Republican parties in four states are getting ready to cancel their presidential primaries and caucuses in 2020. That would give Donald Trump’s primary challengers no chance to make their case in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas.
“Trump and his allies and the Republican National Committee are doing whatever they can do to eliminate primaries in certain states and make it very difficult for primary challengers to get on the ballot in a number of states,” said one of those challengers, former Rep. Joe Walsh. “It’s wrong, the RNC should be ashamed of itself, and I think it does show that Trump is afraid of a serious primary challenge because he knows his support is very soft.”
The reality is that it’s also not that uncommon. Political parties pay for primaries and caucuses, and when there’s a sitting president from their party, some—on both sides of the aisle—will choose to save the money and the potential headache. So this is not some kind of a precursor to canceling the general election. But neither is it a completely routine move, and it’s something, Politico reports, that Team Trump has worked toward: “The aim, Trump officials have long said, is to smooth the path to the president’s renomination and ensure he doesn’t face the kind of internal opposition that hampered former President George H.W. Bush in his failed 1992 reelection campaign.”
So, yeah. Trump’s primary challengers don’t seem to amount to much, but he still doesn’t want to have to face them.