Ed Stack. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack assembled a focus group this week to explore the possibility of a third-party presidential bid in 2020, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Under Stack, Dick's instituted tougher gun sales restrictions and destroyed $5 million worth of assault weapons rather than send them back to manufacturers. The post-Parkland moves were divisive in today's polarized climate and ultimately made a dent in the company's bottom line — which could lead to questions about Stack's motives to implement them as he tests the 2020 bid.

  • A serious third-party contender, especially one with cachet as a Republican donor and the personal wealth to bankroll a campaign, could have an impact on the 2020 race.
  • But Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz had a similar centrist focus and couldn't generate excitement for his own 2020 bid.

What happened: According to Politico, the focus group was shown short videos of Stack, along with videos of Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Schultz.

  • Focus group members were asked if they would consider a third-party candidate. The session ended with group members filling out sample ballots that matched Stack with Trump and Warren and with Trump and Biden.

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Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

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Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.