RNC’s plan for 2016: Fewer debates, later primaries, and a convention in June

posted at 6:51 pm on December 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

The rules committee that’s considering these changes does apparently contain some grassroots conservatives, but I … can’t shake the feeling that the new arrangement is designed to benefit establishment candidates more so than tea-party ones.

The good news: Fewer debates with later primaries is good for everyone’s sanity. The bad news: There’s no easier blog traffic than a lazy debate-night open thread. The big A’s loss is America’s gain, my friends.

Priebus and other top party figures have made no secret of their desire to scale back the number of debates, which offered little-known candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain a chance to shine but forced Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee, to publicly stake out a number of conservative positions that came back to haunt him in the general election

The first four early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — would continue to hold their contests in February.

To prevent other states from jumping the order and compelling the first four to move their dates even earlier as they did in 2012, any state that attempts to hold its nominating contest before March 1 would have their number of delegates to the convention slashed to just nine people or, in the case of smaller states, one-third of their delegation — whichever number is smaller…

Any state holding a primary or caucus during the first two weeks of March must award its delegates proportionally, rather than winner-take-all.

The measure is designed to prevent a candidate from catching fire in the early states and then riding a burst of momentum to winner-take-all victories in expensive, delegate-rich states such as Florida or Texas. The early March window would give underfunded, insurgent candidates a chance to prove their mettle.

A few reactions in no particular order. One: Moving the convention up seems all to the good for the reasons CNN specifies in the piece — namely, it’ll allow the nominee to start spending money on the general election months earlier than Romney was able to. (In an age where the parties’ war chests for presidential elections are essentially bottomless, there’s no fear of running out by starting the general election campaign too early.) It might also subtly discourage long primary campaigns, though. If there’s a frontrunner a la Romney and an underdog who’s hanging in there a la Santorum in, say, mid-March, how many fencesitters will tilt towards the former in the name of wrapping things up long before the convention so as to give the party time to heal and unify before the big pageant?

Two: Having fewer debates is, as noted, designed to reduce the risk of “electable” centrists being nudged into pandering to righty audiences by taking more conservative positions than they’d normally take. It’s also designed to limit the opportunities of less well-funded but debate-savvy grassroots contenders like Ted Cruz to take big chunks out of Chris Christie’s or Jeb Bush’s lead by dazzling the audience. But the trade-off for having fewer debates, I assume, is making sure that each debate counts more. That means grassroots righties will demand one or more debates moderated by other grassroots righties, be it conservative talk radio hosts, online activists, or leaders of tea-party groups. Seems to me the risk of a Christie or Bush being maneuvered into right-wing positions is greater at one or two debates like that than at six or eight moderated by CNN and NBC. If anything, the usual pressure on a moderator not to affect the outcome of a debate will be reversed in a case like that, with tea partiers wanting the moderator to call out Christie on gun control or Marco Rubio on immigration.

Three: Evidently the RNC is preparing harsh new rules to penalize a state if it defies the primary schedule and tries to move up its election. Florida typically does that, moving from March to February, which in turn forces Iowa and New Hampshire to move from February to January to retain their pride of place. Supposedly the RNC’s going to take away 90 percent of Florida’s delegates this time if they try that again. They also might dock delegates from any candidate who participates in a debate that’s not formally sanctioned by the RNC. Show of hands: Anyone think Reince Priebus and his team have the stones to declare Florida’s results effectively null and void just before a general election where that state might (again) decide the presidency? Anyone think they’re going to take away a third of, say, Ted Cruz’s delegates if he decides to participate in a debate sponsored by FreedomWorks? They’re paper tigers.

Four: The rules about early states awarding their delegates proportionally also look to me like a way to put the brakes on conservative upstarts more so than establishment faves. The centrists, as always, will likely be the best-funded candidates in the race; that means they can run a longer campaign, and the longer the campaign runs, the more chances they have for their money advantage to make the difference. The way for a tea-party insurgent to win would be to take Iowa, do surprisingly well in New Hampshire, and then rack up a boatload of delegates in the next few contests to create the impression of irresistible momentum. They can win a quick rout but a long slog would be tough. A winner-take-all system early on makes a quick rout easier. A proportional system makes it harder.

Bottom line: Come mid-2016, we’ll be desperately trying to talk ourselves into believing that Jeb Bush is the rock-ribbed conservative America’s been waiting for. Exit question: What if moving the convention up inspires the candidates to start campaigning even earlier than usual? Typically they don’t jump in and start traveling until a year before Iowa, but Rand Paul’s been hinting about running for a year already at least and Hillary will be eager to move quickly to clear the field of any lefty challengers. Could a blogger be so lucky as to have Campaign 2016 start a week or two after the midterms? Cross those fingers.


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No Christy not ever, end of story.

Put him up, this apache and his family are gone from the U.S..

He is just a fat white Obama with a loud mouth.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 11, 2013 at 6:55 PM

WINNING_2016_PLAN: Tell Iowa and New Hampshire their primaries/caucii are scheduled for November 7th, 2016.

Jeddite on December 11, 2013 at 6:55 PM

We will be f#cked regardless.
I’m not voting for that fat bastard.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 6:57 PM

States that hold open primaries should lose their delegates. People from outside of a party shouldn’t make the decision as to who will represent it. Even worse is allowing people from the other party to vote. That’s just stupid.

Flange on December 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM

A June convention gives the rats that much more time to spread lies about the GOP candidate causing cancer, breaking in and stealing Sandra Fluke’s birth control or whatever else. Bad idea.

Unless, of course, the GOP convenes and picks a nominee. But then announces that they won’t announce the nominee until August at the earliest.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 6:59 PM

States that hold open primaries should lose their delegates. People from outside of a party shouldn’t make the decision as to who will represent it. Even worse is allowing people from the other party to vote. That’s just stupid.

Flange on December 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM

That’s really a matter of state law and not something the GOP can dictate. Some states don’t even have you register by party.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Jeb is DOA as far as presidential hopes go. The anger and fury is building over Common Core, and Jeb has been its greatest GOP cheerleader. He’s been out shilling for Duncan.

INC on December 11, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Great. My post is still awaiting moderation.
Let me say it another way. I will not vote for that fat bastard.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Bottom line: Come mid-2016, we’ll be desperately trying to talk ourselves into believing that Jeb Bush is the rock-ribbed conservative America’s been waiting for.

hahahahahahhaha-AP
Only if I suffer some sort of brain damage.

bazil9 on December 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

I hate the Republican Party.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Wheres that True_King guy?

bazil9 on December 11, 2013 at 7:03 PM

I’m not sure this will work out the way they hope.

Looking back to last time, lots of different candidates caught fire, and eventually people sort of settled on Mitt. But if there were fewer debates, then someone like Rick Perry could have slid by on enthusiasm before we realized how vapid he is. Or Bachman would have avoided that brain dead anti-vaccine comment, etc.

Mitt may have been hurt by the long process, but I’m not so sure he would have been the nominee if it had been a short one.

Nessuno on December 11, 2013 at 7:03 PM

WINNING_2016_PLAN: Tell Iowa and New Hampshire their primaries/caucii are scheduled for November 7th, 2016.

Jeddite on December 11, 2013 at 6:55 PM

That seems a bit harsh but it is definitely time for a break-up. But we should assure them that it’s us and not them. We’ve simply grown apart and should start seeing other states. But we can always be friends.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Come mid-2016, we’ll be desperately trying to talk ourselves into believing that Jeb Bush is the rock-ribbed conservative America’s been waiting for.

I know, right? I remember all the noise on this very blog about how “conservative” some single-term failed governor of a blue state was supposed to be, when his only accomplishment of any kind was a botch of policy that became the very basis of ObamaCare.

Brutal. Disheartening. And we get to do it all again.

casuist on December 11, 2013 at 7:04 PM

The number of debates wasnt the problem. Its just dumb to hand them over to the liberal media and their nutty moderators.

Why, in heavens name, would we have a debate on MSDNC, probably even moderated by an old Democrat spokesgremlin like Christ Matthews?

Valkyriepundit on December 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM


Mitt may have been hurt by the long process, but I’m not so sure he would have been the nominee if it had been a short one.

Strong argument for a short process then. Thank you. Encouraged.

casuist on December 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM

I will not vote for Christie.

Good grief. Not only do I abhor his policies and think he probably has a micromanagement control problem because of his addictive our-of-control eating problem, but that groping-like photo should demolish his aspirations. Men with any decency or even any political sense wouldn’t have had their hand anywhere near a girl young enough to be their daughter.

INC on December 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

I still contend that Palin, DeMint, & Co. will have a solid conservative candidate ready for the primary debates. They will pressure anyone who wants to throw his/her hat in the ring to stay out of it–maybe with the promise of some kind of position in their candidate’s White House.

The debates will be between the conservative/TEAParty candidate and the GOPe. Without 6-8 conservatives splitting the vote and allowing another lame candidate GOPe in, the conservative candidate will win the nomination easily

davidk on December 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

The good news: Fewer debates with later primaries is good for everyone’s sanity.

Hardly. Fewer primaries means less of a chance for no-names and dark horses to get themselves heard. Instead we get the media and establishment’s chosen “first tier” candidates with most of the time while no one else gets a word in edge-wise.

Stoic Patriot on December 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

I remember all the noise on this very blog about how “conservative” some single-term failed governor of a blue state was supposed to be, when his only accomplishment of any kind was a botch of policy that became the very basis of ObamaCare.

casuist on December 11, 2013 at 7:04 PM

I remember all the noise on this very blog about how anybody would be better than some washed up liberal who has outplayed his POW card. The alternatives were all deemed too much of social conservatives to be electable.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Come mid-2016, we’ll be desperately trying to talk ourselves into believing that Jeb Bush is the rock-ribbed conservative America’s been waiting for.

I know, right? I remember all the noise on this very blog about how “conservative” some single-term failed governor of a blue state was supposed to be, when his only accomplishment of any kind was a botch of policy that became the very basis of ObamaCare.

Brutal. Disheartening. And we get to do it all again.

casuist on December 11, 2013 at 7:04 PM

What’s this we? There were a handful, the same crap you see licking Boehner’s boots today,who were cheering Romney.
Most of us were considering the red or blue pill.
I had the red pill, but I won’t swallow it again in 2016.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM


Let me say it another way. I will not vote for that fat bastard.

I hear you. I refused to vote for Romney because reasons. But I would probably vote for Christie because he is not Romney, which is reason enough.

casuist on December 11, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Republicans think they’ll win elections by becoming democrats in word and deed.

Browndog on December 11, 2013 at 7:08 PM

I like the debates.
Less speech is not better than more.
Also. What is the problem with pushing candidates to the right and how exactly did that hurt Romney…?
Romney hurt Romney and not right-wing positions.
Being nice to Obama was his downfall.

The GOP had better be careful about who they try to tell to shut up because they do not have the luxury of selectively picking their followers.

NeoKong on December 11, 2013 at 7:08 PM

States that hold open primaries should lose their delegates. People from outside of a party shouldn’t make the decision as to who will represent it. Even worse is allowing people from the other party to vote. That’s just stupid.
Flange on December 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Yep!

bluegill on December 11, 2013 at 7:09 PM


I had the red pill, but I won’t swallow it again in 2016.

Chose the blue pill last time. Hoping that 2014 blows away enough RINOs to startle the survivors into a state of minimal compliance with the healing balm of human reason. Didn’t happen before. The blow-out of 2010 failed to prevent Romney. I can but pray.

casuist on December 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM

The system needs change. There is no reason for a system that favors new-comers versus veteran politicians. When Republicans nominate folks who’ve never even been elected to dog-catcher they usually get their ass kicked. The same goes for Democrats. If we keep fighting for candidates that cannot win at least 51% of the popular vote then Obamacare will not be repealed, the Supreme Court will have nine socialist justices, and the US will get another eight years of tyranny.

INNING_2016_PLAN: Tell Iowa and New Hampshire their primaries/caucii are scheduled for November 7th, 2016.

Jeddite on December 11, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Works for me.

doufree on December 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Mitt may have been hurt by the long process, but I’m not so sure he would have been the nominee if it had been a short one.

IMO, Mitt’s problem was not the length but the fact he refused to make it about anything but the economy. He let the “war on women” crap go unanswered. He didn’t stand up for religious freedom when Obama came out with the HHS mandate. His response about the difference between Obamacare and Romneycare was too muddled. And any sort of personal attack on the first black president- no matter how stupid, lazy, shiftless, worthless, and evil his is was impossible.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM

RINO AIR

gerrym51 on December 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM


Romney hurt Romney and not right-wing positions.

Wait-what? Romney had right wing positions? I mean, positions he didn’t reverse himself on often in the same breath?

casuist on December 11, 2013 at 7:13 PM

I like the debates.
Less speech is not better than more.
Also. What is the problem with pushing candidates to the right and how exactly did that hurt Romney…?
Romney hurt Romney and not right-wing positions.
Being nice to Obama was his downfall.

The GOP had better be careful about who they try to tell to shut up because they do not have the luxury of selectively picking their followers.

NeoKong on December 11, 2013 at 7:08 PM

+1. Only flip flopping fakes have anything to worry about the debates, which is why the GOP establishment fears them.

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Yep!

bluegill on December 11, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Happy Nomad is right, I think, about that being more of a state law issue than an RNC one, but open primaries just make no sense to me.

Flange on December 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM

It is absolutely incredible to me that the lesson the RNC drew from Romneys failure is that he was “forced to stake out conservative positions that came back to haunt him in the general election”.

RomneyCare wasn’t good enough as an explanation? His complete incompetence at running a ground game? His failure to get rid of Stuart, Leavitt et al as he started going down in flames didn’t have anything to do with it?

The “stupid party” doesn’t go far enough. The “village idiots” gets closer.

MTF on December 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM

I may not remember the details correctly, but I believe SC started doing open primaries because during the Reagan era the R’s wanted Dems to be able to vote for Reagan and also switch parties.

IMHO, however, it’s past time to do away with them.

INC on December 11, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Rule change number 1 should be closed primaries. If there’s only going to be one rule change, that should be it.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

And no Candy Crowley…?

d1carter on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

RNC’s plan for 2016: Lose the election by coalescing around Christie or Rubio or Jeb (the three “most electable” candidates).

Pork-Chop on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Open primaries means you think your voters are idiots.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

It bothers me that Allahpundit doesn’t use his great platform here to advocate for conservatism or for conservative candidates.

He always seems so indifferent and almost resigned to defeat. Seems like a waste.

This is why I prefer writers like Charles CW Cooke.

bluegill on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Earlier convention is probably good because a candidate can not get any money from the party until they are officially the nominee. If the Democrats don’t follow suit, they will be stuck sitting on their money until their convention while the Republican candidate gets the jump on campaigning. All of this happening at a time when the RNC has money in the bank and the DNC is broke. It would force the Democrats to run out of money well before the elections if it were in play today.

Strategically, I like it.

crosspatch on December 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

No Tub.

Bishop on December 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

The number of debates wasn’t the problem. It’s just dumb to hand them over to the liberal media and their nutty moderators.

Valkyriepundit on December 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM

This, exactly. Have all the debates you want, RNC — but for God’s sake don’t let the opposition party (!!!) moderate our debates!

jwolf on December 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

And no Candy Crowley…?

d1carter on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Everyone send donuts to Candy, Jeb, and Christie.
It takes a long time to cut someone out of their house.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

I didn’t really think that the RNC was trying to rig the primaries for Christie until I saw they added a pie eating contest.

Come on!

dforston on December 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Why don’t we just change the rules to say that Karl Rove gets to pick whomever he wants?

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Why don’t we just change the rules to say that Karl Rove gets to pick whomever he wants?

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:22 PM

It’s the chins that make the pick.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

A later primary cuts both ways. Less time for progs targeted attacks,, but less time to build momentum.

If it’s fatboy neither apply. He is a prog.

wolly4321 on December 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

I didn’t really think that the RNC was trying to rig the primaries for Christie until I saw they added a pie eating contest.

Come on!

dforston on December 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Maybe Candy Crowly will enter and win the nod. Then everyone will be saying “You have to vote for her!! She’s a Republican! What do you want?! A fascist Democrat?!?”

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

…does someone have a homo thing…. for Crispie?

KOOLAID2 on December 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Chances are you can count on harder to accomplish registration efforts overseen by Establishment Big Government types who will work overtime to disqualify conservatives and qualify regressives as well as all the above.
Anything to prevent conservative victories and a less intrussive government for our children.

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 7:25 PM

It takes a long time to cut someone out of their house.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

lmao

bazil9 on December 11, 2013 at 7:26 PM

And no Candy Crowley…?

d1carter on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Thanks for reminding me. No media moderators. Period.

For the primaries, the GOP announces the moderators from other professions and treats the debates as the discussion/ infomercial. Obama’s best material(including vulture capitalism) came from Newt attacking Mitt. For example, why not Jim Demint from Heritage Foundation as a moderator?

For the general elections, same rules apply. No media moderators. When the Dems object, play back the footage of Crowley putting down the bucket of fried chicken only long enough to lie about what a transcript she “just happened” to have sitting on her desk. No name comes immediately to mind but perhaps a debate on jobs moderated by the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or small business owner.

My number one rule for 2016 debates is clear. No media moderators.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM

The fix is in. The RNC, Rove, establishment want tubby Rino Christie to win.

Danielvito on December 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Anything that keeps us from having 7 clowns on the stage plugging their books or auditioning for a TV/Radio gig.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

That’s really a matter of state law and not something the GOP can dictate. Some states don’t even have you register by party.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:01 PM

But they can reduce their delegate counts to make their primaries as valuable as they truly are.

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Paging Bluegill, Petunia, basilsbest, and the other GOP shills!

They still pop up from time to time here and other places. They will be back in full force during the campaign and they will use the same arguments to back the GOP milquetoast.

Dack Thrombosis on December 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Chances are you can count on harder to accomplish registration efforts overseen by Establishment Big Government types who will work overtime to disqualify conservatives and qualify regressives as well as all the above.
Anything to prevent conservative victories and a less intrussive government for our children.

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 7:25 PM

This is a clear path to victory. As we saw with Project Orca.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:31 PM

But they’ll still have liberal moderate, right? Promise me that won’t change.

Cindy Munford on December 11, 2013 at 7:31 PM

The number of debates wasn’t the problem. It’s just dumb to hand them over to the liberal media and their nutty moderators.

Valkyriepundit on December 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM

This, exactly. Have all the debates you want, RNC — but for God’s sake don’t let the opposition party (!!!) moderate our debates!

jwolf on December 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

No one will televise the debates if they can’t have their anchors as moderators.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

I can’t believe that we are discussing this still a year out from the 2014 Congressional midterm elections.

But since we are going there, and assuming the GOP keeps the House and takes the Senate by one or 2 votes(I think it is just within our grasp). We need to have someone run who is a grassroots conservative who could also raise money hand over fist.

There are only 2 people that right now I can really see that can do that, and one of them is named Cruz and the other ( and I know alot of people call this a dirty word), the other is Mama Grizzly.

Either of them could debate Christie or Bush under the table. And if Christie were to get his boisterous self that he gets sometimes against Palin, it would look very condescending and he would lose some people by looking sexist.

And as much as people try suppose, I don’t actually think that Hillary is going to run. Too much baggage and not just around the eyes.

ConservativePartyNow on December 11, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Iowa, New Hampshire, Iowa, New Hampshire, Iowa, New Hampshire……..ad nauseum. I’m sick of these 2 states getting to play such an outsized role in determining a GOP nominee.

Bitter Clinger on December 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

i don’t think the RINOs are yet ready for prime time.

I was over at zombietime the other day. Here’s a barry speech in SF

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2013/11/25/full-transcript-president-obama-tells-fundraiser-why-executive-order-isnt-the-answer-to-his-problems/#18361101=0

no RINO could give a speech like this. Aimed squarely at the base..and identifying himself with citizens who are struggling. It is a good speech. RINO can’t identify themselves with anyone.

Thus the Boehner outburst today. These guys can’t communicate well enough to be able to soberly talk to the base…much less moderate Dems.

the RINO party will be surprised if no one votes for them.

r keller on December 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

The definition of insanity: McCain, Romney, Christie.

ElectricPhase on December 11, 2013 at 7:36 PM

No one will televise the debates if they can’t have their anchors as moderators.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Imadinnerjacket on aljuhzeeruh.

davidk on December 11, 2013 at 7:36 PM

But they can reduce their delegate counts to make their primaries as valuable as they truly are.

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

True but that wasn’t what was being suggested.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:36 PM

ConservativePartyNow on December 11, 2013 at 7:34 PM

We think alike Cruz and palin are our only hope. I would add a Mike lee from Utah also.

Danielvito on December 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

The GOP had better be careful about who they try to tell to shut up because they do not have the luxury of selectively picking their followers.

NeoKong on December 11, 2013 at 7:08 PM

What do you think the illegal alien amnesty and citizenship is about. Picking their electorate and replacing conservatives with regressives, so the two party system can be a one ideology system.

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

No one will televise the debates if they can’t have their anchors as moderators.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Then cry foul when they televise the rat’s debates because of equal time considerations.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:38 PM

We should add a few rules to help get a better nominee:

States that hold a caucus instead of a primary should lose half their delegates, and they should be awarded only proportionally. We need our nominee elected by a large fraction of the Republican electorate, not by a few loudmouthed activists.

Delegates should not be awarded “winner-take-all” unless the winner gets more than 50% of the popular vote. Otherwise, there should be a mix of proportionality with a bonus to the winner; for example 30% of the delegates to the winner, the other 70% divided proportionally to the popular vote. This would prevent a huge number of delegates from being awarded to the winner of a squeaker, such as McCain in Florida in 2008.

The rules for awarding delegates should be the same for all states, regardless of when they hold their primaries. If the states all have some proportional allocation as described above, it will take longer for one candidate to get to 50% of the delegates, and the states holding later primaries will have more importance than they do now.

Steve Z on December 11, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Iowa, New Hampshire, Iowa, New Hampshire, Iowa, New Hampshire……..ad nauseum. I’m sick of these 2 states getting to play such an outsized role in determining a GOP nominee.

Bitter Clinger on December 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

At least they throw their votes behind the Republican in the general. That’s what counts.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Rule change number 1 should be closed primaries. If there’s only going to be one rule change, that should be it.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Only 13 states have closed primaries. The other states aren’t going to change their laws because the RNC wants them to.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM

States that hold a caucus instead of a primary should lose half their delegates, and they should be awarded only proportionally. We need our nominee elected by a large fraction of the Republican electorate, not by a few loudmouthed activists.

Delegates should not be awarded “winner-take-all” unless the winner gets more than 50% of the popular vote. Otherwise, there should be a mix of proportionality with a bonus to the winner; for example 30% of the delegates to the winner, the other 70% divided proportionally to the popular vote. This would prevent a huge number of delegates from being awarded to the winner of a squeaker, such as McCain in Florida in 2008.

The rules for awarding delegates should be the same for all states, regardless of when they hold their primaries. If the states all have some proportional allocation as described above, it will take longer for one candidate to get to 50% of the delegates, and the states holding later primaries will have more importance than they do now.

Steve Z on December 11, 2013 at 7:38 PM

I propose the exact opposite of everything here.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Only 13 states have closed primaries. The other states aren’t going to change their laws because the RNC wants them to.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Then they get half the delegates.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Yep!

bluegill on December 11, 2013 at 7:09 PM

.
Happy Nomad is right, I think, about that being more of a state law issue than an RNC one, but open primaries just make no sense to me.

Flange on December 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM

.
“Open Primaries”, plus the Democrat Super Delegates … is the single biggest problem we have.

Open primaries make it possible to ‘cross-over’, and the Super Delegates … all but guarantee that Democrat voters will.
.

listens2glenn on December 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Romney could have spent his own money answering the attack ads in the summer before the convention.

He was too cheap, and also stupid enough to listen to Stu Stevens, who told him that no one was watching political ads in the summer, especially Ohio voters, and that the Rommney campaign had an awesome, untested GOTV computer program….

Wethal on December 11, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Allahpundit,

The establishment GOP MUST understand that with the way leadership has handled politics and governance lately, people like me will NOT vote for a Chris Christie, Jeb Bush or even Paul Ryan(He’s been on the wrong side of the establishment Vs grassroots debate more often than not during his career.).

The grass roots will most definitely stay home, party be damned if we feel that the national party rigged the system to get their nominee. If the party plays with fire, I’m confident the grass roots will grab the gas can. “It’s come to this.”

h a p f a t on December 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM

No one will televise the debates if they can’t have their anchors as moderators.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Then cry foul when they televise the rat’s debates because of equal time considerations.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:38 PM

I don’t think that will work. If the dems allow the nets to run the debates then that makes it a news event. If the Republicans run their own debates then it’s a commercial.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:49 PM

h a p f a t on December 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM

It is not that the base stays home. It is that they do not take anyone with them to the polls. They do not enthusiastically promote the regressive (R). Fewer people become swayed to vote, let alone to vote for the regressive (R). Less money is donated to the party than otherwise would be donated. The people in the middle are always going to go more Democrat than Republican. In the end, picking another regressive (R) as our candidate will end just like the last two times.

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 7:53 PM

The good news: Fewer debates with later primaries is good for everyone’s sanity. The bad news: There’s no easier blog traffic than a lazy debate-night open thread. The big A’s loss is America’s gain, my friends.

A debate a week with 8-10 candidates moderated by drunken liberal journolistas (Diane Sawyer) & Youtube was insane….

Gingrich ripping on the media was entertaining though.

workingclass artist on December 11, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Only 13 states have closed primaries. The other states aren’t going to change their laws because the RNC wants them to.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Then they get half the delegates.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

But they have a vote on the RNC. They won’t vote to cut their own delegates. If you include the states that have semi-open primaries it might work.

Though we would still be insulting the voters in the states that have open primaries. And they pay for the primary elections. If the states have a law calling for an open primary and the party doesn’t allow it then the state doesn’t have to include their candidates on the ballot. The party will have to hold their own caucuses.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Bottom line: Come mid-2016, we’ll be desperately trying to talk ourselves into believing that Jeb Bush is the rock-ribbed conservative America’s been waiting for.

No.

I won’t vote for the Bush Dynasty.

workingclass artist on December 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM

No one will televise the debates if they can’t have their anchors as moderators.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

So? Have debates on the internet, sponsored by blogs or other newswebsites. Maybe in cooperation with youtube. And if you really wanna go TV, there is still FNC or C-Span. The predominance of television in campaigns is waning, so why not let our debates reflect that as well? We wouldnt lose anything and it would be a kick in the teeth of the liberal media.

Valkyriepundit on December 11, 2013 at 8:03 PM

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 7:53 PM

That was the last election cycle. In 2016 I will NOT pull the lever for Christie, Ryan or Bush. I will not give the GOP the benefit of counting my vote.

h a p f a t on December 11, 2013 at 8:11 PM

States that hold open primaries should lose their delegates. People from outside of a party shouldn’t make the decision as to who will represent it. Even worse is allowing people from the other party to vote. That’s just stupid.

Flange on December 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM

The problems with that are (1) not all states register voters by party, and (2) primary elections (unlike caucuses) are run by the state governments, not by the parties.

If voters aren’t registered by party, the only way for the party to have a caucus is to limit participation to, basically, office holders and actual party officials, which is probably only a few hundred people. Everyone else doesn’t have an opportunity to participate. That happened in my state in 2008 and really made me angry.

acasilaco on December 11, 2013 at 8:12 PM

dforston on December 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

rofl..:)

Dire Straits on December 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Anyone think they’re going to take away a third of, say, Ted Cruz’s delegates if he decides to participate in a debate sponsored by FreedomWorks?

Actually, that would cause them to kvell with joy. We are dealing with an Institutional Republican Party that lusts after the chance to force everyone more conservative than Lindsey Graham to leave the party in disgust. If they intend to eliminate conservative candidates at all costs; what would make it easier than a differential application of biased primary rules?

Not that it matters all that much. They will either lose this battle, and be gone; or they will chase off their base and be gone.

They can rig the nomination. They cannot force us to vote for their nominee, or vote at all. And since they have deliberately left the field of vote fraud exclusively and uncontestedly to the Democrats, they cannot even fake it.

All 4 ways: long, wide, deep, and continuous.

Subotai Bahadur on December 11, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Bottom line: Come mid-2016, we’ll be desperately trying to talk ourselves into believing that Jeb Bush is the rock-ribbed conservative America’s been waiting for.

And the RNC already knows how gullible people within the “conservative” base can be, which is precisely why they’ll do their best to manipulate the outcome as much as possible. IMO, the proportionate-distribution of delegates for post-February primaries was designed with the intent of helping the New Hampshire winner.

The media always tries to discredit the more “conservative” front-runner if that person happens to win Iowa, just as Santorum did against Romney (not that Santorum was/is “conservative,” but compared to Mitt, almost any Republican is). So, look forward to the media jumping on the Christie/Jeb Bush bandwagon whenever either of them wins New Hampshire.

Aizen on December 11, 2013 at 8:19 PM

That happened in my state in 2008 and really made me angry.

acasilaco on December 11, 2013 at 8:12 PM

My state to. Didn’t make me angry to not pay for the primary though.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

That was the last election cycle. In 2016 I will NOT pull the lever for Christie, Ryan or Bush. I will not give the GOP the benefit of counting my vote.

h a p f a t on December 11, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Then you and I are no longer the BASE. The base is reliable, why it is called the base. We are conservative. We put right first. I barely got around to voting for Romney at the last minute. I will not get around to voting for any regressive (R) this go around.

The Republican BASE has moved to the left, they are planning to move it further to the left through amnesty. At some point, a true and real third party will emerge and we will be base members again, of a different party.

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

So the RNC wants the primary process to favor the deep pockets establishment ‘moderate’ candidate. Surprise, surprise … not.

Go ahead … nominate a moderate like Bush or Christie … and watch the Democratic party win the Presidential election again.

john.frank on December 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Rinos destroyed the GOP.

SparkPlug on December 11, 2013 at 8:24 PM

I agree with Roves Chins.

I won’t vote for that fat bssterd.

SparkPlug on December 11, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Democratic party win the Presidential election again.

john.frank on December 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

And take the House as well as keep or gain a filibuster free Senate. Going to be fun, fun times!

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 8:34 PM

This sure is a depressing article:
We’re seriously talking about Christie and Bush?
We’re seriously talking about debates on CNN and NBC?

GaltBlvnAtty on December 11, 2013 at 8:48 PM

No Tub.

Bishop on December 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I think it’s pretty much a done deal that Candy Crowley won’t do another debate.

Bruno Strozek on December 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Though we would still be insulting the voters in the states that have open primaries. And they pay for the primary elections. If the states have a law calling for an open primary and the party doesn’t allow it then the state doesn’t have to include their candidates on the ballot. The party will have to hold their own caucuses.

kcewa on December 11, 2013 at 7:59 PM

You insult your own voters by having open primaries.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM

I think it’s pretty much a done deal that Candy Crowley won’t do another debate.

Bruno Strozek on December 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Honestly, I’d be more likely to vote for Crowley as the GOP nominee than I would for Christie.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 8:50 PM

The Republican BASE has moved to the left, they are planning to move it further to the left through amnesty. At some point, a true and real third party will emerge and we will be base members again, of a different party.

astonerii on December 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

There is no GOP base outside the beltway or the boardroom.

besser tot als rot on December 11, 2013 at 8:52 PM

No Bushes! No Fatties! No Fat Bushes!!

teacherman on December 11, 2013 at 8:54 PM

States that hold open primaries should lose their delegates. People from outside of a party shouldn’t make the decision as to who will represent it. Even worse is allowing people from the other party to vote. That’s just stupid.

Flange on December 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Illinois has open primaries. No Dem running against Quinn for governor, No Dem running against Durbin. No primary challenger in most of the Dem races. [Dem challengers magically disappear before the primaries. "Nice business (family, whatever...) you got there, it'd be a shame if something happened to it (them)."]

Do you really think Illinois Dems are going to vote Dem in the primaries when it doesn’t matter? They can pull a Republican ballot and stack the deck for the worst Republican candidates.

Grrr… th.

Fallon on December 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

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