RNC Considering Big Changes for 2016 Nominating Process

Image: RNC Considering Big Changes for 2016 Nominating Process Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 01:00 PM

By Melanie Batley

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The Republican National Committee is considering sweeping reforms to its presidential nominating process in a bid to improve the party's electoral chances in the 2016 election.

According to CNN, a select group of RNC members has been conducting a series of closed door meetings with party Chairman Reince Priebus to discuss a number of ideas to revamp the process, including a plan to condense the primary calendar.

The 17-member special rules subcommittee is also considering a system to institute harsh penalties for states that move the date of their primary or caucus. For example, states that interfere with the order of nominating contests could see the number of delegates they send to the convention cut by up to one-third for small states or slashed to as few as nine members for larger states.

Other proposals under consideration include a plan to move the party's convention date to late June instead of its traditional August slot, as well as ways to limit the number of Republican primary debates in 2016 to a concentrated group of sanctioned events with a shortlist of specific moderators.

"There is definitely a consensus for Reince's objective to have less debates and have control over how and who we have run our debates, rather than just turning it over to X,Y, or Z network and having a guy moderate who's going to just dog you for two hours," one Republican familiar with discussions told CNN.

The moves were prompted by the view among party insiders that the party's nominating process in 2012 may have damaged the chances of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Moving the date of the convention, for instance, would allow a future candidate to unlock the campaign's general election war chest much earlier so as to gain greater momentum against the Democratic challenger for the crucial run-up to the November vote.

Asked about the proposed changes, RNC Communications director Sean Spicer told CNN that the measures "reflect the chairman's conversations with the grassroots of our party and are intended to give the next nominee the financing and resources necessary to win in 2016."

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