States that jump to the front of the line in the 2016 GOP race for president will be subject to even harsher penalties, according to changes adopted Friday by the rules committee of the Republican National Convention.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a member of that body, just called from Tampa with news.
We all know that Florida agreed to sacrifice half of its 99 delegates this year in order to hold its presidential primary in the calendar space reserved for Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
If it tries the same thing next time, Florida – and any other state – will lose all but 12 of its delegates. Nine at-large delegates, plus three members of the Republican National Committee.
Call it the atom-bomb rule. “If you only have 12 delegates to the convention – it makes you wonder if candidates would go to Florida and spend five to ten million dollars to try to win that state for 12 delegates. I think it’s going to make people think long and hard about breaking the rules,” Kemp said.
Republican delegates must approve the rule change during their convention.
Another change to the 2016 calendar: This year, states that held their primaries between March 1 and April 1 were required to award their delegates proportionally – based on a candidate’s performance in the contest.
Georgia was one of them.
Only states that had primaries after April 1 were allowed to hold winner-take-all contests. The distinctions were intended to prevent an early winner – allowing more states to weigh in on the nomination.
In 2016, states will be allowed to hold winner-take-all contests after March 1. Kemp likes that idea. “It simplifies our process, plus it can give us a lot of early influence. We’re a big state,” he said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider