South Carolina Republicans are considering canceling their primary in 2020 in order to protect President Donald Trump from having any challengers from within the party, the Washington Examiner reported on Wednesday.
South Carolina Republican Party chairman Drew McKissick said he does not think Trump would face a challenge and stressed that the party’s executive committee hasn’t held any discussions about the primary, which is usually third on the presidential nominating calendar, but did appear to indicate that canceling the primary would be his preference.
“We have complete autonomy and flexibility in either direction,” McKissick told the Examiner. “Considering the fact that the entire party supports the president, we’ll end up doing what’s in the president’s best interest.”
Although Trump has solid Republican support and would almost certainly win any contest within the GOP, incumbent presidents who faced primaries are generally in greater peril in the general election. Due to this reason, there is precedent for cancelling the contests.
In addition, under South Carolina law, the state taxpayers pick up the tab for the Democratic and GOP presidential primaries. If the Republican Party chooses not to have one, the legislature won’t have to appropriate any funds to pay for it.
There has been some talk within the Republican Party about someone challenging Trump, according to The Hill.
Outgoing Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker have both not ruled it out, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich has said he is "seriously considering" a White House bid in the next election.
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