June 10 (Reuters) – Republicans in Michigan on Saturday approved a proposal to elect more than two-thirds of the state’s delegates for the 2024 presidential nomination through caucuses. It’s a change that could help the party’s front-runner Donald Trump.
The plan, approved by Michigan’s Republican state commission at a meeting in Grand Rapids, marks a departure from the battleground states’ traditional process of assigning all presidential delegates based on open primary elections. .
The change will be significant because 70% of delegates are decided at caucuses, where the most active members of the party are likely to wield the most influence. Some Republicans and political experts said this could be an advantage for Trump given his popularity among local party officials.
Under the plan, Michigan’s 13 congressional districts will each have three delegates appointed to their March 2 caucuses, and 39 of the 55 state delegates to next year’s Republican National Convention. will occupy people. The remaining 16 will be based on the Feb. 27 state primary, according to a revised plan reviewed by state commissions on Saturday.
It remains unclear whether the plan will be approved by the required Republican National Committee (RNC). A spokeswoman for the commission could not be reached for comment.
Former state party vice chairman Michael Shostak said electing delegates through district caucuses would give Trump a “huge advantage” because only delegates who had previously been elected in their constituencies would participate. said it would.
“This caucus is unlike any other state caucuses that are open to a broader Republican constituency,” he said. “Republicans who support anyone other than Trump are underrepresented in current congressional delegates and state commissions.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is second only to former President Trump in national polls. Other candidates with single-digit polls include former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence and US Senator Tim Scott.
Trump campaign chief adviser Chris Lasivita said the rule change would play to Trump’s strengths. A spokeswoman for DeSantis did not respond to a request for comment.
“The president has a very solid following among party members in Michigan,” Lacivita said. “We are very bullish on the caucus system.”
Republicans in Michigan are considering changing their delegate selection process after the Democrats who control the state legislature moved the primary to February 27. Holding the primary early threatens to violate RNC rules, prompting Republicans to propose compromises. The plan is to avoid most delegates being invalidated.
Michigan Republican Party Chair Christina Caramo said Saturday that the hybrid plan for the primary and caucuses is aimed at avoiding penalties from the RNC.
“Republicans in Michigan are eligible for full representation at the RNC convention. We respect the voices of those voting in statewide presidential primaries and caucuses,” Karamo said on Twitter. Stated.
Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of a book on the nomination race, said the timing of the proposed changes by the Michigan Republican Party was also critical, with the caucus on March 5, “Super Tuesday.” said it had been set three days before. Many states elect delegates.
“This is the starting point for Super Tuesday,” she said. “If Trump is really strong in Michigan, he may embark on a race for the nomination.”
Reported by Nathan Layne.Editing: William Mallard
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