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Alaska Cancels Its 2020 GOP Presidential Primary

Alaska Cancels Its 2020 GOP Presidential Primary

Joins Nevada, South Carolina, and Kansas in scrapping GOP presidential nominating process

Alaska has cancelled its 2020 GOP primary.  Alaska’s Republican Party State Central Committee cites the fact that the GOP has an incumbent president running for the Republican nomination.

Alaska joins Nevada, South Carolina, and Kansas in scrapping their respective GOP presidential nominating contests for 2020.

The Anchorage Daily News reports:

The Alaska Republican Party has officially thrown its support behind Donald Trump in next year’s presidential elections.

The party announced Saturday it is canceling next year’s presidential primary, officially known as the presidential preference poll.

Democrats will hold a separate presidential primary on April 4, 2020.

The announcement was made after a meeting of the Republican Party State Central Committee in Fairbanks. It said party officials determined “that conducting a PPP would serve no useful purpose when we have an incumbent Republican president, such as President Trump, running for the Republican nomination for President.”

. . . . Canceling primaries, caucuses and other voting is not unusual for the party of the White House incumbent seeking a second term. Doing so allows Trump to try to consolidate his support as Democrats work to winnow their large field of candidates.

Earlier this month, Republican leaders in Nevada, South Carolina and Kansas voted to scrap their presidential nominating contests in 2020, erecting more hurdles for the long-shot candidates challenging Trump, The Associated Press reported.

As noted above, this is not an unusual move for state parties when their party has a sitting president running for the nomination of their party.

For example, in 1996 when Bill Clinton was the incumbent, eight states chose not to hold Democratic presidential primaries, caucuses, etc.  In 2012 when Obama was seeking his second term, ten states chose to bypass their Democrat presidential nominee selection process.

USA Today reports:

It is not an unusual move for state parties to forego primary contests when a strong incumbent is running for re-election as president.

For example, the South Carolina and Arizona Republican parties did not hold primaries in 1984 and 2004 when Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, respectively, were seeking re-election, according to the Associated Press.

In 2012, Democrats canceled 10 presidential preference contests, according to the New York Times.

“These are decisions made entirely by state parties and there are volumes of historical precedents to support them. Nevertheless, President Trump will dominate and prevail in whatever contest is placed before him,” Trump campaign communication director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement provided to USA TODAY of the possibility that the intra-GOP contests in the four states could be canceled.

Drew McKissick, chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, also told the Times: “There is strong precedent on the part of both parties to not hold a primary when they control the White House.”

There are currently three long-shot GOP primary challengers to President Trump:  Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, former Rep. Joe Walsh, and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

According to Real Clear Politics, none of them are polling well, with Trump leading each by  more than 80 points in the most recent polls.




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Alaska gets it ..wonder if any others will also get that a primary is a total waste of time.

The main problem that Weld, Walsh and Sanford are having us that their real constituency (Democrats) are busy with the heated Democrat primary.

The Friendly Grizzly | September 22, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Blast! And, here I was, all set to throw my vwwrd brush in the ring! My exploratory committee had me polling 85% on Kodiak Island!

I understand the waste of resources when almost 90% support Trump. however I have an issue with the party (no matter what party) picking the candidate.

This from “Must Read Alaska” (a very good site)

The vote to cancel the PPP came as most delegates to the State Central Committee realized that the $2,500 that is charged to candidates to qualify for the PPP would likely not cover the cost of producing the event, and that the minor candidate who might pay the amount would certainly not gain the 13 percent of the vote they’d need to earn one of the 28 voting delegates to the National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 24-27, 2020.

The decision to forego the PPP frees up party activists to work on local and state campaigns, as well as the Congressional and Senate race.

Really, it would have been pointless.

Joe Walsh and Egg McMuffin hardest hit!

“long-shot GOP primary challengers.” That is very generous language. I’ll bet most people didn’t know the Eagles guitarist was a Republican. Joking of course. Even less people probably know who the failed talk show jock/failed congressman is.

    “I’ll bet most people didn’t know the Eagles guitarist was a Republican.”

    I believe he IS a Republican — or at least a conservative.

NO, you must have presidential primary conventions. The revenue generated by them is huge in the cities that host them. The lost revenue to sex workers would be devastating.

JusticeDelivered | September 22, 2019 at 7:40 pm

In the last election Hillary was the known element, while Trump was not. He was the lessor evil vote. Today, we have a track record, we know what he represents and like him as a result.

Why waste money on a primary? Why expect people to show up and vote in a primary when the party has its candidate?

As long as there’s more than one candidate who otherwise qualifies for the ballot, they should hold a primary. What is this, North Korea?

If a candidate runs unopposed, no need for a primary. But if there’s opposition there should be an election even if the result seems foreordained. I’m rarely one for symbolism, but this would be a case where appearances count. The Rs should not cancel elections.