A series of changes aimed at tightening the GOP presidential primary calendar sailed through a vote at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, giving the party new tools to control its nomination process. The new 2016 rules will make it much harder for states to cut in line in the nomination process and will help Republicans avoid a repeat of a drawn out, bloody primary many believe damaged Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012 of defeating President Obama. After a contentious Thursday hearing on some rules changes, few members joined Virginia Committeeman Morton Blackwell in objecting to the final package — the landslide vote was 153 in favor, with 9 opposing. “I’m really proud of you for this debate,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said following the vote, to a standing ovation from the committee. “This is a historic day for our party, and I thank you all for what you’ve done. … We will all have a much better process in 2016.”
The new rules will help protect early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — from others who want to rush up to the front, and allow the party to hold an earlier convention, as they look to unite and raise more money for the general election.
The four designated early states will be required to hold their contests in February. States that vote between March 1 and March 14 will be required to award their delegates proportionally, weakening their impact, while states with primaries after that will assign their delegates in a winner-take-all contest, making them much more consequential in the delegate count and adding an incentive to wait.
The states that break those guidelines will face increased penalties compared to previous years. The committee passed a rule drastically shrinking the number of delegates that state would get at the party’s nominating convention. States with 30 delegates or more would be cut down to just nine delegates plus the RNC’s committee members, and states with less than 30 delegates would be cut down to 6 delegates plus their committeemen.
Full Article: RNC tightens 2016 primary calendar, rules | TheHill.