North Texas Daily

States should not cancel their Republican primaries

States should not cancel their Republican primaries

States should not cancel their Republican primaries
September 13
19:14 2019

As of Sept. 10, four states have moved to cancel their Republican primaries: Nevada, South Carolina, Kansas and Arizona, according to NBC News. This means that delegates for those states will automatically be assigned to the majority candidate – which is President Trump. 

Currently, there are three Republicans challenging President Trump — former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts governor William F. Weld. 

“As a general rule, when either party has an incumbent president in the White House, there’s no rationale to hold a primary,” South Carolina GOP chairman Drew McKissick told Politico. 

To be clear, this is not the first time primaries — for either party — have been canceled. 

South Carolina canceled their GOP primaries in 1984 when Ronald Reagan was the incumbent and in 2004, they along with 10 other states canceled their primaries when George W. Bush was the incumbent, according to CNN

Democrats canceled primaries in eight states in 1992 when Bill Clinton was the incumbent and in 2012 during Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, primaries in 10 states were canceled, according to the New York Times. 

However, in canceling primaries, voters lose the chance to vote for the candidate they want as the decision has already been made. 

While it can be argued President Trump’s three challengers are a longshot to win – 88 percent of Republicans approve of President Trump, according to a Gallup poll – these challengers deserve the chance to compete in these states and try to earn that state’s delegates. 

These states should not be making the choice for a Republican candidate for their voters – the voters deserve to have their say. And it very well may be that the voters in these four states decide to vote for President Trump in their state’s primaries – but they should get the choice to vote for someone else too. 

Some of the argument in canceling these primaries have to do with the cost of conducting a primary, as Kansas and Nevada have to pay to put on caucuses, according to Politico. 

It would cost $250,000 to hold a caucus, Kansas GOP chairman Michael Kuckelman told Politico, money he said “can be deployed to win races.”

The Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald also spoke to the cost of putting on a caucus, telling Politico, “It would be malpractice on my part to waste money on a caucus to come to the inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting all our delegates in Charlotte. We should be spending those funds to get all our candidates across the finish line instead.”

With all due respect to these states, the cost of putting on a caucus should not stop them from giving voters a choice in who to vote for. The right to vote is a fundamental part of our democracy and justifying the cancellation of primaries by citing the cost is not good enough. 

While the incumbent reelection rate for both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate generally hovers around 80 to 90 percent according to Open Secrets, those reelection rates do not translate to presidential elections. 

In fact, only 16 U.S. presidents have been elected to consecutive second elections, according to Ballotpedia. That figure further justifies the need to have primaries in every state in 2020. A second term is not guaranteed for President Trump and voters should not have the decision of him as their Republican candidate made for them. 

“This is not North Korea or Russia,” Walsh told MSNBC of the cancellations. “Donald Trump is trying to eliminate elections. That is undemocratic BS. It’s wrong and that’s the kind of thing that should piss off Republican voters.”

In agreement with Walsh, it is wrong for these states to decide for voters who their Republican candidate should be. Canceling these primaries takes away a voter’s right to choose their candidate and instead lets the state choose for them. 

Arizona, Kansas, South Carolina and Nevada – shame on you for taking the choice away from your Republican voters and making the choice for them. That is not democracy. 

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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