Most of the time, when an incumbent president is running for a second term, he’s a lock on his party’s nomination. It stands to reason that Donald Trump would be in this same boat for next year’s election.
That hasn’t stopped some Republicans from mounting challenges to the president. However, the GOP in three states believe that Trump is enough of a shoo-in that they’re cancelling their primaries.
The Republican party operations in Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all decided to not hold presidential primaries in 2020. The move is as much a money-saving measure as anything else, as these state parties generally have to foot the bill for primaries and caucuses.
While it makes perfect sense that Trump has the GOP nomination sewn up, especially considering that he holds 88 percent approval among Republicans, his would-be challengers aren’t too happy about the news from these three states.
Former (liberal) Massachusetts Republican governor and 2016 Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld expressed his displeasure at the cancellation of primaries. As CBS reports:
Bill Weld in May told CBS News that he was not having discussions with the state parties.
“Why would I talk to the state parties?” Weld responded when asked if he was trying to get ballot access in early-voting states. He added, “They’re all run by Trump people.”
Former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh took to Twitter to let the social media world know how he felt about the news – and he claimed that the president has ordered the cancellations.
Former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford hasn’t weighed in as of the publication of this article, but it will be interesting to see if he expresses his opinion, considering that his home state is one of the ones cancelling their primary.
Here’s the thing: on some level it makes sense that some states would cancel their primaries when a well-known incumbent with strong support is running for reelection. At the same time, is it fair to these challengers, quixotic as their bids may be?
You don’t have to be a Trump partisan to see where making his path to the nomination easier has its logic. And you don’t have to be a Trump hater to think that his challengers aren’t getting a shot. At the end of the day, the real question is, will more states follow suit?