In a vote taken late Friday, the Republican National Committee agreed to keep the first four presidential primaries in place. Votes in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada will be held in February. States that “jump” ahead of the four early states will be severely penalized, losing up to 90-percent of their delegates to national convention.
In 2012, the lack of such severe penalties disrupted the nominating calendar and pushed the first four contests to early January of that year.
S.C. GOP Chairman Matt Moore is in Washington, D.C., for the meeting and said the goal is to have a nominee chosen by mid May.
The party’s leaders are also deciding whether to move up the presidential convention to late June or early July, hoping that an early summer convention will continue momentum and improve fundraising.
“It is 90 percent certain at this point that the convention will be either the last week of June or the first week of July, following July 4th,” Moore told South Carolina Radio Network.
Moore said having the convention in the fall did not allow GOP candidates to spend General Election funds until almost Labor Day.
“Now, they’ll get an extra two months to raise money, an extra two months to define their message and also to have a serious debate with their opponent, whoever that may be,” Moore said.
UPDATED at 12:40 p.m. Jan. 24.