RNC Autopsy Could Have Unintended Side Effects in Early Primary States

"People like these debates, they learn something from the candidates," Robinson said, adding it gives a voice and exposure to the candidates who don't have "enough money to run negative campaign ads and blast their opponents."

Another big Iowa event that could go by the wayside with these new guidelines is the highly-anticipated, much-covered, but not necessarily a measure of who will be the winner of the caucuses never mind the nominee, the Iowa Straw Poll, despite it being a money maker for the state party. The Straw Poll is not mentioned in the report, but could be a casualty of a shorter process.

A.J. Spiker, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, says it will be up to the "candidates at the time" if there is a Straw Poll in 2016.

"If there is a market for it, it will happen -- if not, it probably won't," Spiker said. "I don't think anyone knows now if it will happen or not."

Spiker urged the RNC to have a "balanced approach" when it comes to caucuses, primaries, and conventions. If the RNC makes primaries a priority over caucuses, he said, it could help "better funded candidates and better known candidates more than lesser known candidates" who need the caucus process "to get the momentum going," as Santorum did in 2012.

There was also mention of "regional primaries" in the report, something Spiker also said the RNC should be cautious about, because he thinks it could lead to "super pacs buying the nomination for candidates."

"We want to have a process that involves grassroots activists where they have a large say in the party and it's not just the wealthy and well connected," Spiker said.

On the other side of the country, those involved in the first in the nation primary in New Hampshire were much more positive about the RNC's report, although GOP strategist Jamie Burnett agreed with Robinson that the biggest problem is regulating rogue states from leapfrogging Iowa and New Hampshire, something not touched on in the nearly 100-page report.

"At a certain point, the chairman should be a strong advocate for that," Burnett said.

"I think Iowa and New Hampshire will be fine whenever the process ends, as long as there is an order to the process," Burnett said.

Candidates will still "engage early in the retail politics" that New Hampshire is "known for and is really useful for vetting the candidates," he said.

Burnett added that 20 primary debates are "excessive" and he supports "shortening the cycle so people aren't campaigning tomorrow for something that happens in 2016."

Of course the party can't stop that.

Just days after the November election, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's office announced that possible 2016 contender Marco Rubio would be heading to the Hawkeye State. Of course he wasn't campaigning and instead headlining an annual campaign fundraising birthday party for Branstad, but until candidates announce their intentions these trips to the early voting states will just be "visits."

Neil Levesque, the non-partisan director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, agreed, noting he knows of potential candidates planning to hit the ground "in force" in New Hampshire this spring. The RNC might be able to move up the convention and shorten the process on one end, but candidates will still start visiting states as early as they feel they must, he said.

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