Days after former President Trump’s advisors successfully convinced California Republicans to change the rules of the state’s GOP primary, his campaign confirmed Tuesday that he will visit the state next month.
Trump will speak at a luncheon on Friday, Sept. 29, at the California Republican Party’s fall convention in Anaheim.
“President Trump is looking forward to seeing California Republicans at their state convention and is confident of overwhelming success in the upcoming March primary,” said Chris LaCivita, a senior advisor to the Trump campaign.
Other GOP presidential candidates are expected to speak at the convention. State Republican Party officials did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning.
The state’s primary, which is scheduled to take place on March 5 with more than a dozen other states on “Super Tuesday,” is expected to draw significant attention because California’s 169 GOP delegates are the most of any state in the nation.
As protesters howled outside, the state party’s executive committee on Saturday altered how these delegates will be awarded. The state party had to overhaul its bylaws to comply with national GOP rules. But party leaders also chose a delegate-allocation plan backed by Trump’s campaign that angered backers of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who believe the California GOP deliberately undermined his presidential aspirations.
Under the new rules, if a Republican presidential candidate receives more than 50% of the statewide vote, he or she will receive all of the state’s 169 delegates. If no candidate reaches the benchmark, delegates will be awarded proportionally based on the statewide vote.
For much of the past two decades, delegates have been awarded by congressional district, which would allow candidates who don’t have the deep pockets to advertise in California’s expensive media markets to surgically target swaths of the state to collect delegates.
But now that the California GOP’s executive committee has changed the rules, party insiders expect the state’s primary — which many observers anticipated would be exciting and competitive — to closely mirror national polling.
California has not had a competitive Republican presidential nominating contest for decades. However, Trump’s appearance at the state party’s 2016 gathering in the Bay Area drew hordes of liberal protesters. The then-candidate had to clamber over a concrete barrier off the freeway and enter the convention site through a back door because protesters overwhelmed police in riot gear at the Burlingame hotel where the convention was taking place.