On a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon, senior RNC officials addressed the situation of their now disrupted primary calendar, which was caused by Florida moving its primary to January 31, ahead of the officially sanctioned early states that were supposed to go in February. However, the senior officials still claimed success in the calendar overall -- even though Florida has broken the rules, and now the official early states are likely to lose half their delegates, too.
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The formal rules, adopted last year, provided for four states to vote in February: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Then other states could hold contests in March under various methods of proportional representation, and states that voted from April onward could be winner-take-all. But all of that has been up-ended by Florida's decision to vote on January 31, which will cause the official four early states to move even earlier into January .
The officials discussed how the RNC's rules were done as a reaction to the 2008 calendar, when Super Tuesday in early February became almost a de facto national primary: "The intent of it all was to get away from having a national primary and really try to start a bit later, but really have more states participate, and have more people able to participate in a meaningful way...And I think for the most part we're going to accomplish that."