More than a third of the states have early Republican presidential primary elections scheduled next year that would violate national party rules, throwing the campaign calendar into disarray and risking sanctions that would diminish their influence at the nominating convention.
“The calendar itself is total chaos,’’ said Saul Anuzis, a Republican National Committee member from Michigan who helped craft the Republican National Committee policies that protect Iowa and New Hampshire as the first states in the primary lineup. “You don’t know what’s going to happen.’’
You may recall that the Obama/Clinton primaries of 2008 got especially messy when Michigan and Florida tried to jump the primary queue, essentially disqualifying entire states from voting in the Democratic primaries. Republican primaries are generally very orderly affairs, but these arguments could clear the path for a strategic-minded underdog candidate to game the system. We could be looking at a long, messy primary.