The “Presumptive Nominee” scheme is, in Washington State, as well as the nation, a shop-worn tactic of the Republican Left to control any nomination for left-leaning Republicans. It consists of one or more of the following stratagems:
The early introduction and endorsement of a candidate by well-known Party Establishment Figures (usually connected with the left-leaning “Mainstream Republican” organization), like Dan Evans or Slade Gorton.
The widely- broadcast assertion, based solely on establishment endorsements, or early fundraising claims, that the “moderate” candidate is “the only one who can win.” (Shortly before becoming State Party Chair, Diane Tebelius, while still National Committeewoman (Washington State RNC Representative), was already making those claims for John McCain in 2005).
The early endorsement, without grassroots input, of the favored candidate by the tiny Executive Board, in a session unannounced to most Republicans.
Restricting the access of any other candidate to Republican Party functions, lists, and internal communications.
The assertion, both explicitly and by implication, that opposing the Establishment’s choice for the nomination is detrimental to the Republican Party and therefore, by itself, a reason to oppose the conservative candidate.
The assertion, entirely without evidence, that contested primaries are a contributing factor to Republican losses.
The intended outcome of the “presumptive nominee” scheme is to unfairly and irrationally paint conservative contenders for Party nominations as NON-VIABLE and their candidacy as an INSURRECTION against the Republican Party.
When effective, unsuspecting Republicans begin to believe that even running for office is an immoral act by conservatives, if done against the wishes of the Party Elite.
The use of Presumptive Nominee Scheme by Party leaders is unethical. It’s use by Chairs of Caucuses and Conventions, like EVERY OTHER FORM OF CANDIDATE ADVOCACY (promoting a particular slate, for instance) is explicitly illegal under Roberts Rules of Order.
Since 1985, for a quarter century+, throughout the entire post-Reagan era, Washington State has held 13 statewide elections. The major Statewide offices (Governor and the two U.S. Senate seats) have been contested 15 times. Republicans have had a top-two finalist for those (3) major offices all 15 times. Eleven of those Republican contestants have been “Mainstream Republicans of Washington” affiliated Establishment “moderates.” In every instance, when they are challenged by a conservative their argument is that the “moderate” is “the one who can win.”