August 6th, 2010
02:50 PM ET
12 years ago

RNC approves 2012 nominating calendar

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="The RNC has approved a 2012 presidential calendar that pushes the first GOP primaries to February 2012."]Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) - The Republican National Committee on Friday passed an amendment that would shift the 2012 presidential calendar to later in the year and punish states that try to move up their nominating contests.

The change in party rules protects Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada as the four early voting states.

But the amendment also mandates that those states hold their primaries or caucuses no earlier than February 1, 2012 - a response to the front-loaded 2008 calendar that forced candidates in both parties to spend the normally sleepy holiday season of December and January in full campaign mode.

And in an effort to discourage other states from moving up their contest dates, which could set up a so-called "national primary" that would favor better-funded presidential candidates, the amendment would punish other states who hold February contests by stripping them of delegates to the national convention.

The goal was to draw out the nominating calendar and bring it in line with that of the Democratic National Committee, which has worked with the RNC on the rules changes since last year.

The effort was backed by RNC chairman Michael Steele.

But the recommendation faced criticism from RNC members hailing from states like Michigan and Georgia with plans for early contests.

Members also squabbled over a provision that would force states holding March contests to allocate their delegates proportionally instead of a winner-take-all format. States holding contests in April or later would be winner-take-all.

But several committee members argued that the new, protracted process would give presidential candidates a chance to visit more states and shake more hands.

"This is the most important thing the committee will do in this term," California GOP chairman Ron Nehring told the assembled RNC members.

Some in favor of the amendment complained that the crowded and short 2008 calendar lent momentum to an eventual nominee - Arizona Sen. John McCain - who was out of touch with the party's base.

New Hampshire GOP chairman John Sununu, whose state will maintain its first-in-the-nation primary status under the new rules, admitted that the nominating process is flawed.

But he warned that unless rules were put in place to spread the calendar out over several months and avoid a national primary, the process would result in "the wrong nominee" who would allow President Obama "to waltz back into the White House."

The Iowa Republican Party praised the vote and said the new rules would allow candidates "to travel to more states during the presidential primary process."

The South Carolina GOP, meanwhile, cautioned that it reserves the right to move its primary forward if states other than the first four "circumvent the process" and hold votes earlier than March.

Also on Friday, the RNC ratified Tampa as the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Filed under: 2012 • RNC
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    If the Republicans were really concerned about elections. they would push for regional primaries, but that would be sensible. Being senisble is almost the same as being UNpatriotic to them..

    August 6, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Jacob

    good luck!
    too bad your party has become irrelevant!

    August 6, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Phailin/Santanourm 2012!

    August 6, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. DevAdvocate

    As far as Pelosi, thank god for small favors. SWEET! Get the annoying nag out of office.

    August 6, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Zack

    remember when dems did this and republicans went nuts about dems not giving the "hard-working citizens of michigan and florida" representation in the primaries...ugh.

    August 6, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Pkm

    I can not wait to see what the nasty repubs think of

    August 6, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    I'm afraid I've got some bad news, consumerbots. Those private sector jobs are never coming back. In the past 200 or so years, we've transitioned from an agricultural to an industrial to an information and finally to a transaction-based economy. We don't produce anything that has intrinsic value any more. It's all imaginary financial products and derivatives of debt and so forth. The problem is that our leaders are in the pockets of the financial movers and shakers and therefore seek to maintain the status quo at all costs. That means that real solutions to the systemic problems we're seeing, which may benefit you and me at the expense of corporate profit, will never even come under their consideration. Get used to 10%+ unemployment, further erosion of your wages and benefits, as well as very strong disincentives(and probably the use of force) to discourage any type of labor organizing, because that is the new normal. Have a nice day!

    August 6, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Soylent Green is US

    Randolph Carter, I would suggest that anyone who wants to survive move back to an agrarian and very small business model. Learn how to plant and tend crops. Learn how to make things, build things, create things - beautiful things that other people will want to buy.

    Find a small community that needs the services you can provide and move there. Become a part of that community. Befriend your neighbors. Home school your children.

    That is the only way that America will survive.

    August 6, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Blkman

    Until they "the repuks" actually explain a "plan" they have to move this country forward..................why on earth would anyone vote for them? Oh I know cause it's the "white party" in America..........that must be it!

    August 6, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |