WASHINGTON — Republican leaders overwhelmingly voted Friday to shorten their presidential selection process in an attempt to minimize damage from GOP candidates attacking each other.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus said the changes will not allow Republicans to "slice and dice" each other for six months.
New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada are scheduled to host the first four contests in February 2016 under the new schedule, while the remainder of the nation's 46 states and territories would vote between early March and mid May.
After the first two weeks in March, states can hold winner-take-all elections, which will deliver large troves of delegates and are intended to yield a prospective nominee early in the process. The plan establishes strict penalties for states that jump out of order, as Florida did in 2012.