South Carolina GOP open to canceling state's 2020 primary to protect Trump from challenge

The Republican Party in South Carolina is weighing whether to cancel its presidential nominating contest in 2020 in an effort to protect President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE from potential challengers.

Drew McKissick, the chairman of the South Carolina GOP, told the Washington Examiner that the party would do "what's in the president's best interest."

ADVERTISEMENT

“We have complete autonomy and flexibility in either direction,” McKissick said. “Considering the fact that the entire party supports the president, we’ll end up doing what’s in the president’s best interest.”

He added that he doesn't think Trump will face a challenger in the primary and said there have been no official discussions about canceling the primary. 

South Carolina is an early contest in primary season, traditionally coming after the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire's primary.
 
It's possible that Trump could face a challenge from his own party, with several Republicans having hinted that they may run. Outgoing Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Tenn.) have each said they haven't ruled out running, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) has said he is "seriously considering" a White House bid in 2020.