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RNC Moving to Declare Trump Its Presumptive Nominee
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RNC Moving to Declare Trump Its Presumptive Nominee

An RNC committeeman has submitted the proposal despite Nikki Haley’s vow to stay in the race.

Former President Donald Trump gestures during an Election Night party in Nashua, New Hampshire, on January 23, 2024. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is reviewing a draft resolution that, if approved, would declare Donald Trump the party’s presumptive 2024 presidential nominee even as Nikki Haley continues to wage a vigorous campaign against the former president and frontrunner.

The draft resolution, obtained by The Dispatch Thursday morning, was proposed by David Bossie, an RNC committeeman from Maryland and close Trump ally. His effort to put the national party on a general election footing behind Trump follows RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel saying after the former president defeated Haley in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary that it was time for Republicans to unite behind the frontrunner and focus on defeating President Joe Biden.

“RESOLVED that the Republican National Committee hereby declares President Trump as our presumptive 2024 nominee for the office of President of the United States and from this moment forward moves into full general election mode welcoming supporters of all candidates as valued members of Team Trump 2024,” reads a key portion of the draft resolution.

Under current RNC rules, Trump still has to win the requisite number of nominating convention delegates—1,215—to become the party’s unchallenged presumptive nominee. After the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, Trump leads Haley in the race for delegates 32 to 17. 

But passage of this resolution, possibly next week at the RNC winter meeting in Las Vegas, could begin a preemptive process of the national party working with the former president as if he had already done so. And under RNC rules, that is permissible. This resolution, even in draft form, also functions as another sign that the GOP establishment is anxious to coalesce behind Trump and put an end to a presidential primary that, after his victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former president looks poised to win.

See the draft resolution here.

The RNC declined to comment for this story, and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Who cares what the RNC says?” Haley campaign spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas said after this report was published. “We’ll let millions of Republican voters across the country decide who should be our party’s nominee, not a bunch of Washington insiders. If Ronna McDaniel wants to be helpful she can organize a debate in South Carolina, unless she’s also worried that Trump can’t handle being on the stage for 90 minutes with Nikki Haley.”

Editor’s Note, January 25, 2024: This story was updated to include a statement from the Haley campaign after initial publication.

David M. Drucker is a senior writer at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he was a senior correspondent for the Washington Examiner. When Drucker is not covering American politics for The Dispatch, he enjoys hanging out with his two boys and listening to his wife's excellent taste in music.