It appears the GOP in some states have decided to save some money in the upcoming Presidential Primary season by cancelling their primaries.
This isn’t unprecedented as both the Democrat and Republican parties have done so in the past when an incumbent from their party was running for reelection and was popular enough to be able to ‘bury’ any possible competitors. Democrats in eight states cancelled their primaries back in 1996 when Bill Clinton was running for reelection. When Obama was seeking a second term in 2012, Democrats in ten states cancelled their primaries. Republicans did the same thing in 1984 when Reagan ran for reelection and again in 2004 when Bush ran for reelection.
In the case of the Republicans in states like Alaska, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina, they see Trump’s competitors – Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts; Joe Walsh, former member of the House (not the rock musician); and Mark Sanford, disgraced former governor of South Carolina – polling in the low single digits and Trump showing an 80+ point lead over them, it makes sense for those states wishing to do so to cancel their primaries. The money could be better spent on down-ticket races and state contests.
Will the GOP in my home state of New Hampshire cancel the Republican Primary election?
NOT. IN. A. MILLION. YEARS.
There are two reasons for this: money and recognition. The money the New Hampshire Primary brings into the state is on the order of hundreds of millions, between what the campaigns, campaign workers, and the TV networks spend starting the summer before the actual primary. It also allows little known candidates to get some face time and gain some recognition with voters and the media, in many cases setting up for a future presidential or congressional run. There’s no way New Hampshire Republicans or Democrats would ever cancel their primaries in this state. The same is true for Iowa and their caucuses.