TAMPA, Fla. – Republican rule-makers are drafting tougher penalties for states like Florida that schedule presidential primaries earlier than the party wants them to.
The tentative vote by the Republican convention rules committee seems to strengthen Iowa's and New Hampshire's traditional role of hosting the nation's first presidential votes.
Using existing rules to punish Florida for jumping the line in the primary calendar, Republican leaders cut in half the state's number of delegates to next week's nominating convention in Tampa. Florida will have 50 voting delegates, not 99.
Under the rules change tentatively approved Friday, states that buck future official GOP primary schedules will be granted no more than 12 voting delegates.
The proposed change is subject to final votes by the committee and by the full convention.