Saturday, January 25, 2014

Republicans Approve Changes to Presidential Nominating Process

This is interesting.

At NYT, "Republicans Vote to Streamline Nominating Process":
WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee moved Friday to consolidate its presidential nominating process in 2016, a pre-emptive effort to avoid a drawn-out campaign that many in the party say could imperil their effort to reclaim the White House.

“We have been saying for months that we were no longer going to sit around and allow ourselves to slice and dice for six months,” Reince Priebus, the party chairman, said in remarks hailing the vote on the rule changes.

The package, which cleared the 168-member committee with just nine dissenting votes, left Iowa and New Hampshire in the traditional roles of first caucus and first primary, followed by South Carolina and Nevada nominating contests, all in February. Other states are allowed to hold their primaries and caucuses starting on March 1.

After the first two weeks in March, states can hold winner-take-all elections, which will deliver large troves of delegates and are intended to yield a prospective nominee early in the process. States that violate the new rules would forfeit most of their delegates and alternates to the national convention.

The most important change to the 2016 primary calendar was not voted on here, at the party’s winter meeting, but will probably be taken up when the committee meets later this year: holding the national nominating convention sooner, in June or early July. Doing that would give the eventual presidential nominee earlier access to campaign dollars that are allowed to be spent only after a nomination is made official at the convention.

“If Mitt Romney had been nominated on July 1 rather than Sept. 1, his chances of being president would have been increased,” said Ron Kaufman, the Massachusetts Republican committeeman and a confidant of Mr. Romney’s.
Pushing back the primary calendar into February is a good move, as well as the later winner-take-all primaries. But it's a bad idea to hold the convention in June. You want to hold it as late as possible, so the nominee can ride the crest of a bump into the October debates on into election day. See Matthew Dowd for more on that, "New RNC Rules Changes: One Big Misstep."

Still more at Politico, "Republican National Committee easily passes 2016 calendar tweaks."