South Carolina and other early-voting Republican primary states have staved off efforts to weaken their influence in picking GOP presidential nominees. But GOP officials did agree to study the primary lineup sometime before the 2020 election cycle. South Carolina now goes third overall in that lineup — behind Iowa and New Hampshire — and first in the South. “We look safe for now,” said S.C. GOP chairman Matt Moore, a member of the Rules Committee, where the party’s primary system was discussed last week.
Last week, the Rules Committee rejected a proposal to force S.C. Republicans to distribute presidential convention delegates proportionately — based on how well candidates perform in the state’s first-in-the-South primary.
The move could have lessened the impact of the S.C. primary in shaping the nominating contest. S.C. Republicans now use a hybrid winner-takes-all system, where the statewide primary winner gets 29 delegate votes and the remaining delegates — and their votes — are awarded to the first-place finisher in each of the state’s seven congressional districts.