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Matt Strawn RNC Report: Iowa Will Likely Continue To Be First In The Nation

Matt Strawn RNC Report: Iowa Will Likely Continue To Be First In The Nation

[Update: some of the text of the proposed rule change included struck out content – It’s corrected now.  – Ed.]

Matt Strawn met with bloggers today to provide a report on the meetings he has attended at the RNC recently.  One of the items he brought back was the recommendation from the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee (TDSC), tasked with looking at how to modify the rules around Primaries and Caucuses in the 2012 Presidential Nominating process.

The proposal by the committee, which will be taken up at the Summer RNC meeting in August, establishes a starting point on March 6, 2012 for primaries and caucuses.  Iowa is one of 4 states exempted from the date, so we will be able to hold the Republican Iowa Caucuses earlier in the year.  Matt indicated that he expected an early February date for the caucus.

Along with Iowa, the states of New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada will also be exempted.

The new rules recommendation also constrains states that hold their primaries and caucuses prior to April 1 to provide proportional representation to the Republican National Convention in 2012.  This is being doing to prevent a large state from holding their primary early in March and taking away the perceived impact of the exempted states.  According to Matt, this rule does not apply to Iowa, although that is not clear in the wording.  One way to read it, I think, is that it address the meeting to select delegates, which actually occurs at the Republican State Convention here in Iowa.  It will be interesting to watch this question.

The recommendation can be amended and then voted up or down.  If it is rejected, I’m not sure what happens next.  Likely a new committee is formed.

Matt commended Former RPI Chairman Brian Kennedy, who served on the temporary committee, for working hard at ensuring that Iowa maintained their exemption.

Matt also mentioned that he testified before the committee in 2009.

Below is the relevant proposal:

Proposed Rule No. 15(b) Amendment with Adopted Ryder Language

(Current language adopted by the TDSC)

(b) Timing.

(1) “No primary, caucus, or convention to election, select, allocate, or bind delegates to the national convention shall occur prior to the first Tuesday in March in the year in which a national convention is held. Except New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada may begin their processes at any time on or after February 1 in the year in which a national convention is held.”

(2) “Any presidential primary, caucus, convention, or other meeting held for the purpose of selecting delegates to the national convention which occurs prior to the first day of April in the year in which the national convention is held, shall provide for the allocation of the delegates selected on a proportional basis.”

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