The official website of the US’s Republican Party appears to be missing a key element of this year’s presidential race—presumptive nominee Donald Trump isn’t mentioned at all on its front page.
In fact, to find Trump anywhere on the website, you need to run a search for his name, which first turns up a June 9 invitation to “Sign Trump’s Birthday Card” (he turns 70 on June 14):
To sign you enter your email and zip code—a pretty good way for the GOP to collect contact information from Trump supporters. After that, any Trump mentions are mostly buried in Hillary Clinton-bashing statements or confined to administration-type announcements, like the appointment of a new fundraising chair.
As a growing number of Republicans publicly distance themselves from Trump for his recent comments that a “Mexican” judge isn’t qualified to rule on the fraud case against Trump University, some in the “Never Trump” crowd are gleefully trumpeting the situation.
But it does appear to be a bipartisan dilemma.
The official website of the Democratic Party has exactly the same void—presumptive candidate Hillary Clinton is nowhere to be found on the website’s front page:
While that may seem odd at this stage in the presidential race, it isn’t unusual, a Democratic Party representative told Quartz. “I can’t speak for the GOP, but Clinton is the ‘presumptive’ nominee as per the press, not the process,” said Alex Montgomery, the Asia-Pacific vice chair for Democrats Abroad. “The party won’t officially declare a nominee until the convention and especially won’t announce before every vote is cast, or all but one candidate drops out.”
Clinton effectively clinched the nomination earlier this week, but opponent Bernie Sanders has still not dropped out. The Democratic Convention isn’t until July 25 in Philadelphia, and the District of Columbia still has not voted. While unlikely, it isn’t impossible that some of the “super-delegates” who have pledged to support her could still change their minds.
The issue becomes a bit murkier on the Republican side—everyone but Trump dropped out of the race weeks ago, which should technically have cleared the Republican Party to start promoting him on its website. Still, he won’t officially be declared the party’s candidate until its convention, which starts on July 18 in Cleveland, Ohio.
And that’s where there may be more than political process at play. A growing number of reports cite “a large group of [Republican] delegates—more than a majority” who want someone other than Trump as their presidential candidate. The GOP website’s lack of Trump may be less protocol and more wishful thinking.