RNC Announces Major Changes to Presidential Primary Process

Say that three times fast. As our friends from "The Fix" explain:

The Republican National Committee voted on Friday to drastically compress its presidential nomination process in hopes of avoiding a drawn-out and expensive fight that weakens the GOP's eventual standard-bearer in 2016.  The changes include protecting the rights of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to early votes  in February and making it far more punitive for other states — Florida, we are looking at you — to move up their primaries. The party's national convention will also move from late summer/early fall to no later than the end of July.

The moves were the brainchild of RNC commitee Chair Reince Prieubus, but will it ultimately be a good thing for Republicans? As "The Fix" notes, the Primary changes could end up forcing a candidate upon the GOP that might not be their best option in a General Election (like that's new):

Whether or not that was the right move — a compressed calendar puts a premium on momentum and makes it hard to stop a candidate with momentum even if it's not the candidate the establishment wants — remains to be seen, but Priebus has now left a major mark on how the party will pick its next presidential nominee. It may wind up being his lasting legacy at the head of the party.

What say you, Polsters? Is this good or bad for Republican hopes of winning the White House in 2016?

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. I wonder how all the states will react to this? After all, they each have to set their primary schedules by law and they have to counter the early primary rush that's been going on for the past few election cycles.

  2. So if Rand Paul or Ted Cruz have the early Mo, we wind up with them as GOP candidate? Go Reince!

    I mean, I don't see the moderates charging the line right now…

  3. gumshoe says:

    Exactly. It really depends how many crazy candidates split the majority of the vote in the Republican party to allow a moderate to win with a small plurality of the vote. 

  4. ajb says:

    Wait…didn't Republicans vote to expand the primary schedule after the McCain/Palin train wreck? Wasn't the Republican primary season essentially over after Super-Tuesday? And then the "Real Republicans" got their panties in a wad because the primaries were too rushed?

    or am I imagining things (again)?

    • Yes. They have realized the error of their ways and are moving to eliminate the seemingly endless primary debate season. Just think: if the 2012 season were only a few weeks shorter, we might have had Herman Cain vs. Barack Obama. A few weeks before that and it might have been Newt Gingrich vs. Barack Obama. Cut a few weeks off of that and maybe it would have been Rick Perry vs. Barack Obama. (Okay, maybe not that last one – unless they just never debated at all…)

  5. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    I look forward to GOP candidate Rick Santorum and much talk about the evils of contraception.

  6. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    I think what they're trying to do is shorten the time that a field of candidates has to beat each other up as they punch, kick and gouge to be the last man standing. They have finally realized how battered the eventual nominee has been in the last couple of cycles and how that has damaged him and the Party brand. All of that wrangling  just gives ammunition to the Democratic nominee in the general election.

    • 'cause that will end up well for them. How many GOP candidates fell by the wayside through the primaries because they didn't hold up well in the limelight?

      Anyone-but-Romney held a consistent lead until the end when all of the rest of them collectively wound up looking like idiots (except for Huntsman, who was never allowed to talk).

  7. Ralphie says:

    I don't think it's gonna make much difference.  They still don't have any  candidates without baggage of some kind.

  8. DavieDavie says:

    This is great!  So instead of the GOP candidates' campaigns melting down during the primaries, we can watch the eventual nominee's campaign blow up due to late breaking scandals just before the November election!

    The current crop of GOP prospects are nothing if not entertaining :-)

  9. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Besides Huntsman, Buddy Roemer was the only halfway moderate Presidential candidate in 2012. He tried two 3rd party nominations, and tried to petition towards a Republican nomination. He was never allowed to debate the other candidates. He appeared on Rachel Maddow's show a few times during campaign season.

    I don't see these primary rule changes allowing moderates like Roemer any greater access to the ballot.

    I suppose it's a good move for Republican presidential prospects to shorten up the primary season.  I'll miss the entertainment, though. It was a never-ending reality TV/soap opera/ game show, which led us all to be amazed and astounded by the sheer inanity, insanity, and the low bar to be a Republican nominee.

  10. itlduso says:

    Florida has been key to GOP primary candidates, including McCain and Romney.  Florida will be key for Jeb Bush this time around, IMHO.

    • BlueCat says:

      I don't see a third Bush winning the primaries.

      • JBJK16 says:

        Did you ever believe the first two would do it?

        • BlueCat says:

          Sure. Not at first for GW but this is different. Neither of the two Bushes is in favor with today's GOTP. Even GW not far right enough and Jeb has a more moderate image than GW.  

          Back when the first two Bushes were running, moderate was still doable for Republican presidential candidates, even desirable. Moderate still works well for the general presidential elections but Dems are the only genuine moderates anymore and an R has to get through the increasingly wacko dominated primaries first. Don't see Jeb managing it. Especially after the failure of  Romney, a failure the GOTP stubbornly chalks up to his not running far enough to the right. 

          • JBJK16 says:

            Only a moderate conservative like Governors Bush or Kasich can win the general.  I am not confident either can win the primary, but ask me again after the SOTU.

            • BlueCat says:

              Sorry. Those are not moderates. Just because the right defines moderate as very conservative but not as extremist as the Tea Partiers doesn't make it an accurate definition of the term.  All those you name are self described dedicated conservatives. 

              The GOTP is the conservative party. The Democratic party is the moderate party. The number of elected liberal Dems, a tiny minority among Dem office holders, is infinitesimal compared to the huge number number and large percentage of elected Tea Party extremists among elected Rs. Those ordinary voters remaining in the GOTP are more likely to self describe as conservative, not moderate, than ever before.

              Being slightly closer to the center than the extremists doesn't make anyone "moderate".

              It's still getting harder, not easier for anyone vaguely resembling a true moderate to win a GOTP primary. Those who defeat the wackiest Tea Party types in primaries are overwhelmingly rock ribbed conservatives who are simply old fashioned practical pols rather than lunatics. And they are mostly pretty old.

    • JBJK16 says:

      Not just in the primary.

    • dustpuppydustpuppy says:

      the matriach of the Bush family nixed the Jeb idea saying two Bushes is enough for America.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/barbara-bush-jeb-bush-president_n_3154029.html

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