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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

RNC: Fla primary will remain winner-take-all for delegates



There's been a fair amount of chatter/concern that the importance of Florida's Republican primary could be dramatically diluted if the RNC further penalizes the state for its early primary by allocating its delegates proportionally, rather than winner-take-all. After all, divvying up 50 delegates four or five ways would make the state a lot smaller prize for the winner.

On a conference call with reporters today, however, RNC officials all but dismissed the prospects for Florida losing its winner-take-all status. As it is the state's number of delegates will be slashed from 99 to 50, and there is no mechanism to restore those delegates later, RNC officials said.

The party's rules committee will meet in New Orleans in January and may consider added penalties for states that violated the officially sanctioned schedules - such as lousy seating, limiting floor passes or VIP passes - but the Rules Committee has no say over the delegate allocation.

There remains a possibility that someone could file a contest challenging the allocation of delegates, but that wouldnt even be taken up until summer.

Florida by the way, is not the only state losing delegates for busting the schedule. So will New Hampshire (cut to 13), South Carolina (cut to 25); Arizona (cut to 29); and Michigan (cut to 39). Other states, such as Iowa, Maine, Colorado, and Missouri won't lose delegates despite earlier-than-allowed elections because their elections will be non-binding.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 3:39pm]


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