Big Changes Coming for the 2020 GOP Primary

RNC members are looking at massive, wholesale changes to the GOP primary system after the 2016 farce resulted in the nomination of Donald Trump. The new rules put into place this year were specifically designed to avoid a result like 2012, where front runner Mitt Romney faced an unexpectedly brutal and embarrassing battle. To avoid protracted insurgency candidacies, the GOP tweaked the delegate rules to almost overwhelmingly favor the early frontrunner.


It was these rules that allowed Donald Trump to race out to a massive delegate lead early in the process even though he overall only got about 37% of the primary vote. The fact that Ted Cruz was able to get close at all shows what a crappy front runner Trump really was, and how weak his campaign was.

The RNC members have been long discussing how to further tweak the process, and one of the things that could be a welcome change is some change in the early state rotation, which has traditionally featured Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and (recently) Nevada. In particular, Nevada’s debacles in both 2012 and 2016 mean that Nevada is extremely likely to be removed from the early rotation.

For three successive elections, the state has been grouped in the vaunted class of early-voting states, joining Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as the bellwethers that garner the most attention from presidential candidates and help winnow voters’ choices. But for the third straight primary season, Nevada’s caucuses have been wracked by embarrassing procedural errors, low turnout, confusion among attendees and questions about the integrity of the process.


At the end of the day, it would be a huge benefit to the whole process if the entire process were blown up in favor of a randomized early calendar among geographically diverse areas of the country. But if that can’t happen, then at least we can be spared the yearly debacle of the Nevada caucus, which is probably the worst run in the country.


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