Republicans are looking at changes to their primary process for 2020 following a year that handed them a presumptive nominee that many feel isn't loyal to the party and may not fully embrace its values.
The New York Times
on Tuesday reported on discussions among GOP loyalists who are considering either keeping independents from voting in their primaries, as is allowed in some states, or weakening the strength of early voting states with smaller populations such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
The latter idea has been floated — and failed — in the past, and those states are sure to lobby to retain their early status, but one idea is to keep them from holding as much sway by pairing them with a rotating list of nearby states, according to the Times.
Such a plan would pair Iowa with Minnesota and New Hampshire with Massachusetts in 2020, then in 2024 Iowa and South Dakota would vote on the same day, followed by New Hampshire and Maine.
Nevada, however, could lose its early status due to party infighting there, said Henry Barbour, national committeeman from Mississippi who is also a member of the convention Rules Committee.
"I think there’s a good bit of interest to move to another state in the West," Barbour said, and Colorado or New Mexico could get that nod because of the diversity of their voters and willingness to vote Republican and Democratic in statewide elections, according to the Times.
But the party likes to give wide leeway to the states, and that could hamper any efforts at change.
"It has been a pillar of Republican Party philosophy that we give maximum freedom and authority to the states," Steve Duprey, national committeeman for New Hampshire, said. "And to try to dictate one system would seem to be antithetical to that."
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