Five states will lose half their delegates because they violated Republican party rules on the timing of their presidential contests.
The five states that bucked national Republican Party rules by moving up their primary or caucus dates have been penalized with the loss of half their delegates to the August nominating convention in Tampa, Fla. - and there is no chance they're getting them back.
Republican National Committee officials said Tuesday that there is no mechanism for New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona and Michigan to restore any of their lost delegates. And at the party's winter meeting in New Orleans in January, the Rules Committee will decide whether to levy additional penalties on recalcitrant states, including unfavorable hotel assignments and convention seating arrangements.
This marks the second consecutive presidential cycle where the RNC has had to drop sanctions on states that refused to abide by party rules governing which states can hold primary contests before March 6, Super Tuesday. After Florida moved its primary up to Jan. 31, hoping to boost its own importance in the nominating process, other early states leapfrogged to maintain their positions, resulting in Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses taking place Tuesday, just days after the start of the new year.
The delegates aren't nearly as valuable as the money that pours in to these early primary and caucus states, filling the party coffers and the pockets of advertisers, printers, and others who are in the political business. Hotels, restaurants, and the hospitality industry in general benefits from the media descending en mass to cover the proceedings, as well as the dollars spent by candidates, and their entourages.
Losing some delegates appears to be a small price to pay for such a financial windfall.