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Redesigning GOP Nominating Rules

As political chair for Washington and Lee’s 2012 Mock Republican Convention, senior Zach Wilkes spent three years immersed in the process by which the GOP selects its presidential nominee.

Like many observers, Zach found that system something less than ideal. So he devised a plan of his own. Earlier this week, former Congressional Quarterly writer and political blogger Rhodes Cook wrote about Zach’s proposal on his blog, RhodesCook.com.

Zach calls his plan the “Republican ‘Super Four’ Primary Reform Proposal.” Cook calls it “provocative, creative and straightforward.”

Among the plan’s features, Zach proposes, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Wisconsin would hold their primaries on the first Tuesday in February. Wisconsin replaces Iowa in the early voting, and representatives of all geographic regions vote on that first Tuesday. Meantime, other states would begin the primary and caucus season two weeks later, and that might make the third Tuesday in February the new Super Tuesday.

If such a plan were adopted, and if states stuck to the schedule (Zach proposes a stiff penalty if they don’t), Mock Con might be in January four years from now, in order to make their prediction as tough as possible.

Meantime, Zach and his team on the political committee can take a bow this week because of Rick Santorum’s decision to drop out of the race. Mitt Romney will almost certainly be the nominee, which would confirm the Mock Con’s Feb. 11 prediction of Romney. Barring some strange twist, Mock Con’s record will move to 19 correct predictions in 25 tries.