Republicans to tighten rules on primary calendar

The Republican National Committee is likely to greatly compress its presidential nominating process under rules passed by a key party committee Thursday, in hopes of uniting behind a stronger nominee headed into the 2016 presidential election.

The new rules will allow four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — to hold nominating contests in February 2016, a month later than those contests were held in 2012. Every other state would be allowed to hold nominating contests between March 1 and late May.

Any state that moves ahead of the allowed window would suffer penalties, including a reduced delegation to the national convention and a loss of other perks.

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