The Republican Parties in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina intend to cancel the 2020 presidential primaries in their states, according to three people familiar with their plans, a move aimed at depriving President Trump’s long-shot challengers of chances to build support.
The state parties have not formalized their decisions, but Mr. Trump’s challengers denounced the move. Joe Walsh, a former Tea Party congressman from Illinois who announced his candidacy last month, said he planned to fight the move legally and by appealing directly to voters in those states.
“It’s something a mob boss would do,” Mr. Walsh said in an interview. “All the times in 2016 when he said the Democrats were rigging the system to elect Hillary? He is actually eliminating elections in certain states, and that’s undemocratic.”
William F. Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts who is also challenging Mr. Trump for the party’s nomination, said he found the move concerning but not surprising.
Walsh and Weld might have combined for 15% of the vote. But that’s way too much for the Trumpers, who want to serve Dear Leader. There is no particular reason why parties need to have a democratic process to choose a presidential primary. Democrats didn’t until after the 1968 debacle. Having such a process was pretty much unquestioned for four decades, but that’s hardly meaningful precedent for a party attempting to bring back the Gilded Age. And since Republicans don’t respect democracy, even among their own base, they are more than happy to just cancel elections. There’s little reason to think that it’s impossible that Republicans could cancel a lot more primaries in the future for any number of reasons, from some party elites not wanting another Trump to Trumpers demanding Don Jr or Eric or Herr Hawley in 2024.
There’s also little reason to believe that Trump will step down if he loses and only slight reason to believe a Republican controlled Senate would get in his way.