The next round of reform is likely to punish both Iowa and Nevada. Already Iowa plays only a tiny role in the actual delegate race. The straw poll conducted on Jan. 3 is effectively meaningless; by the time the state party allocates its delegates in June, the Republican nominee will be obvious. Iowa derives its power from the media attention it attracts—attention it may not get again. Nevada Republicans held a convention four years ago that was marred by a fight between party leaders and fans of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, many of whom said they were unfairly barred from participating.

“I’m very hopeful that in four years, people say, ‘I’m not spending a lot of money and getting frostbite if you can’t even count your votes,’ ” Norcross said.

“In Nevada, the fact that they screwed it up twice [in 2008 and 2012] really is inexcusable,” he added.