South Carolina would keep its status as an early-primary state under proposals to streamline the 2016 Republican presidential primary.
In the report from CNN.com, the Republican National Committee is looking at shortening the window for primaries and hold the convention in June, the earliest since 1948. The party wants to end some of chaos from the 2012 primary.
Among the rules amendments taking shape:
-- The first four early-voting states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada -- would continue to hold their contests in February.
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To prevent other states from jumping the order and compelling the first four to move their dates even earlier as they did in 2012, any state that attempts to hold its nominating contest before March 1 would have their number of delegates to the convention slashed to just nine people or, in the case of smaller states, one-third of their delegation -- whichever number is smaller.
"It's the death penalty," said one member of the subcommittee. If Florida violates RNC rules and holds its primary in February, its 99-member delegation would all but vanish.
S.C. GOP party chairman Matt Moore issued a statement:
"First and foremost, these proposed rule changes protect our 'First in the South' presidential primary. I'm proud of our South Carolina team including national committee members Glenn McCall and Cindy Costa in solidifying our state's 'first' primary status. I've heard from diverse Republicans across our state over the past few months - they fully agree that our 2012 primary process did not serve our party or the presidential candidates well. (We) welcome common-sense reforms like protecting the early-voting states, enacting harsh penalties on states that cut in line, and creating a sensible debate calendar."