Bitter Primary Battle Has RNC Re-thinking Rules Changes

Monday, 27 Feb 2012 10:33 AM

By Dan Weil

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The Republican National Committee (RNC) changed the party’s presidential primary rules this time around, so that no one would lock up the nomination too early, like John McCain did in 2008.

But the system hasn’t worked out so well, with the candidates beating each other up big time, possibly harming the GOP’s effort to unseat President Barack Obama in November. As a result, the RNC may make changes for 2016, The Hill reports.

The most recent RNC meeting and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference last month included in-depth discussions of the issue. Top RNC committeemen plan to revisit the rules at their late spring meeting in Phoenix.

The changes for this campaign included a fixed primary calendar and strong penalties for states that violated it by pushing their contests earlier, including the forfeiture of 50 percent of a state’s delegates. The other major adjustment made all contests before April proportional rather than winner-take-all.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is particularly unimpressed with the new rules. “These RNC rules that turned to proportional awarding of delegates, this was the dumbest idea anybody ever had,” he said on Fox News on Thursday. “You're running against an incumbent president who will not have a primary, so your idea is make ours longer so we can beat each other up longer?”


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