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GOP Plots New Primary Procedures In 2016

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – A new set of rules that are poised to be approved by Republicans leaders could once again shake up the presidential primary season.

According to the new rules, Iowa and New Hampshire would retain their spots at the top of the presidential primary calendar in 2016 followed by South Carolina and Nevada. But, significant penalties could be on the horizon if a state jumps out of order, like Florida did in 2008.

The new plan to shorten the primary season is partly to avoid a drawn out primary season with multiple debates that give candidates, of either party, to make a mistake that could cost them in the general election.

After the first four states vote in February 2016, the other 46 states would cast their votes between early March and mid-May. The Republican Party’s national convention would then be held in late Jun or early July, almost two months earlier than in the past.

Republican national committeeman Steve Duprey of New Hampshire described the changes as an “effective death penalty for any state that tries to jump the calendar.”

The shift comes during the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee, a collection of party leaders and activists from every state that controls the GOP’s national infrastructure. The group expects to finalize additional changes, including setting a new date for its 2016 national convention, later in the year.

Not everyone was pleased with the changes.

“I think we’re going too far in shortening this process,” Republican committeeman Morton Blackwell of Virginia said. “We need an adequate amount of time in order for presidential candidates to be tested.”

As for the convention, three cities were on hand to try to woo the party: Las Vegas, Kansas City, Mo, and Columbus, Ohio. The party isn’t expected to make a selection on the home city of the 2016 convention until this summer at last.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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