The three Republicans challenging Donald Trump for the Presidential nomination for the 2020 election wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that the cancellation of state level primaries is a mistake - and they are right.
It is not unheard of for the incumbent party to cancel state level primaries in order to save money and negate the likelihood of the current sitting President losing the nomination to another party member. BUT that is only a viable position if their candidate is doing well and is likely to win re-election. As we can see from Trump's dwindling numbers (he is not at 38% approval) and the prospect of an economic downturn (the economy is the only thing really keeping Trump afloat), it is not a lock that he will win in 2020. So why did four states cancel their primaries? Probably fear of nasty tweets.
So far Nevada, South Carolina, Kansas and Arizona have cancelled their primaries. The South Carolina GOP chair stated that "with no legitimate primary challenger and President Trump's record of results, the decision was made to save South Carolina taxpayers over $1.2 million and forgo an unnecessary primary." Mind you, Mark Sanford was the former Governor of South Carolina, serving from 2003 to 2011.
Back to this op-ed. The three candidates opening with the following:
"A president always defines his or her party, and today the Republican Party has taken a wrong turn, led by a serial self-promoter who has abandoned the bedrock principles of the GOP. In the Trump era, personal responsibility, fiscal sanity and rule of law have been overtaken by a preference for alienating our allies while embracing terrorists and dictators, attacking the free press and pitting everyday Americans against one another."
Oof. They are not wrong.
They then dove right into the cancellation of primaries:
"No surprise, then, that the latest disgrace, courtesy of Team Trump, is an effort to eliminate any threats to the president’s political power in 2020...There is little confusion about who has been pushing for this outcome."
Then they drop the gauntlet, and it is brutal:
"Cowards run from fights. Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition."
After some praise for Democrats (that must have hurt) and some more commentary on how this cancellation is more reminiscent of China or Russia, they close with this:
"In the United States, citizens choose their leaders. The primary nomination process is the only opportunity for Republicans to have a voice in deciding who will represent our party. Let those voices be heard."