Virginia GOP scraps mandatory 'loyalty pledge' for primary voters

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Trump Fans' Hate on VA Man

The Republican Party of Virginia has given up on a plan to make all voters in the upcoming GOP primary sign statements saying "I am a Republican" after weeks of pressure from supporters of real-estate billionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump.

A spokesman confirmed to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the state party has abandoned the plan, which would force all people casting ballots for the Republican nominee for president to sign such a document. Virginia has an open primary, which means anyone can vote to choose the GOP nominee, not just members of the party.

News of the proposal being rescinded first emerged on conservative blog The Bull Elephant.

In December, Trump called the idea a "suicidal mistake" and said the Virginia GOP was "working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters."

Click through images from Donald Trump's anti-debate Iowa Rally:

5 PHOTOS
Donald Trump's Iowa Rally at the same time as GOP debate
See Gallery
Virginia GOP scraps mandatory 'loyalty pledge' for primary voters
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally raising funds for US military veterans at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa on January 28, 2016. US Republicans scrambling to win the first contest in the presidential nomination race were gearing for battle at high-profile debate in Iowa, but frontrunner Donald Trump is upending the campaign by defiantly refusing to attend. Trump's gamble has left the presidential race in uncharted waters just days before Iowans vote on February 1, insisting he will not back down in his feud with debate host Fox News.Instead, the billionaire has doubled down, hosting a rogue, rival event for US military veterans at the same time that his own party is showcasing its candidates for president to all-important Iowa voters. / AFP / William EDWARDS (Photo credit should read WILLIAM EDWARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, waves during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump, according to a flurry of early-state and national polls, is the overwhelming favorite of self-identified moderate and liberal Republican voters. Among more conservative voters, he often trails his chief rival for the nomination, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump, according to a flurry of early-state and national polls, is the overwhelming favorite of self-identified moderate and liberal Republican voters. Among more conservative voters, he often trails his chief rival for the nomination, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Protesters, left, are confronted by supporters during a campaign event for Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Trump, according to a flurry of early-state and national polls, is the overwhelming favorite of self-identified moderate and liberal Republican voters. Among more conservative voters, he often trails his chief rival for the nomination, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Of course, Trump is the one who stands to benefit from defeating the proposal. As Mediaite's Ken Meyer wrote in December, "There is a possibility that Trump's frustration on this is due to how his supporters are mostly a mix of independents and hard-right conservatives who are disenchanted by the Republican Party:"

Three black pastors who are also Trump supporters filed a federal lawsuit against the Virginia GOP over the pledge earlier in January, according to the Washington Post. The party has denied opponents' characterization of the document as a pledge or oath, previously releasing a statement saying it implemented "a far lower barrier to participation than in states that require party registration for voters participation in primaries."

More from Mic.com:
Donald Trump Boasts Small Lead Over Ted Cruz in Crucial Iowa Poll
Hillary Clinton Maintains Slim Lead Over Bernie Sanders in Last Poll Before Iowa Caucuses
Marco Rubio Has a Strategy to Win the Primary — But Could It Cost Him the General?
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Cops Catch Up To A Suspicious Speeding Vehicle - And Make An Appalling Discovery Inside Cops Catch Up To A Suspicious Speeding Vehicle - And Make An Appalling Discovery Inside
Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts
If You Find One Of These In Your Yard, Don't Touch It - And Try Not To Panic If You Find One Of These In Your Yard, Don't Touch It - And Try Not To Panic