RNC Keeps Primary Calendar

The Republican National Committee is sticking with the current primary schedule.

Yesterday, the RNC opened its state-party-chairmen meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. In the afternoon, the rules committee met to consider a series of proposed changes, but Jim Bopp, national committeeman for Indiana, tells NRO the most significant event was the rejection of an effort to jettison the extended primary schedule. An amendment was introduced to change the party instructions to just one rule: No primary would be allowed to occur before February 1, 2016. The amendment was rejected, indicating “there was widespread support for our current approach,” says Bopp.

The rules committee did approve some minor tweaks. Phyllis Woods, national committeewoman for New Hampshire, introduced an amendment to eliminate the prescribed dates for the early carve-out states. This year, because Florida moved its primary to January, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina also moved their primaries ahead of their prescribed dates to preserve the intended order. By doing so, however, they violated party rules and thus lost half their delegates. Woods’s amendment effectively eliminated the penalty, allowing them to choose whichever dates they needed to preserve the traditional order.

Unlike the Democratic National Committee, however, the RNC can change its rules only at the national convention in August. Any changes the rules committee has approved must be considered by the full convention at Tampa.