Republicans in four states — Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina — will cancel their 2020 Primary elections in order to provide a nice glide path for President Trump to earn the GOP nomination once again. As CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains:
…there are legitimate reasons to decide against holding primaries — especially at the presidential level. It costs a big chunk of change to stage a primary and often cash-strapped state parties either don’t have the money or don’t want to spend it on a meaningless vote.
But this isn’t a meaningless vote! Yes, Trump is a heavy favorite, but there are three credible former Republican elected officials running in the race as well. This is not a walkover situation!
So what’s really going on here? Well, Trump’s campaign has, almost from the moment he won the White House, worked to install loyalists at state parties around the country in hopes of thwarting any active rebellion as the president looks to a second term. [Pols emphasis]
The cancellation of primaries is simply an extension of that approach. Trump doesn’t want there to be a public opposition to him in the Republican primary — for fear of being embarrassed — and so he and his people have worked hard to ensure that outcome.
It is not unprecedented for state parties to cancel Presidential primaries, but it is a bit odd for it to happen in 2020 considering that there are three other Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination (Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford). Whether or not it could happen in Colorado is a different story.
Colorado Republicans essentially declined to select a nominee for President in 2016 over fallout with the National GOP over rules regarding the allocation of delegates, but our state was still using the caucus system at the time. The 2016 passage of Propositions 107 & 108 in Colorado gave Unaffiliated voters the opportunity to cast a ballot in a Presidential Primary, beginning in 2020 (Colorado held Presidential Primary elections from 1992 to 2000, but went to a caucus system beginning in 2004 in order to save money on election costs). It’s not clear if Colorado Republicans could cancel their Primary even if they wanted to nix it next year, though the possibility seems unlikely. We’re no election lawyers, but Prop. 107 doesn’t appear to include a loophole to allow the State GOP to unilaterally cancel their Primary in 2020:
We would guess that it is unlikely that there will be no other Republican Presidential candidate on the ballot in Colorado, given our state’s fairly easy ballot access process; hopefuls in Colorado need only to pay $500 or get 5,000 signatures from Colorado residents in order to qualify for the Presidential ballot.