Hawaii joins Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and South Carolina in changing primary rules to help Trump win.
The Hawaii Republican Party announced it will not hold any nominating contest in 2020, the Star Advertiser reported Thursday. Rather than allowing Republicans in the state the opportunity to choose between Trump or another Republican, the Hawaii GOP is preemptively awarding Donald Trump the state's 19 delegates.
The Hawaii Republican Party did not respond to a request for comment. As of Thursday morning, the party's website still listed the "Presidential Preference Caucus" as an important event scheduled for March 10, 2020.
Trump won the 2016 Hawaii primary with 43% of the vote (6,805 votes), edging out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who received 5,063 votes. Four other Republican candidates received the remaining votes.
Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA) have launched long-shot campaigns to replace Trump as the Republican nominee in 2020.
When reached for comment, Lucy Cadwell, campaign manager for Walsh, described the decision as "Completely despicable and disgusting." She added, "Trump loyalists have completely hijacked the Republican Party, disenfranchising everyday Americans' right to vote for the candidate they support," noting the campaign "will do everything we can to help Hawaii voters fight back."
Hawaii Republicans join Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina Republicans in outright canceling nominating contests in their respective states. GOP state parties in Georgia, Michigan, and Minnesota changed the rules of state nominating contests to help ensure Trump will be the nominee.
When the Georgia Republican Party refused to list any candidate other than Trump on the primary ballot, Walsh criticized state officials for "disenfranchising Georgia voters" calling the decision "despicable and un-American." Minnesota also refused to list any other candidates on the GOP primary ballot.
"We don't elect presidents by acclamation in America," Weld told Politico in September, the last time state parties were in the news for cancelling GOP nominating contests. "Donald Trump is doing his best to make the Republican Party his own personal club. Republicans deserve better."
Meanwhile, Democrats are engaged in a wide-open primary contest with more than a dozen candidates vying for the 2020 nomination. These candidates have already participated in five nationally televised debates, with a sixth scheduled for Dec. 19.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading in national polls among Democratic voters, according to an average of polls from Real Clear Politics. Meanwhile, Pete Buttigeig, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is leading in Iowa, the first state with a primary contest, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is leading in New Hampshire.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.