Primary Leapfroggers Will Lose Half of Delegates: GOP
RNC vows to penalize 5 states
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2007 4:58 PM CDT
NEW YORK, NY -- Oklahoma delegates Debbie House, left, and Cheryl Williams recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the 2004 Republican National Convention in Madison Square Garden, Monday, August 30, 2004....   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Five state delegations will lose half their votes if they hold their primaries, as currently scheduled, before the official start date of February 5, the RNC ruled yesterday. The party’s national chairman said the penalty shouldn’t come as a surprise, because the 2008 rules were adopted at the 2004 convention, Congressional Quarterly reports.

The only exceptions are Iowa (January 3) and Nevada (January 19), where early caucuses don’t delegate votes to candidates. Florida’s party chair called the brouhaha a “disagreement among friends,” expressing confidence the state will get its full slate. And Florida’s Democrats aren’t taking their sanctions—no delegates whatsoever—lying down: They’re suing the national party.