he talks about refocusing the party’s efforts to build coalitions and beefing up the party’s tech abilities.

But his penchant for “creative destruction,” could have a more interesting effect on the primary calendar. His prescription calls for booting Iowa and New Hampshire from the front of the line. Virginia and Florida would go first instead.

“You can’t just show up and win there,” Ryun said. “You have to spend time, raise money, and build a campaign staff. Those electorates that are more reflective of a general election. It’s about being more strategic to win in 2020.”

It’s not clear if that that would’ve changed anything during this year’s primary contest. Trump carried both states, before cruising to the nomination fueled by earned air time and unencumbered by a traditional campaign machine. It’s Ryun’s last proposal that could have completely rewritten the story of 2016.

Before candidates could get their name on a 2020 primary ballot, Ryun would require each presidential hopeful to undergo an invasive RNC investigation. He likens it “to getting a full-on political colonoscopy.” More than a background check, that screening would come with an embedded threat. Serious red flags about a candidate’s past would be fed to the press if necessary. After investing millions into building coalitions and shifting the electoral map, Ryun says “it’d be asinine to hand it over to someone who is damaged goods.”

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“It’s a movement of common sense,” he added. “It’s a movement of competence.”

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But all reminiscing on what could’ve been will stop Tuesday night for Ryun. If Trump’s campaign ends, he says his bid for RNC chair will start.

Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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