RNC moves to condense 2016 primaries

Chairman Reince Priebus wants the party’s 2016 convention to happen between June 27 and July 18 – compared to the week of August 27 in 2012. The official date will be announced this spring, and the location will be selected at a summer meeting.

The party’s rules committee approved a handful of significant changes Thursday, which are likely to be adopted by the full 168-member governing body on Friday.

Among them: Stiffer penalties for states that schedule primaries before March 1; a requirement that states award delegates proportionally, rather than on a winner-take-all basis, before March 15; and a rule that delegates be selected 45 days before the national convention, as opposed to the current 35 days, to encourage states to wrap up as earlier.

Only four “early states” are allowed to hold elections before March 1: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. At the convention in Tampa, the committee voted to award just 12 delegates to any states that ignore this rule. The committee voted Thursday to make the penalty even stricter for smaller states, to dissuade them from attempting to move up.