Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Republicans rejected a measure Wednesday that would have ensured more ideological purity within the party ranks during presidential elections.
The measure, drafted by Indiana Committeeman Jim Bopp, would have rewarded states holding closed Republican primaries with extra delegates to the Republican National Convention, giving those states more muscle in the presidential nominating process.
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The amendment to party bylaws was debated by the Republican National Committee's standing committee on rules, which was meeting in Tampa ahead of next week's convention.
If passed, the rule would have applied to the next presidential primary cycle.
Louis Pope, RNC member from Maryland, said the proposed rule change would "actually allow Republicans to choose our Republican nominee."
Alaska committeewoman Debbie Joslin said the change would prevent Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents from voting in Republican primaries and causing "mischief."
Opponents of the rule change hailed from states with open primaries, like New Hampshire, or states where voters do not register by party, like Michigan.
They argued that the rule would hamper their efforts to attract and target Republican-leaning voters who are hesitant to identify themselves with either party.
The measure was defeated by a 16-27 margin.