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Shifting Primary Schedule Intended to Make GOP Candidate in 2016 Stronger

Convention will also be bumped up to allow candidate more time to spend general election funds.

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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January 24, 2014 - 12:54 pm
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WASHINGTON – The package adopted by the Republican National Committee on Friday that would condense the 2016 presidential nomination process aims to put the GOP in a better position to defeat the Democrats in the general election.

GOP officials have been working for months on how to change the presidential primary process after a lengthy and contentious nomination cycle in 2012.

Three rule changes will shorten the 2016 primary and caucuses process considerably from Feb. 1 to mid-May with only a handful of states being allowed to hold nominating contests in February.

Under the proposed rules, only the traditional “carve out” states will be allowed to hold elections before March 1: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. These states will be required to hold their contests in February.

Every state that voted in March in the 2012 cycle awarded delegates proportionally based on the share of the vote each candidate received. As a result, Mitt Romney did not become the party’s presumptive nominee until late April and did not secure a majority of delegates until May. Many believe this weakened the Romney campaign and eventually gave an advantage to the Democrats.

At the request of the Romney campaign, rules were changed during the 2012 convention to allow a “winner-take-all” system so that states could award all delegates to the winner. This, however, generated fear among states with late primaries that others would race to schedule winner-take-all contests after March 1. They worried candidates would increase their delegate count quickly, effectively ending the nominating contest before these states held their primaries.

To prevent this from happening, the RNC’s rules committee voted Thursday to reinstate a proportional window.

States that vote between March 1 and March 14 will be required to award their delegates proportionally based on each candidate’s vote totals, down from a four-week window in 2012. Any contest after March 14 can go proportional or winner-take-all.

The rules committee also voted on new rules to stiffen penalties for states that attempt to leapfrog each other by holding early primaries or caucuses.

During the 2012 cycle, states including Michigan and Florida moved their primary dates up, leading the early states to move theirs as well. Iowa, one of the early states, held its caucuses in January of that year.

That hurt the ability of candidates to reach Iowa voters, and stretched out the primary process into an even longer period between the first and last states.

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Top Rated Comments   
"Romney’s presidential campaign was cash-strapped after the long fight to win the Republican nomination and election rules prevented his campaign from opening its general election war chest until after the party’s convention in August."

And that is most likely what this is all about: Making sure the establishment's statist golden boy of the week doesn't have to face a serious challenge from an actual constitutionalist. Go ahead rnc. Give us another McRomney. I dare ya.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
BS

This is intended to minimize debate between opponents. Notice the carve out states never change. It's always the states most likely to select a Progressive candidate over a Constitutionalist. The Republican primary process is a sham.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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Sure, new rules to "help" the "establishment" Republicans. I quit the party after they changed the last convention's rules on the fly in order to strip Ron Paul's fairly won delegates. And they say that the Democrats "play dirty?" I've "obeyed" for over 30 years sending money and voting for a bunch of unelectable second string insiders who ended up helping the Democrats ruin the country - never again.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
In 2008, Obama and Clinton fought tooth and nail through all 57 states. Republicans were thrilled. They believed that Obama would be exhausted and out of cash after he won the nomination and Clinton supporters would refuse to support him.

In fact, being forced to compete in all 57 states helped Obama. After the primaries he had organizations on the ground in all 57 states. Of course Clinton supporters supported him because Sarah Palin was no Hillary Clinton.

Republicans have always favored a coronation instead of a fight in the primaries. Competing in all 50 states wouldn't have helped Romney because he had no ground game at all. He merely poured money into ad buys. Rick Santorum had a ground game which is why he surprised the "experts" time and time again before he had to withdraw because he had no money.

If the GOP used a lengthy primary process to build an army of volunteers and offices it would help them on election day more than ORCA did. If they insist on a coronation and a stealth primary strategy, say hello to President Warren in 2016.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I see it, the only reason to register as a party member is to have a say in the primaries. Take this away, why should I stay?
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Romney’s presidential campaign was cash-strapped after the long fight to win the Republican nomination and election rules prevented his campaign from opening its general election war chest until after the party’s convention in August."

And that is most likely what this is all about: Making sure the establishment's statist golden boy of the week doesn't have to face a serious challenge from an actual constitutionalist. Go ahead rnc. Give us another McRomney. I dare ya.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
You would prefer that the nominee - who has to run against both the Democrat nominee and the media - be crippled? Even someone with the managerial expertise of Romney couldn't organize in 2 months a winning campaign against an opponent who had been organizing for 4 years.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Romney lost because he was a liberal Northeastern statist. It wouldn't have mattered if he had six months to prepare. In fact it probably would have been an even bigger a$$ kicking if more people had had more time to get to "know" him.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem with the penalties has always been that once the nomination is eventually settled, the nominee restores those penalized states to their full delegations because he needs them in the general election. Since the nominee controls the convention floor, he can always do this. So the states will continue to leapfrog early since they perceive it increases their influence despite any penalties.

33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
BS

This is intended to minimize debate between opponents. Notice the carve out states never change. It's always the states most likely to select a Progressive candidate over a Constitutionalist. The Republican primary process is a sham.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nonsense. Iowa and Nevada butted in late, but Iowa is controlled by evangelicals on the GOP side where Nevada is more libertarian. New Hampshire is the traditional first primary, and independent/libertarian minded. South Carolina is one of the most dependably conservative and Republican states in the union.

If the Republicans in these states are who you consider "progressive" it only demonstrates you to be out on the lunatic fringe.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Evangelicals have not been dependably Constitutional. Mike Huckabee describes himself as an Evangelical.

Libertarians have strong statist tendencies. They will support the Constitution until you hit their pet issue, and then they're excited to use the force of government to enforce their utopian beliefs.

I never called anyone a name, but you closed with ad hominem based on nothing. I'm crazy, because I don't think those groups are Constitutionalists. Got it.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only Libertarians I know ARE Constitutionalists, but then again we actually VOTE Libertarian, not with the Right leaning "Republi-crats", who just "say" they are "Libertarian " but vote otherwise.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
No worries, brother. I don't call myself a libertarian. I'm also not "Right leaning", whatever that means.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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