Marc Ambinder | New GOP primary rules rig the process in favor of the establishment

So the new process does several things:

1. It takes power away from state parties, many of which, including the all-important Iowa Republican Party, are controlled by Tea Party activists. It centralizes power in the Republican National Committee. States that want to jump ahead will face serious penalties. (Of course, the nominee could always move to restore the delegates taken away from the penalized states at the convention.)

2. It increases the threshold for earning delegates, which will help GOP candidates who can win in larger states, and will penalize those who hold to a small-state strategy. It also makes the larger states much more valuable than they currently are.

3. It shortens the period of time between contests, which means that candidates who unexpectedly win a state won’t have as much time to bask in the free media that accompanies it.

4. It reduces the amount of money that serious candidates have to raise for the primaries, allowing them to focus more on general election fundraising.

5. It marginalizes movement conservatives in smaller states by effectively writing them out of the process.

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