Iowa GOP says 2020 caucus will be open to Republican challengers

The Iowa GOP says that its 2020 presidential caucus will be open to Republican challengers who want to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE. 

Jeff Kaufmann, the chairman of the Iowa GOP, told The Washington Examiner on Wednesday that he wants all qualified Republican presidential candidates to have the option of launching bids. 

Iowa, the traditional host of the first nominating contest of each presidential cycle, declined to host the presidential nominating contest in 1992 and 2004, the Examiner noted.

“I am not going to endorse, and the party is not going to endorse [in the primary],” Kaufmann told the news outlet. “We feel that’s important because we want to be the first-in-the-nation state in 2024 and 2028.”


“It’s important to protect the integrity of our caucuses,” Kaufmann added.

The Iowa Republican party’s announcement comes hours after the South Carolina GOP told the Examiner that it was weighing whether to cancel its presidential nominating contest in 2020 in an effort to protect Trump from potential challengers.    

Drew McKissick, the chairman of the South Carolina GOP, earlier on Wednesday told the Examiner that the state party would do “what’s in the president’s best interest.”

“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.”

It’s possible that Trump could face a challenge from his own party, as multiple Republicans have hinted that they may run. Outgoing Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Bob Corker (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.  

Any Trump challenger would face a steep challenge, as the president’s approval rating among Republicans hovers around 85 percent, according to Gallup. 

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