Following the lead of the national party, Nevada Republicans are proposing a rule change that would allow the state GOP to essentially avoid a presidential caucus and allow for a smoother renomination of President Donald Trump.
A rule change posted to the Nevada Republican Party’s website and up for adoption at the party’s fall meeting in September would establish an “Alternative Presidential Preference Poll” that would allow the party’s central committee to dole out delegates without undergoing a large-scale and competitive presidential preference caucus.
A party caucus where members are elected on precinct, county and state levels to be sent to the national convention would still occur, but the rule change would ensure that all delegates are bound to support Trump’s re-election campaign and remove the possibility that they support any long-shot challenger to the president.
The proposed rule change follows moves nationally by the Republican National Committee to encourage state parties to cancel primary and caucus elections ahead of the 2020 presidential race in order to avoid any challenges to renomination for Trump. The proposed rule in Nevada states that the rule change was “recommended and requested recently by the Republican National Committee.”
“(Trump) has delivered on every promise he has made to Nevadans, and that is why at our next central committee meeting on September 7, we will be voting to endorse the president and allocate all our delegates to his campaign at the national convention in Charlotte next year,” party chair Michael McDonald said in a statement. “We are all in and are excited to get to work on sending President Trump back to the White House for four more years!”
The proposed rule would allow the party’s executive committee “at its sole discretion” to call for a poll among members of the party’s central committee, which numbers around 300, to determine proportional allocation and binding of delegates to the Republican National Convention. It would only allow use of the “alternative” poll when there is an incumbent Republican president running for re-election.
The rules would also allow another candidate to be considered under the alternative preference poll if he or she filed a nomination form signed by 20 members of the central committee. It also requires that the poll be conducted following rules established by the party’s executive committee.
Trump, who officially announced his re-election bid in June, has thus far attracted only one “major” primary challenger in former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who has lagged behind Trump significantly in fundraising and party support.
Trump won the Republican Party caucus in 2016, winning nearly 46 percent of the vote and 14 delegates.
Democrats in Nevada will hold their presidential preference caucus on Feb. 22.