No, the Republican Party isn’t suggesting that the next presidential race be decided by counting only the ballots in red states or having Democrats send in their ballots by pony express.
Rather, the Republican National Committee (RNC) wants to tweak the party’s 2016 primary calendar, have fewer debates, and hold an earlier convention. These changes may sound trivial, but they could add up to a major reform that allows the Republicans’ best candidate to rise to the top in a reasonable amount of time, and then head into battle with the Democratic nominee fully armed, Republican strategists say.
These changes are “much needed if the GOP wants to win the White House in 2016,” says Ford O’Connell, chairman of the Civic Forum PAC. “They should reduce infighting and permit the eventual nominee to preserve resources for the general election battle.”
The rules changes – particularly in the primary calendar and in the awarding of delegates – are a hot topic at the RNC’s annual winter meeting, under way in Washington. Under the proposed new rules, expected to be approved by the full RNC on Friday, four states will be allowed to hold their primaries or caucuses in February 2016: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Other states can schedule their contests as early as March 1. And if a state breaks the rules and goes early, it will lose most of its delegates to the party convention.