What did the new RNC rules “fix” this week?

posted at 1:01 pm on January 25, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

We had plenty of warning that this was coming and the debate has been running around on the back burner the whole time, but the RNC has now moved almost unanimously to invoke a portion of the new rules they desired.

The new 2016 rules will make it much harder for states to cut in line in the nomination process and will help Republicans avoid a repeat of a drawn out, bloody primary many believe damaged Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012 of defeating President Obama…

The new rules will help protect early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — from others who want to rush up to the front, and allow the party to hold an earlier convention, as they look to unite and raise more money for the general election.

The four designated early states will be required to hold their contests in February. States that vote between March 1 and March 14 will be required to award their delegates proportionally, weakening their impact, while states with primaries after that will assign their delegates in a winner-take-all contest, making them much more consequential in the delegate count and adding an incentive to wait.

There were (and still are) a number of different issues under discussion, but apparently the only one that was on the table this week was the issue of primaries. It seems that at no point did anyone seriously bring up the question of why the same four states always have to go first, but I suppose that’s a battle for another day. But the changes they made are still going to have a big impact. They’ll use the power of the whip to ensure that the schedule is compressed and that none of the bigger states jump the line. There are several issues in play here, and Allahpundit was already breaking them down over a month ago.

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?

Apparently we have the answer to that question now and it’s a yes. I’m not sure what the results will be, but if the RNC wipes out all but a handful of Florida’s votes (or those of any other large state) there’s going to be a lot of sound and fury at the convention. Is that a net plus when balanced against the fact that some less well funded candidates may wind up being rushed to the door by the shortened season? I can’t help but think there’s some trouble brewing on the horizon.

One other issue which was not voted on yesterday was the question of debates. Taking control of who will moderate them away from the major media organizations has some obvious benefits. But if you limit the number of them you at least partially cut the legs out from under candidates who lack the backing of the big, industrial size donors. They have to rely much more heavily on earned media, and the debates are their very best chance to strut their stuff in front of the entire country. Will the really penalize the delegate count of a candidate who takes part in a “non-approved” debate? Again, Allahpundit had some early observations on that one.

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.

If they’re willing to shoot down states for jumping the line, they may just feel they can do precisely that to candidates. And in the hypothetical case AP posits above, the RNC may just find themselves with a full blown revolt on their hands. If people are upset enough to stay home in droves on election day in November 2016, the stated intent of these changes will backfire, but we won’t know about that one until the next meeting and vote.

The other rule that was passed involved the proportional vs winner take all rules. Proportional awarding of delegates looks like one of the least controversial items on the agenda because it seems to be the change which would provide a more level playing field. When there have only been a couple of debates and the only access candidates have to potential voters is paid media, the well funded “establishment” candidate (man, I hate that term) has a huge advantage, particularly in large, expensive media markets like Florida. Going with a plan that divides up the pie a bit can allow a less donor-heavy candidate to hang in there longer and get their message out.

So… what did you think of the changes? And when they vote on the rules regarding the debates, which way do you see it going? Personally I think the RNC will be a bit more timid on that one.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Schadenfreude

Bmore on January 25, 2014 at 4:25 PM

My family moved to Columbia Maryland while I was in college and lived there for 12 years, only moving away this May. I am in shock, HotAit should have a thread for this. Another shooting in a upper middle class community….

libfreeordie on January 25, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Ban all upper middle class communities.

BedBug on January 25, 2014 at 2:35 PM

BedBug, you are a funny one. You’ll stir it up with anyone. Oh, I guess that is the just the nature of a bedbug. LOL

Fallon on January 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM

FloatingRock on January 25, 2014 at 4:25 PM

I think the GOP had it’s “camps” so to speak..But Reagan was able to unite those camps and grow the GOP (peel off Dems and indies) thru his unifying message..:)

Dire Straits on January 25, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Bmore on January 25, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Good evening..:)

Dire Straits on January 25, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Dire Straits on January 25, 2014 at 4:39 PM

I repeat:

If you don’t think Reagan was an insurgent candidate that the GOP establishment at the time did everything they could to stop, but were overpowered by the grass roots, then you simply don’t know your history. Now the GOP establishment has rigged the game even more than it already was so that had these rules been in place at the time Reagan would have failed.

FloatingRock on January 25, 2014 at 4:47 PM

It’s hours later and they still don’t have the shooter identified?

Do you believe a single word from the gov’t? If you do, I have a big bridge for sale, cheap.

Schadenfreude on January 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM

FloatingRock on January 25, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I stand with my comment..Reagan was not out of the mainstream..:)

Dire Straits on January 25, 2014 at 5:05 PM

My family moved to Columbia Maryland while I was in college and lived there for 12 years, only moving away this May. I am in shock, HotAit should have a thread for this. Another shooting in a upper middle class community….

libfreeordie on January 25, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Sure you want to go there? Columbia was founded as a Leftist Utopia City. And the mall where this happened was a gun-free zone.

Del Dolemonte on January 25, 2014 at 5:18 PM

It’s hours later and they still don’t have the shooter identified?

Do you believe a single word from the gov’t? If you do, I have a big bridge for sale, cheap.

Schadenfreude on January 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Shooter must not be a Tea Partier.

Del Dolemonte on January 25, 2014 at 5:28 PM

bflat879 on January 25, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Great analysis of how it went. I agree whomever they want to kneecap is the one who stands a chance. They must think Christie was one.

wi farmgirl on January 25, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Overall, these rule changes are necessary. 2012 was an absolute catastrophe because we allowed the Democrats to control our process. Think about it:

1. We had adopted the Democrats’ system of awarding delegates–the same process that allowed Obama, a radical, to overtake Hillary, a non-radical lefty, through cunning.

2. We also allowed hostile media to moderate all but a handful of our debates, and to even define how many debates there would be. The result was a s–tshow that Obama rightly mocked as being a reality show process where people get “voted off the island” and which, in my view, did NOTHING to change the nominee of the party.

We need to compress the schedule of formal debates and limit the opportunity for people to game the rules to manipulate delegate counts, etc. That essentially means going back to the rules in effect in 2004…

Outlander on January 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

The new rules will help protect early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — from others who want to rush up to the front, and allow the party to hold an earlier convention, as they look to unite and raise more money for the general election.

I suspect that the GOP will do fine in 2014 with Obamacare lifting it’s sails, but that won’t always be the case and come 2016 they’ll probably be more concerned with votes than money, since I suspect they’ll notice that the former base isn’t paying much attention to them.

DFCtomm on January 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

If the RNC wanted excitement they could just declare all the ‘primaries’ to be straw polls and mail out ballots to every registered Republican party member on January 1st. All ballots to be handed over, in-person, to the head of the Republican party precinct or district who then double-checks the person’s identity and has a third individual double check that.

All ballots are to be in by June 1st.

Open ballots at the party convention.

Fun, fun, fun!

But that would mean letting the party members decide who they wanted. No chance for ‘open primaries’ and such.

ajacksonian on January 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

“At this point what difference does it make?” — Hillary/Christie

Schadenfreude on January 25, 2014 at 2:59 PM

you will never see an ad with that in it … the GOPe will not do it.

conservative tarheel on January 25, 2014 at 5:58 PM

I stand with my comment..Reagan was not out of the mainstream..:)

Dire Straits on January 25, 2014 at 5:05 PM

That is a strawman, I never said he was out of the mainstream, I said he was an insurgent that the GOP establishment opposed.

FloatingRock on January 25, 2014 at 6:15 PM

It’s hours later and they still don’t have the shooter identified?

Do you believe a single word from the gov’t? If you do, I have a big bridge for sale, cheap.

Schadenfreude on January 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Latest from a local station down there: apparently it was a domestic dispute; the shooter went to a skate store and shot his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, who both worked there.

Del Dolemonte on January 25, 2014 at 6:25 PM

FloatingRock on January 25, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Someone that was already a two term GOP governor from California was not totally out of the GOP loop..Reagan was able to unite the GOP..:)

Dire Straits on January 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM

FloatingRock on January 25, 2014 at 6:15 PM

My comment was not a strawman..:)

Dire Straits on January 25, 2014 at 6:32 PM

The rule requiring Miss Lindsey to have a vasectomy is commendable but pointless.

viking01 on January 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM

………….A hysterectomy is much more likely.

bw222 on January 25, 2014 at 1:29 PM

…ok!…I can’t help it!…I busted out laughing!

KOOLAID2 on January 25, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Do you believe a single word from the gov’t? If you do, I have a big bridge for sale, cheap.

Schadenfreude on January 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM

It’s Maryland. With the capital of the world right next door and a world renown waterway bisecting the state, the best they can do is Baltimore. It’s a state government which emulates O’Bozo’s unique combination of stupidity, incompetence, lack of character, and dishonesty. These are the things they celebrate in Maryland.

Jaibones on January 25, 2014 at 7:44 PM

The states should vote in order of which ones voted the most Republican. Oklahoma would go first under this scenario. It rewards those states that actually support the Republicans. It disallows the liberal states (who haven’t voted Republican since the mid 80′s) from having an inordinate amount of influence on our candidate selection. Until we do that, we will always wind up with the leftist RINO which the Democrats cross over voting lines to give to us.

Theophile on January 25, 2014 at 9:54 PM

The whole primary process is a joke. I’m sick and tired of the race already been decided by the time my state even gets a chance to vote. What I’d like to see is states randomly chosen – or rotated – in a five-week ten-states-per-week process, and ALL states have to proportionally award their delegates. If Iowa and NH are gonna be whiny babies about wanting to go first, then they can have one week all to themselves, and then it can be six weeks, eight states per week. And no one can drop out (if they wish to stop campaigning, fine), everyone MUST be on the ballot in all 50 states. Maybe this way we can stop having someone anointed the heir apparent back in February. This is getting ridiculous.

TMOverbeck on January 25, 2014 at 10:26 PM

At this point I’m starting to think that what I’ve suspected about the GOP for years is true, namely that they don’t want to win the house, senate or WH. After listening to Mark Levins comments about how DC works its becoming clearer that the GOP leadership is more concerned with cushy future lobbying jobs rather than representing the people who put them in their jobs. The RINOS are not listening to their base rather they are using defiant tones like Graham stating he’s a chamber of commerce Repub, Boehner and McConnell talking trash about the Tea Party, GOPe leaders like Cantor, Ryan, Rubio etc…helping to author or condoning amnesty plans which the base is totally set against, nominating losers like McCain and Romney, not articulating a conservative message, giving Obama everything he wants and on and on. The number of Independants are growing, the number of those identifying themselves as Repubs are shrinking. I know that I have personally abandoned the Repub party and consider myself an Independant and I’ll bet that folks like me are the reason for the increased number of Indy’s. If the RINOs nominate Christie or Jeb Bush I will stay home. My hope is that perhaps if we see the RINOs pulling their garbage then Ted Cruz will do what Lieberman did and declare himself an Independant and we can then vote for him for POTUS in 2016. I really think he wii energize not only the base but huge numbers of Indy’s too and win. Imagine how the Dems and GOPe will be gobsmacked if Cruz were to win as an Independant. It could also be the beginning of a true 3rd party. It can happen if we want it bad enough.

neyney on January 26, 2014 at 1:00 AM

The problem with the author’s thesis that an extended debate schedule benefits the less well funded candidate is that it’s true only if he is such an early hit that he attracts the sufficient funding to continue the fight outside of the debates. In the absence of that the deep pockets candidate wins by default.

Nomas on January 26, 2014 at 7:44 AM

“What did the new rules fix this week”, nothing, zero, and zip. If they really wanted it fix the problems, they would have all States vote primary elections on the same day just like the general election. As it is the few States with early primaries select the candidate for all the rest. Another plus would be, it would take a lot of money out of these elections and take the media out of the equation. Also, once the money is out of the game so will people like Karl Rove be gone.

savage24 on January 26, 2014 at 11:17 AM

My family moved to Columbia Maryland while I was in college and lived there for 12 years, only moving away this May. I am in shock, HotAit should have a thread for this. Another shooting in a upper middle class community….

libfreeordie on January 25, 2014 at 2:01 PM

So, you lived in your parents’ basement for 8 years?

blammm on January 26, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Comment pages: 1 2