Amidst collapsing poll numbers and an unmitigated defeat in his standoff with House Democrats, one contingent still has President Donald Trump’s back: the Republican National Committee (RNC), which is planning to stonewall any efforts from potential GOP challengers for the 2020 nomination.
As ABC reported, the RNC passed a resolution on Friday that threw their “undivided support” behind the president as he gears up for the 2020 race — a resolution that effectively undercut any other Republicans thinking of running. And the RNC passed this resolution as state Republican parties are considering even more drastic moves to immunize Trump from a primary challenger in 2020.
Trump reacted with effusive thanks, praising the RNC for its decision.
Thank you to the Republican National Committee, (the RNC), who voted UNANIMOUSLY yesterday to support me in the upcoming 2020 Election. Considering that we have done more than any Administration in the first two years, this should be easy. More great things now in the works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019
Along the way, state Republican officials have started discussing even more drastic steps to make sure that no challengers take on the weakened president. From Kansas to South Carolina, state-level GOP officials have begun openly discussing canceling 2020 primaries and caucuses altogether.
State-level officials have defended the potential move by claiming that they don’t generally hold primaries or caucuses during an incumbent presidency. But the potential cancellations would effectively prevent states from throwing support behind “favorite son” candidates, and would instead make sure that registered Republicans don’t have a choice about whom to support for the 2020 ballot.
Any decisions about canceling GOP primaries or caucuses will come later this year.
Despite the party-led move to prevent supporters from voting for their preferred candidates, internal challengers to Trump have already started to come forward.
One potential challenger includes Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who serves as the vice chairman of the National Governors Association. Considered a moderate Republican — all the more given that he’s currently charged with running the Democratic stronghold of Maryland — Hogan has previously called out Trump’s crassness and lack of character.
According to the New York Times, Hogan has “indicated he is newly open” to calls to run. Whether he would be able to actually participate in any primaries or caucuses, though, is another matter entirely.