RNC: Five states to lose half their delegates

The five states that bucked national Republican Party rules by moving up their primary or caucus dates have been penalized with the loss of half their delegates to the August nominating convention in Tampa, Fla. — and there is no chance they're getting them back.

Republican National Committee officials said Tuesday that there is no mechanism for New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona and Michigan to restore any of their lost delegates. And at the party's winter meeting in New Orleans in January, the Rules Committee will decide whether to levy additional penalties on recalcitrant states, including unfavorable hotel assignments and convention seating arrangements.

This marks the second consecutive presidential cycle where the RNC has had to drop sanctions on states that refused to abide by party rules governing which states can hold primary contests before March 6, Super Tuesday. After Florida moved its primary up to Jan. 31, hoping to boost its own importance in the nominating process, other early states leapfrogged to maintain their positions, resulting in Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses taking place Tuesday, just days after the start of the new year.

Although Iowa also moved up its caucuses, none of its delegates are bound by the caucus results, so the state was not penalized, officials said.