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South Carolina GOP considering cancelling 2020 primary to favor Trump

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The South Carolina GOP is open to cancelling its 2020 primary to protect President Donald Trump from any potential challengers, said Chairman Drew McKissick in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

South Carolina is traditionally the third state to hold presidential primaries and the first in the south. Donald Trump won the state’s 2016 primaries, picking up 32.5% of the vote and setting him up for victory in the Nevada caucus. McKissick said the state’s GOP executive committee hasn’t had any formal discussions about the primaries yet but didn’t rule out the possibility that they could skip out on the contest.

McKissick told the Examiner that he doesn’t anticipate anyone would challenge Trump during the primaries.

“Considering the fact that the entire party supports the president, we’ll end up doing what’s in the president’s best interest,” he said.

Others in the state agree. Matt Moore, former chairman of the state party, told the Examiner that “pigs will fly before the South Carolina GOP allows Trump to have opposition.”

Read more: An early look at the 2020 presidential contenders

There is, so far, only one Republican who has voiced interest in challenging the president come 2020. Current Ohio Governor John Kasich, who lost to Trump in 2016, said he is seriously considering running again. Other Republican leaders have encouraged members of the party to challenge the president, including Maine Senator Susan Collins.

“It’s always interesting when we have primaries because a lot of times it allows different viewpoints to surface. It can help influence public policy down the road and it’s healthy for our democracy,” Collins said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

This wouldn’t be the first time South Carolina cancels its Republican primary. It also did so in 2004 when President George W. Bush was seeking re-election.

The Examiner reported that the state’s GOP might make a final decision on its primary next summer, as the Democratic primaries begin to take shape. The move could save taxpayers some money, as they pick up the bill for both Democratic and Republican primaries.

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