September 20, 2014

“Something has to be done” — SC GOP backs primary election rules changes

Matt Moore

Moore at South Carolina Radio Network: “This will help our nominate a strong 2016 candidate.”

National Republican leaders do not want a repeat of last year’s presidential primary process—and that suits South Carolina’s party just fine.

Matt Moore, state GOP chairman, said the party suffered from an 8-month season with same-party candidates tearing each other down. That is why he supports a series of changes to the schedule that would cement dates for state primaries and condense the season,

“The Republican National Committee is trying to bring some order to what admittedly  in 2012 was a disorderly process. There were too many debates, states were jumping their primaries on top of each other, at the end of the day it hurt our presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, quite a bit, ” he told South Carolina Radio Network.

In the 2012 election, Florida jumped ahead of South Carolina’s first-in-the-South’s status. South Carolina changed its date again.  Both states were penalized convention delegates.

This time, that kind of leapfrogging would mean greater penalties.

Any state that holds its nominating election before March 1 would have its number of convention delegates slashed to nine or, in the case of smaller states, a third of its delegation – whichever number is smaller.

In  case of the Florida GOP, for instance,  its 99-member delegation would be cut to nine.

The convention itself would be moved up to late June.

“Last time by May, we knew that Gov. Romney would be the nominee, but he had to wait until the end of August to be the nominee, which prevented him from tapping into the sorts of funds that he needed to compete in the General Election, ” Moore explained. “All this is doing is moving up the convention to fit the political reality.”

The Republican National Committee will vote on these changes in early 2014.

“We have not had a summer convention in a very long time,” Moore said, “There’s been a lot of discussion from a broad group of Republicans — from the Tea Party to more conservative to more establishment to longtime figures in the party — who agree that something has to be done.”