Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina look to silence Republican voters by canceling their primary contests next year.
Trump allies in Nevada, South Carolina, Arizona, and Kansas are plotting to deny Republican voters the opportunity to reject Trump in a primary contest, Politico reported Friday. Republican officials in all four states are planning on scrapping their primary elections next year, granting Trump their support rather than allowing voters to choose.
Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who is challenging Trump for the Republican nomination, told Politico that the moves "show that Trump is afraid of a serious primary challenge because he knows his support is very soft."
Walsh also vowed to "loudly call out this undemocratic bull on a regular basis."
Another Republican, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, is also challenging Trump for the nomination and was upset about states canceling their nominating contests. "We don't elect presidents by acclamation in America," Weld told Politico. "Donald Trump is doing his best to make the Republican Party his own personal club. Republicans deserve better."
Rumbles about protecting Trump from any and all challengers first began in December 2018, when South Carolina officials broached the idea of canceling their Republican primary to protect Trump.
Fears that a Republican challenger could embarrass Trump continued into January when an RNC delegate from the Virgin Islands sent a frantic email to colleagues worried about "calculated political treachery" of some Republicans intent on "destroying our party and denying President Trump re-election."
In February, Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan blasted fellow Republicans for "unprecedented" efforts to block any and all challengers to Trump.
"It's very undemocratic," Hogan said at the time. "I've never seen anything like it, and I've been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life. It's unprecedented."
Hogan briefly toyed with the idea of challenging Trump, but later abandoned the notion.
Republican officials claim their decisions are based on cost savings, rather than helping Trump save face.
"It would be malpractice on my part to waste money on a caucus to come to the inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting all our delegates in Charlotte," Michael McDonald, Nevada GOP Chairman, told Politico. While Trump won the Nevada caucus in 2016, more than half of Republicans in the state wanted a different candidate.
If McDonald and other Republican officials have their way, Republican voters in Nevada, South Carolina, Arizona, and Kansas will not have an opportunity next year to show their support — or disdain — for Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.