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Author Topic: RNC Rules Committee passes major overhaul of primary calendar for 2012  (Read 8459 times)
Mr. Morden
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« on: April 02, 2008, 04:21:29 pm »

No idea what's going to happen with this.  Unless several dozen state parties and state legislatures go along with this, is this ever going to work?:

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/04/rnc_rules_committee_passes_ohi_1.php

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I'll have more on this tomorrow, but know, for now, that the Republican National Committee's rules committee has passed the "Ohio Plan," which is the first step in changing the party's calendar for 2012.

The calendar revision process is just beginning, though. The full RNC, in August, will mark up the Ohio plan and amend it or reject it. They might pass it, in which case the rules committee of the convention gets to mark it up and then, if it passes a vote, it goes to the full RNC for a vote.

Despite the Ohio in the "Ohio Plan," big states don't like it. The plan would carve out exemptions for Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. It would allow 15 additional states -- small states -- to hold contests in February... and then in March, there'd be a rotating series of big states.

scanned first page of the "Ohio Plan":


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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2008, 09:04:35 pm »
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I like it. The Democratic primary need to be done like this too.
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2008, 10:30:28 pm »
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The only problem I see with this plan is that state populations aren't static and you're going to have to move things around every so often.

Other than that, this plan is far superior to the typical regional rotating primary and it seems pretty fair to me.

The big question will be what the Democrats decide to do.  If they don't attempt any reforms then  I think a lot of states will ignore the Republicans' approved calendar and just vote whenever the Democrats do in order to save money.

It would really be nice if the two parties could at least attempt to work together on this but I doubt it will happen.
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2008, 10:33:50 pm »
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It'll require more than the national parties working together. The Legislatures, Secretaries of State, state parties are all going to have to somehow work together and agree to make a national calendar work from the bottom up. Because of how incredibly complex and complicated that's going to be, I continue to believe the real solution here is either federal legislation or a constitutional amendment.
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2008, 03:39:12 pm »

More on this here:

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/04/republicans_take_step_to_chang.php

There are still a lot of hoops this would have to jump through before it becomes binding.  Another idea being floated by the RNC is to keep everything the same, but shift the cutoff date for losing half your delegates from the first week of Feb. to the first week of March.  That is, right now, states lose 50% of their delegates if they vote before the first week of Feb.  This could be changed to the first week of March.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2008, 06:30:24 pm »
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I'm still tired of Iowa and New Hampshire and a handful of states getting a disproportionate say as to who my party will run for president.

National primary please.
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2008, 07:54:38 pm »
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More on this here:

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/04/republicans_take_step_to_chang.php

There are still a lot of hoops this would have to jump through before it becomes binding.  Another idea being floated by the RNC is to keep everything the same, but shift the cutoff date for losing half your delegates from the first week of Feb. to the first week of March.  That is, right now, states lose 50% of their delegates if they vote before the first week of Feb.  This could be changed to the first week of March.


I'd support this.  And not even as a punitive measure, just say to the states, "You can go early, or you can have more delegates."

As we've seen this year, most states will probably move earlier, but the ones that don't, in case of a tight race, would suddenly see themselves with enormous clout.
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2008, 09:09:03 pm »
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I've tried to indicate regional primaries within pods.  Numbers are representatives (ie population)

First 4: 4 states, 16 representatives.

Small States: 14 states, DC, plus territories, 25 representatives.

X Pod: 16 states, 126 representatives: Upper Midwest 2, 16; Border 5, 32; South Central 4, 22; Texas 1, 32; West 4, 24.

Y Pod: 9 states, 131 representatives: California-Arizona 2, 61; Upper South 4, 42; Northeast 3, 28.

Z Pod: 7 states, 138 representatives: New York-Pennsylvania 2, 48; Midwest 3, 52; Florida-Georgia 2, 38.

I would swap Indiana and Maryland which are isolated within their pods.  Maryland could be part of the Upper South or the Northeast group.  And Indiana could be Upper Midwest or Border.

The February pods only have about 1/10 of the population, and if SC and NV go on the Saturday after NH candidates will have to devote some time to these states, especially if Nevada switches to a primary.  Better yet would be to have a lottery to decide whether SC and NV go before IA and NH or after.
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2008, 09:34:43 pm »
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The only problem I see with this plan is that state populations aren't static and you're going to have to move things around every so often.



The moving dates also present a real cost to states like IL that use the presidential primary for the general primary. County clerks would be forced to change the date of the general primary every four years and that impacts a host of other dates like petitions, challenges, etc. When IL moved up the date this year from 3rd Tue Mar to 1st Tue Feb it was with a number of concessions to the clerks to make them agreeable. I don't see how that happens if imposed from the national party.
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2008, 01:07:31 am »
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The only problem I see with this plan is that state populations aren't static and you're going to have to move things around every so often.
The moving dates also present a real cost to states like IL that use the presidential primary for the general primary. County clerks would be forced to change the date of the general primary every four years and that impacts a host of other dates like petitions, challenges, etc. When IL moved up the date this year from 3rd Tue Mar to 1st Tue Feb it was with a number of concessions to the clerks to make them agreeable. I don't see how that happens if imposed from the national party.
Maybe they could separate the State primary from the presidential primary, like California did.  California used to have a June primary for both presidential and Statewide elections (RFK was assassinated in June 1968).  Then they kept moving it forward in presidential years, while continuing to hold it in June in non-presidential years.  This year, when they moved the presidential primary to February, they split it from the State primary.  So instead of yoyo-ing back and forth 4 months every two years, the State has one consistent election date for the one where most candidates for office will be running, and a separate date for an election that is not even for State officers, but rather to choose delegates for a private organization's national convention.

One reason that Texas did not move its presidential primary, is that it would have moved all the filing deadlines for all the other offices into the previous year, and the county election people would have been having to updating and mailing out registration cards over the holidays.  One solution that was suggested was to actually open up the filing deadline in October 2007 so the filing period wouldn't be over the holidays.  They also kept finding laws that referred to calendar years that were based on a silly assumption that the preliminaries for an election in November (including some for 2-year terms) would take less than 10 months.

I just checked the primary election dates for some previous elections.  In 1972, New Hampshire had an early March primary.  The next primary was Wisconsin's in early April.
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Хahar
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2008, 02:01:23 am »
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The only problem I see with this plan is that state populations aren't static and you're going to have to move things around every so often.
The moving dates also present a real cost to states like IL that use the presidential primary for the general primary. County clerks would be forced to change the date of the general primary every four years and that impacts a host of other dates like petitions, challenges, etc. When IL moved up the date this year from 3rd Tue Mar to 1st Tue Feb it was with a number of concessions to the clerks to make them agreeable. I don't see how that happens if imposed from the national party.
Maybe they could separate the State primary from the presidential primary, like California did.  California used to have a June primary for both presidential and Statewide elections (RFK was assassinated in June 1968).  Then they kept moving it forward in presidential years, while continuing to hold it in June in non-presidential years.  This year, when they moved the presidential primary to February, they split it from the State primary.  So instead of yoyo-ing back and forth 4 months every two years, the State has one consistent election date for the one where most candidates for office will be running, and a separate date for an election that is not even for State officers, but rather to choose delegates for a private organization's national convention.

One reason that Texas did not move its presidential primary, is that it would have moved all the filing deadlines for all the other offices into the previous year, and the county election people would have been having to updating and mailing out registration cards over the holidays.  One solution that was suggested was to actually open up the filing deadline in October 2007 so the filing period wouldn't be over the holidays.  They also kept finding laws that referred to calendar years that were based on a silly assumption that the preliminaries for an election in November (including some for 2-year terms) would take less than 10 months.

I just checked the primary election dates for some previous elections.  In 1972, New Hampshire had an early March primary.  The next primary was Wisconsin's in early April.

Where did you find the information on past dates?
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2008, 05:08:36 am »
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I just checked the primary election dates for some previous elections.  In 1972, New Hampshire had an early March primary.  The next primary was Wisconsin's in early April.
Where did you find the information on past dates?
Congressional Quarterly, Presidential Elections Since 1789

I was looking on Abe's Books and they had bunches for under $5 including shipping.  It is published after every election, so you might want to check the year.  I got mine at a library used book sale a few years ago and it only goes through 1972.
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2008, 07:34:51 pm »
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Didn't John Engler try something like this in 2000, but it got shot down?
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StateBoiler
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2008, 09:44:39 pm »
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Too early.
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Reaganfan
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2008, 05:16:35 am »
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We'll see what happens but McCain/Obama may be seeking re-election in 2012...so one side may have to wait until 2016 to give it a try.
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2008, 04:11:45 pm »
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It appears to be a well thought out proposal.
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2008, 01:36:53 pm »

The Ohio plan is being pushed by conservatives who want more power for smaller states that are less likely to vote for someone like Giuliani:

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/08/post_6.php

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An alternative proposal, offered by RNC members from Texas, would move the "window" to March. Contiguous states would hold regional primaries, one per month, in March, April and May.

Committee watchers say that the Ohio plan could pass at the convention. McCain insiders have been neutral so far, only expressing the preference that New Hampshire and other early states get to keep some privileged role.
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2008, 03:54:45 pm »
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Regional primaries are probably better than what we have.
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2008, 07:47:31 pm »
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It's a shame that one's chances for being elected President rests so much on how frequently you can traverse all of Iowa's 99 counties.
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2008, 04:35:43 pm »

Ambinder says that on final approval, the Ohio plan went down in flames, by a vote of 39-12:

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/08/rnc_rules_committee_endorses_c.php

If I'm understanding him correctly, the plan that *was* approved would let IA, NH, SC, and NV vote as early as January, but any other state that voted earlier than the first week of *March* (not February) would lose half their delegates.  Of course, several states (like NH, MI, SC, FL....) voted before the RNC approved window in 2008, accepted the 50% delegate penalty, and still played a big role in the primary process for the GOP (in fact, McCain's victories in NH, SC, and FL basically gave him the nomination).  So don't expect the 50% penalty to be much of a deterrent.
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2008, 05:06:23 pm »

More:

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/rncs_calendar_could_be_chaotic.php

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In another universe, this might be the top story out of the Republican National Convention: the full convention has essentially given a 15-person committee a blank slate to redraw the party's primary calendar in 2012.

The committee will be filled by appointees; the party chairman gets to seat most of them, and others will come from regional caucuses. The only operating guideline: preserve the special status of New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. Caucuses can come earlier with no penalty because they don't select or bind delegates; they merely select delegates to conventions that pick delegates.

Dig a little deeper, and an interesting scenario emerges. Grassroots activists have generally held significant sway over the primary calendar through the party's conventions. But since the convention, under the firm hand of the McCain campaign, has centralized scheduling authority in the RNC, activists are angry.  The campaign thinks that if they win, they control the process and the rule. It is not clear that they have considered the impact of their actions if they lose. The new rule benefits the insiders, not either the grassroots activists or the mavericks.

The 15-person commission will recommend its calendar in 2010. There'll be an up or down vote by membership of the RNC.  The thought is that Democrats will also be setting their calendars at the same time, and the two parties might make nice and schedule primaries together.

That's unlikely. States pay for primaries. In order to change their date, state legislatures have to pass a new law. The RNC committee isn't beholden to state legislatures' decisions. If it sets the New York primary for March 5 and New York state sets its primary for Feb 5, the New York Republican Party has two options. It can either fund its own primary on March 5, accept the Feb. 5 primary with a tough penalty, or convene an alternate delegate selection process like a caucus or a convention. Many states will probably choose the later courses of action because they're cheaper and more popular with party activists. Fewer primaries translate into a more conservative electorate.

The point of the RNC rules is to make the committee about running the party and no turning it into a vehicle for any particular campaign or battleground for a presidential campaign. This rule reverses that precedent.
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