DES MOINES, Iowa — The Republican Party of Iowa will still hold its caucus in February 2020, despite other states reportedly cancelling their primaries and caucuses to show support for President Donald Trump.
Republican parties in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina are expected to formally cancel their primaries and caucuses, Politico reports. This comes in an effort to halt the campaigns of Republican challengers. So far, two Republicans have announced they will be challenging the president, including former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, Illinois, and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. Additionally, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is also considering running.
A spokesperson for the Iowa GOP said he cannot comment on those state’s decisions but said Iowa Republicans will hold its traditional straw poll at caucus meetings and let the voters speak for themselves.
“We don’t pretend like we choose the winner. We just start the process. That’s really the important aspect of our caucuses,” said Aaron Britt, the party’s communications director.
Britt said the presidential caucuses are typically quieter for the party in power. He said although the party always holds caucuses every two years, it is especially important to run a sufficient caucus in 2020, regardless of already having a Republican in the White House.
“Conducting a successful caucus and showing the nation we are capable of doing a successful caucus will protect us in 2024,” Britt said.
With turmoil for the Iowa Democratic Party after the DNC called off its virtual caucus, some are questioning if a caucus is still the best process for Iowa, or if the first-in-the-nation state should switch to a primary.
Britt said both Democrats and Republicans agree that it is crucial to protect Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status.
“Any effort to get rid of our first-in-the-nation status is going to be met in resistance from not just the Iowa Democrats but also the Iowa Republicans,” he said.
As for 2020, he said Iowa Republicans are not considering an alternative way to caucus.